Jimmy, Mark, and Jennifer are in Maine to visit an old acquaintance, Tod Mott, who with his wife and business partner Galen has opened Tributary Brewing Company in Kittery, just across the river from Portsmouth, NH. Tod definitely qualifies in the categories of 'Good TV' as well as 'Rockstar Brewer', having brought IPA to Harpoon Brewing in 1992, and Imperial Stout to Portsmouth ("P Brew") in 1996. And wouldn't you know it, The Happy Hour Guys just happened to show up one day before the release of a certain world renowned Imperial Stout...(funny thing, that!) Click play for more, and enjoy!
Great Bars form the very fabric of our communities. They were Social Media before social media was electrified. Take some advice from us; the next time you stop in somewhere for a glass or a pint, don't watch TV - start a conversation.
And raise a glass to these terrific places:
The Collins Bar
The Collins was a midtown NYC watering hole that was #Craft before it was cool. Sadly it succumbed to the pressure of development, and a Big Shiny Expensive Building rises there as we speak.
The Jameson Tavern
The Jameson Tavern still exists! But it has endured a number of challenges in recent years, and could use all the help it can get. Stop in on the off-season and ghost hunt, like we did.
McReilly's was a neighborhood touchstone in Long Island City, NY. Mark made it for the closing day party a sad loss to the area indeed.
General Lafayette Inn & Brewery
Boasting some terrific history and an in-house brewpub, General Lafayette's was a real gem just outside of Philly that closed around 2010. A great loss to that community, and to the beer culture at large.
Mulberry Street Bar
We got to step back in time to one of NYC oldest bars with this Little Italy gem, which still exists, but has endured some challenges from developers as well. Donnie Brasco, The Sopranos, and Law & Order all shot here in the past. Formerly called Mare Chiaro, the place has a social club décor that's barely changed since it opened in 1908: a towering, ornate wooden back bar with inset mirrors at the top, a subway tile floor, and swaths of pressed tin along the ceiling and walls.
Got a great Local that needs saving? Reach out to us here at the website - we'd love to help. Cheers!
*That we've shot video of, in the USA.
"When there's something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call?" The Happy Hour Guys? No. Obviously you call the Ghostbusters. But while you're waiting for Egon and Venkman to show up, quaff a couple with the local poltergeists. Here's a list of episodes we've shot at historic bars over the years, bars that might just have more than your regular share of parnormal activity:
The Old Talbott Tavern. Bardstown, KY: Hmm. I swear I put it on the chair. It's no longer on the chair. Also: Which were the most haunted rooms again?
The Jameson Tavern. Freeport, ME: Emily doesn't like the bread baskets.
The General Lafayette Inn. Lafayette Hill, PA: If you happen to be drinking with an old guy in a nightshirt, you might have a problem. (Now renovated and back in business as the Barren Hill Brewery.)
Pete's Tavern. NYC: This one is a don't-miss. You might share a booth with a literary ghost or two at one of the oldest bars in New York City.
McSorley's Old Ale House. NYC: The Happy Hour Guys shot their very first episode at what many say is the oldest bar in NYC. Houdini is said to have haunted this place in the form of a black cat. We'll stick with the Dark Beer.
Gettysburg, PA: Drinking at the site of one of the most significant battles of the Civil War, there are ghosts aplenty, but the Happy Hour Guys may be most haunted by their puppetry in this episode.
Fraunces Tavern. NYC: George Washington drank here. And did some other stuff.
White Horse Tavern. NYC: Dylan Thomas, Under Milkwood? How about under the bar? Too soon? The Guys delve into the history of this literary watering hole.
Long before Snooki roamed the Jersey Shore, Manasquan was the site of one of NJ's only unsolved murders, at O'Neil's Beach House bar. Here, the guys tackle the mystery with a few pints and some mystery guests.
Mark takes his drinking life into his own hands as he explores Bube's Brewery in Mt. Joy, PA. Freshly brewed beer, catacombs, ghosts…oh, my!
The Guys explore the Rogues Harbor Inn in NY's Finger Lakes region. House brewed beer, history, and some ghostly guests who linger on make for a good time. Honk if you love beer!
That's all for now. Hope you enjoyed our tour of historic and haunted bars. Keep an eye on us for all sorts of adventure in the world of craft beverages and where they come from. As always, we welcome your suggestions - where's your favorite haunt? (Boo....) Cheers!
*That we've visited.
Alright, keep your shirts on. We know there's a bewildering number of mind-numbingly awesome Craft bars there are out there, and we're aware of how many more there are for us to visit. And it is our QUEST to get to every single one of them - (oh hey, do us a solid and add your suggestions to the comment section, will you?). In the meantime, it's time to celebrate some great locals. Check out these terrific Craft Stops:
First, one of our most recent stops, in Midtown Manhattan; Beer Culture. Just next to the Hirshfeld Theatre in the Broadway District, this new watering hole is also a bottle shop.
Winner of Best Beer Bar in NY in 2013? Check. Long Island City? Check. Amazing owners? You've gotta meet the folks at Alewife NYC.
We happened to stop in to this spot in Hollywood a few years ago, and even though it's weathered some storms it's still going strong: The Blue Palms Brewhouse.
No NYC Craft Beer Bar experience is complete without a visit to Jimmy's. And if you're very lucky, you'll get to hang out with owner Jimmy Carbone, (or Jimmy Pots & Pans), a legend in the NYC Craft Community. Come home to Jimmy's.
HOPCAT. The Midwestern Craft Beer Mecca in Grand Rapids, MI. We didn't shoot video here, but dammit, we visited. And we came away very, very happy. By the way, HopCat is opening a new location in Downtown Detroit this year, and we hear it's going to be massive. Beer hear!
Pacific Standard, on 4th Ave in Brooklyn. We're pretty sure that this is what the dorm rooms at Beer Appreciation College look like.
Tucked away in the Berkshire region of Western Mass, MOE's Tavern is the bar you always dreamt about. No seriously, it is.
Adobe Blues - This may be the best reason to ride the Staten Island Ferry. Over, and over, and over. You'll 'flip' for this place...
Pizza and great Craft in Amish Country? Yup. We've seen rare beers at The Fridge in Lancaster, PA, that we have a hard time finding in a city of 8 million people!
Truly not to be missed, Proletariat is a tiny (and we mean tiny) place in the East Village of NYC that sports some of the rarest worldwide Craft we've ever seen. A bucket list bar.
Ah, the Pony Bar Hell's Kitchen on 45th and 10th Ave in Midtown Manhattan; the bar that helped turn the Craft Beer wave in this part of NYC into a Tsunami. We were there at the beginning.
This place in Minneapolis was Craft long before it was cool: Mackenzie, the Bar Next Door to the Theatre is the place you've always wanted in your neighborhood.
Ever been to Portland, Maine? Once you've seen our episode featuring The Great Lost Bear, you'll be looking to book your ticket.
And lastly, in memoriam: The Collins Bar, which sadly is long gone now, reduced to a hole in the ground on 8th Avenue NYC that's on its way to becoming a tall shiny expensive set of apartments. We fondly remember discovering flavors of Craft here that we never knew existed. Still one of our favorites, and deserving of the memory. And as you can see, also one of the first places we ever shot.
That's how our list starts. What's on yours?
Weve already learned that Cold River Vodka makes some of the freshest, most original, eco and community friendly vodka around. Since our , Cold River has been piling up the awards including one of Wine Enthusiasts highest possible ratings. Jimmy and Mark catch up with the intrepid potato of Cold River fame, and special guest former Miss America Kate Shindle on this classic tasting episode with Cold River Vodka's Original and Blueberry vodkas. Watch as they invest the time and effort to truly test these spirits, alone and in cocktails, over and over. If this is hard work, we'll never work another day in our lives. Can you say delicious? We can! Enjoy!
The Allagash Brewing Company has risen from its humble, 'one-man operation' beginnings to become one of the most respected breweries operating today in the U.S.: Founder Rob Tod identified that the Belgian style of brewing was under-represented in the states and well, he did something about it. Today, Allagash combines traditional Belgian brewing techniques with American creativity to produce some of the most distinctive beers on the market, many bottled using the méthode champenoise (look it up). Combine all of that with a commitment to local philanthropy through their Tribute series and their location in the picturesque city of Portland, Maine, and you can see why we chose one of their brews for our first tasting in this series.
Enjoy! Its the next best thing to drinking it yourself!
The Guys make another stop in Portland, Maine, where folks are VERY serious about their craft brews. This is a Third Place of the finest order. The Great Lost Bear features 65 different taps, a focus on Maine microbrews, and a cribbage board. (Okay, there are a few other things to enjoy as well.) Top ten ratings from folks all over the world, and Gourmet magazine says it's "One of the greatest bars on earth"! AND, Bumper stickers are free! Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Bumper Sticker, Great Lost Bear
540 Forest Ave
Portland, ME 04101 Cheers!