The Dokter Is In

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.

9 out of 10 Pints.


Pints From The Old Country Pt. 1

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.

Next up, a quiet spot in Amsterdam.


Imperial Village

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.

6 out of 10 Pints.


Peeking Behind The Iron Curtain

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.

7 out of 10 Pints.b


Top O' Lager

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!


Sunday Guinness

Perfect for a relaxing Sunday. Officially good for you!


At The Gates...

It's been awhile since I've been able to venture out into the wilderness of Park Slope and enjoy a pint since the new addition. This weekend, me and the fam were able to saunter down to a nice pub known as The Gate.
Semi-dark inside, with the afternoon sun shining through the windows. It reminds one of a summer's day in the English countryside.
There is a nice outdoor area where one can watch the world go by. They have an extensive selection of beer on tap. Microbrews and such. Pints are served Imperial style, although a bit smaller than the traditional. Good for Afternoon enjoyment.
7 out of 10 Pints.


Imperial Cinema - Hot Fuzz

The Pint Imperial is a huge Simon Pegg / Nick Frost fan. From Spaced, through Shaun of the Dead, and then, finally, to Hot Fuzz, they can do no wrong. As British comedy, all of their projects include some great Pub scenes complete with Imperial Pints. Hot Fuzz, the latest of the pair's outings, has a couple of great Pint scenes in a small English town in which the film takes place.


Pints on the Go?

Sometimes one thirsts for a pint, but the bar is just not an option. Six dollars you say? Just for a proper pour? It's good to know that you can get proper ales, lagers, ciders, and stouts with fresh from the tap taste here in the states. Some of my favorite varieties as of late have been:

Tetley's English Ale

Boddington's Pub Ale

Old Speckled Hen

Strongbow Dry Cider


The Pop-Up Flea

Friends, this weekend there will be a veritable "worlds fair" for the thinking man's style market. I would like to call your attention to the Pop-up Flea. This event, curated by the esteemed Michael Williams and Randy Goldberg, promises to be a winner. Booze, haircuts, custom clothes... Sounds like progress to me. Hours are this Friday from 4pm till 8pm and the rest of the weekend from 11am till 7pm. See you there, Pint in hand!


Where Everybody Knows Your Name

It's always interesting to step into a landmark. For Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, the landmark is Farrell's Bar and Grill. Open since 1933, this neighborhood treasure is filled with cops and firemen, locals and yuppies. Beer is served in sizes: small, medium, and large. The large has been christened, the "Container." Basically a 32oz styrofoam cup that functions as a to-go container for those with thirst on the move.

Much has been said about Farrell's over the years with respect to the neighborhood and gentrification. This imperialist won't go into detail on that, but let's just say on a Saturday night with the Mrs., we were welcomed by some cranky patrons and made to feel at home. One would love to find an Imperial Pint here, but that would probably be deemed, "unAmerican"...

6 out of 10 Pints.


A Welcome Chip on the Shoulder

Chipshop, an ex-pat oasis for our cousins from across the sea, is one establishment that understands the philosophy behind the meaning of a true pint, an Imperial Pint. Extensive, better than average British fare on the menu makes this a real destination. A decent selection of proper ales and lagers served in proper glasses makes it worth staying.
The Mrs. and I went on an early excursion to the Slope before moving here and had a great experience. Stellar fish and chips combined with a couple of Speckled Hen's made for a pleasant evening. Adding to this was the atmosphere. The walls are covered in British ephemera of all sorts and the clientele ranges from Park Slope families to wayward Brits just off of work and looking for a taste of home, to younger hipster punks wanting a pint and a deep fried mars bar. Can't wait to go back.

8 out of 10 Pints.


Longing for a Solid Pint

Say what you will about Nevada Smith's, they pour a real pint. They may serve a college / banker crowd most days, but the vibe is strictly about football and the pints are strictly Imperial. Service is great, they purvey British Crisps, just don't get caught up during game time or after finals.

6 out of 10 Pints


At The Table

So, now having moved to the nesting grounds of Park Slope, it is time to give an update on some of the Imperialist Haunts in this neck of the woods. First up is Beer Table. A haven in the neighborhood for craft brews of all sorts. Reminiscent of Williamsburg's Spuyten Duyvil, Beer table boasts one of the most extensive menu's in the neighborhood.

Seasonal drafts are served in proper Imperial Pint glasses (thank god), a welcome respite from the trend that has seemed to overcome it's northern neighbors. Food is solid all around. Small plates, both dinner and dessert fare. A little on the pricey side, but worth it for some serious drinking. Images courtesy google and beerlord.com.

7 out of 10 Pints.


Imperial Cinema - Withnail and I

A classic piece of Imperial Cinema, I present Withnail & I. Classic because it deals with two out-of-work London actors who are also drunks. They hit the pub for "Two large gins, two pints of cider, ice in the cider". Always with a cheeky grin. A genius film written and directed by Bruce Robinson.


Just Thought I'd Share...

Many ways to enjoy a Black and Tan Imperial Pint on St. Patty's day with the family.



To all Imperialists, as we celebrate the day when St. Patrick (who was Welsh), cast the snakes from Ireland and brought God to the pagans, let us not forget the glass thru which we celebrate!


Some Sleight of Hand

We've spoken of the corner of Essex and Rivington before. Another great place to pint down, situated on this corner, is The Magician. Although not Imperial, it is still a solid pub that deserves it's due. According to Citysearch, it's named for an Ingmar Bergman film.

Decent jukebox, American 18oz pints, and a healthy selection of beers, all put The Magician on the map. At the very least, they don't stoop to baby pints.

6 out of 10 Pints.


Characteristic Markings

On a recent weekend afternoon trip through a couple of pubs, I've noticed that an Imperialist can put their mind at ease when they find the proper markings on their glass. Some bars have glasses that are the characteristic shape of the Imperial pint, but the volume of the glass is significantly smaller. This is a shame. We've talked about it before. Maybe it's the economy. Maybe it's capitalism. It really doesn't matter in the end, because, sadly, it doesn't work out in the drinkers favor.
The certfied Pint Glass is usually stamped with the Crown and the word "Pint" and / or CE on it (ensuring it has been checked by authorities). These can be also followed by a number (as seen in the glass at right). Each city in England has a specific number. This is the UK law for the marking of a full pint. Further to this, it is illegal under UK law to serve less than a pint (counting the head of the beer is a sneaky way of doing so), and if you do, customers must be told as such. Believe me, they are serious about it. These laws currently do not exist in the US. I feel that US (at least in the east) customers are being taken advantage of (hence this blog). It is unfortunate, because even before the event of baby pints, the US pint is 0.8327 of a UK pint. The standard of glass, which should be marked, is the Nonic pint glass. I have spoke of this earlier. Sadly, this shape has been co-opted and shrunk down to give the feel of an actual pint, but essentially, giving the odds to the house.

The actual origins are a bit less sinister than your narrator would let on. The American pint glass actually started out as a mixing glass for cocktails and other spirits, but eventually ended up as the defacto beer glass (Thanks to a post by Serious Eats for the info!).

During the renaissance, innkeepers / bartenders were called Publicans. Any similarities to Republicans? A sad attempt at humor.

Moral of the post - look for the markings. They will ensure you are getting your due.


Life Behind The Lens

His Majesty is not normally in the habit of throwing out endorsements, unless they are of a brewed nature, but here is one that strangely fits into that category. The Great Books Have Been Written is the photo blog of a fellow Imperialist, Danny Weiss (as in... Weiss Bier). A fine photographer from the school of William Eggleston, he's been shooting the New York streets for years. He managed to capture some familiar Imperialists in their pursuit of the revelry and merriment one evening. The joy of this moment is now forever on film.


A Taste of Old New York

Stuck in the Flatiron district, looking for a pint, can be a dire situation for some. Fear not, however, there is an Oasis. Old Town Bar is a drinking landmark. Thru and thru this is a turn of the century place. Both beers and food are on the level. Just walking inside you know you've arrived someplace special.

I went in one summer afternoon with a friend some years ago. I ordered a beer and the friend ordered a glass of wine and then excused himself to the bathrooms. The bartender brought over our drinks and asked me, "what's wrong with your friend?", as he placed down the glass of wine. Old Town, indeed.

7 out of 10 Pints.


Imperial Cinema - The Prestige

An addition to the annals of Imperial Cinema that might have squeaked by, if I hadn't rewatched it during a bout of unemployment, is 2006's The Prestige. Directed by Christopher Nolan of Batman fame and based on a book by Christopher Priest, The Prestige is the story of two feuding magicians at the turn of the century.

Great movie overall, the kind that creeps up on you after a couple of viewings. There are a few great scenes where Hugh Jackman indulges in the imperial pint in a wonderful looking establishment. Also factoring into this story is a drunken actor, who cannot refuse a "very welcome pint of ale".