Commentist Beer Barrel: The Happiest Place on Earth

make it snow

alot of beer

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It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I don’t know about you guys, but a lot’s happened in the snow household since I last wrote about beer here. We’ve gotten married (yes, to each other!), we’ve quit our jobs, and in two weeks we’ll be moving to the land of my birth, Colorado, where we hope to finally escape Austin’s roughly thirteen months a year of unbearable heat. Somewhere in the middle of all that, we also went to New York, where I logged my 3000th beer on Untappd and finally got to show lady snow my favorite place in the entire world to drink: Tørst.

Tørst, in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, boasts a tap list day in and day out that may be the best in the entire country. I’m not proud to admit this, but one time I went to Tørst my friends had to carry me back to East Harlem with my pants trying to fall off the whole way back. With some difficulty, I’ve exercised more caution on subsequent visits. The bar is a production of itinerant Danish brewers Evil Twin, known for their impressive range of big beers and their founder Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø’s running feud with his brother Mikkel, frontman for the good-universe-mirror-image wandering brewery Mikkeller. (There’s good reason to suspect this sibling rivalry is by now mostly for show; Tørst had its fair share of Mikkeller beers on offer the night I was there.)

Tørst’s entrance isn’t obvious from the street. The first couple of times I visited, the only marker was a carved white marble sign above their door. This time, helpfully, there was also a sandwich board. The interior’s much cleaner and more modern than other A-list New York beer bars like the Blind Tiger or the Owl Farm, which lean more toward a comfortable neighborhood-bar aesthetic. That’s not to say Tørst is chilly or unwelcoming; it’s cozy, but in a more reserved, refined Scandinavian way.

There used to be a Michelin-star restaurant, by the name of Luksus, hidden somewhere in the back of Tørst. I never ate there or even found the place, and I understand it’s closed now, which is probably why the bar had a more extensive food menu than I’d remembered. And, tire company approval notwithstanding, the food was good enough for lady snow and I to go through several of their shared plates before I committed to a delicious, apparently Japanese-inspired fried pork sandwich.

But of course the real star at Tørst, as always, was the beer. Twenty-one taps, split into two different coolers so as to serve the lighter beers cold and the bigger beers at cellar temperature, without a single lazy or boring selection, which once again made picking out the ten or so I wanted to try a real challenge. Highlights this trip included a Crooked Stave’s Key Lime Tau, a bold, biting sour with incredibly vibrant key lime flavor; Hoppin’ Frog Infusion A, a smooth, creamy peanut butter/coffee porter; from the home team, Evil Twin’s super-chocolatey Even More Coco Jesus; and a truly bizarre Norwegian offering from Lervig Aktiebryggeri, Big Ass Money Stout 2. This was a titanic 16% ABV imperial stout, brewed with frozen pizza as part of the mash (presumably the Big Ass part of the beer), whiskey barrel-aged, and, as the brewery put it, “dry money’d … to poke fun of [sic] modern Norwegian culture.” If this last bit does not mean they literally soaked money in the beer before bottling, I don’t want to hear what it does mean. And it was really good! Because perception is almost impossible to separate from expectation, I can’t be sure whether I really did taste notes of DiGiorno and Red Baron, but I think I tasted them. I know that I was unable to discern any hints of the flavor of money in Big Ass Money Stout 2. Maybe next time.

It’s probably for the best that Tørst doesn’t advertise itself much to anyone who’s not already seeking it out. It’s strictly a beer bar, and strictly a fancy beer bar, and there’s a whole subgenre of Yelp reviews just for Tørst from people who just wanted a drink, man, what’s with the wine glasses, why’s this place got to be so pretentious? 

That’s the thing, though, about Tørst: I don’t think there’s any pretension to it. From the sleek decor to the artsy drinkware to the awesome dining menu to, most of all, the carefully curated beer list, every aspect of the experience is in the service of making Tørst an incredible place to drink beer, and not for one minute in all the times I’ve visited has it failed to live up to that promise. Pretentious? No, Tørst is the real deal.

lady snow says: Everything I had there was delicious. Beer- and food-wise. And cider-wise! There was nothing bad about the place.

make it snow is an alot of beer, and now legally a husband! He drank 5oz beers at Tørst, and ordered either too many small plates, or just enough. Normal beer reviews to resume next weekend!

make it snow
alot of beer

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ballsofsteelandfury
Member

I remember drinking a Thai – style Iced tea beer that was a collaboration between Mikkeller and Sierra Nevada. It was quite tasty.

Horatio Cornblower
Member

I had that. It was awful. But that’s what’s great about people that make those kinds of beers; they’re willing to risk one person spitting it out and thinking it’s awful rather than make something as bland as possible for the lowest common denominator drinker.

#upforwhatever

ballsofsteelandfury
Member

Mine was from a tap and perfect temperature, So that may have helped. I remember that, as it warmed up, I liked it less and less so I drank it quickly.

Unsurprised
Member
Unsurprised

Congrats on quitting the old jobs and moving to Colorado.

Buddy Cole's Halftime Show
Member
Buddy Cole's Halftime Show

I worked in a liquor store 5 years ago that was in an affluent neighborhood, so that was my exposure to the world of craft. When I got bored there, I would go on RateBeer and just soak in everything that I could possibly know. (By the way RateBeer, I hate your redesign.) I can BS about the stuff pretty well, and I prefer the stuff you can get in six packs though a bomber was always on the horizon if I needed a fancy gift.

I did look at Tørst’s menu, and it’s funny how the beer costs more than a meal there. That being said, their list of bottled sours in particular is on another planet. There’s no bullshit on that whole list. There’s stuff on there people on the East Coast couldn’t dream of getting a few years ago unless you traded on a forum with someone from that area (The Bruery comes to mind).

The beer prices do scare me off on my current student budget, but that is fair value considering some of those are next to impossible to find.

Well done, Norwegians.

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers
Member

http://www.beerscenemag.com/2017/06/anheuser-busch-inbev-purchases-stake-in-ratebeer-com/

RateBeer.com is officially #upforwhatever now. Beer Advocate is better anyway: https://www.beeradvocate.com/

Horatio Cornblower
Member

Whatever man. I’ve been married for 22 years and this weekend someone threw a Coors Light can on my lawn and it wasn’t completely empty so everything’s comin’ up Horatio around these parts as far as I’m concerned!

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SonOfSpam
Member

I have also been married 22 years and would drink a half-empty Coors Light that had been thrown on my lawn. Are we twins, or are you not a lazy fatass?

Game Time Decision
Member
Game Time Decision

wooohoooo free “beer”

Horatio Cornblower
Member

(Look how horrified the cat is at that tattoo)

Horatio Cornblower
Member

Oh. My. God.

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SonOfSpam
Member

If that motherfucker’s not wearing floods, I’m kickin his ass.

Senor Weaselo
Member

You were here and didn’t invite me? I mean, I was probably unavailable, but still!

Anyway, congratulations on the round number of beers and and the nuptials.

Horatio Cornblower
Member

Hey I invited him to meet me halfway for some beers and he told me to fuck off*, so consider yourself lucky.

*politely declined citing previous commitments

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly
Member

Right, cause I’m sure that makeitsnow was looking forward to the opportunity to hang out in (checks map) Danbury.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly
Member

Or I guess Bridgeport.

Horatio Cornblower
Member

I was thinking more Stamford you goddamn emigrant.

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers
Member

Putnam was nice. As long as you stayed within a one block radius of the restaurant.

Horatio Cornblower
Member

“As long as you stayed within a one block* radius of the restaurant.

*1/2 a block

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers
Member

Interestingly enough, I went to Mikkeller San Diego on Saturday for the first time. They moved into AleSmith’s old building and had a few colabs with them. The “Sticky Icky Wee Heavy” was the highlight.

The lowlight being the food truck out front that wanted TEN DOLLARS for a small bowl of mac and cheese. Finding out it was vegan made it even more ridiculous.

SonOfSpam
Member

Great, now I wanna fly to New York and drink beer.

Which, I guess, is just like any day.

LemonJello
Member
LemonJello

Crooked Stave’s Key Lime Tau

Adding to my Untappd wish list

Re: Marriage – “Mazeltov!”
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ballsofsteelandfury
Member

Congratulations on timing the knot! You guys seriously are the cutest couple ever and I wish you nothing but the best.

SonOfSpam
Member

“Timing the knot” is how Janay Rice’s headbumps are always hidden from cameras.

Inanimate Carbon Rod Marinelli
Member

Tørst has been on my lost of places to go for a while, so I appreciate the review. Next time I go NYC I’m going whether anyone with me wants to join or not.

What’s funny is that I’ve only looked at their taplist once and that one time it was heavy with beers from, of course, Chicago.

wpDiscuz