Latest posts by make it snow (see all)
- Commentist Beer Barrel: The Happiest Place on Earth – September 11, 2017
- Commentist Beer Barrel: Märzens and Milestones – October 7, 2016
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!