Recently, whilst in lovely Amsterdam, I was able to cap off an evening by enjoying a pint at the amazing Cafe De Dokter. With enough ephemera and bric-a-brac on the walls to make McSorley's look like a sports bar, the cafe made for a truly special evening. The bar, coated in brass, was lined with the plaques of former dutch doctors who once lined the seats. An older gentleman, perhaps one of the members of the Beems family who owns the establishment, poured solid pints of Amsterdam's finest lager - Grolsch. Highly recommended for the true Imperialist if you are in town.
I was fortunate enough to be sent to London and Amsterdam for business recently. I consider both cities to be paramount for Imperial Pints. Therefore, whenever I had a little downtime from work, I would stop with my companions to enjoy a proper pour.
London, the motherland of the Pub, takes the cake as far as Imperial Pints are concerned (with Amsterdam and Munich a close second and third). Drinking is taken seriously here, with every customer guaranteed his or her due. Not only is the amount of libation guaranteed, but the temperature of this Pint is also something that is provided for.
Wouldn't that be a great thing here in NY! How many bars have you ordered in, only to receive a flat, lukewarm Pint in return for $6?
Staying in Camden town, the first Pub I was able to hit was The World's End. Catering to the working man watching the football match in the front
and then the emo kid shopping at Camden market for black metal tees, TWE is an institution.
Next stop in more of the center of London, a small pub for a Pint and a bite called The Woodstock. Nice and cosy. Much like the other pubs that cluster around the busier parts of the city. The next day, I was able to hit a nice spot called The Cambridge, on Charing Cross Road. What I love about British Pubs, is the fact that even in the smallest and plainest of pubs, you have such attention to detail in terms of what is offered. Lager, Bitter, Stout on tap. Up to five varieties of Cask Ale. And my personal favorite, a huge selection of different ciders. This may be to catch the tourist crowd visiting London, but I could think of worse things.
But sometimes you just want a Carlsberg and a bag of crisps.
For an after work Pint session, especially one on the cheap, I found myself recently at the Village Tavern.
A decent West Village sports bar, I felt it's 20oz Imperial Pints and happy hour gave it an advantage. Staff was super friendly, which was an added plus in this neighborhood. $4 Imperial Pints of Yuengling during happy hour can't be turned down.
After being turned away on an afternoon from Toby's Public House (because of family - read stroller - in tow, boo...), I ventured to the former site of Eurotrip, now called Korzo in South Park Slope. An eastern European-themed bar deep off of 6th avenue in Brooklyn, the beer is old world right and the food is extremely proper.
Being one who sought the Imperial Pint in such far off places such as Germany, Hungary, and Budapest, I can attest to the fact that Korzo does both the beer and the food properly. Food is an interesting array of Hungarian sausage-type dishes and an interesting list of a traditional fried-bread treat. Beers on tap are a great, tight list of light, dark, weiss, and lager by the pint (16 oz), litre (afternoon-ruining), and pitcher. A tasty event, to say the least. Well recommended for the trek.
Sometimes, during the hot summer, one needs something even more refreshing than a frosty pint. How is this accomplished, you ask? Well in the old country, the practice of cutting the bitterness of beer with lemonade, ginger beer, or pop is called a Shandy or Lager Top. Sometimes this is also done with Cider or Guinness. It can be a delicious alternative to a Pint on a hot day. One should be cautioned with the Turbo-Shandy, as it can be deceivingly strong!
Shame on the pub that doesn't know how to make one proper!