I wanted to give a huge shout out this week to Big Alice Brewing in Long Island City.
Last week, I wrote about Craft at C’est Cheese in Port Jefferson, and spoke about their hospitality. The Craft Beer industry is all about friendship, community, hospitality, and supporting each other.
I want to thank Larissa and Annie, our awesome bartenders on a rainy Saturday evening in early October. Our experience at a brewery is as important as the taste of the beer, in my opinion. I was joined by my wife, Holly Kay, who had a rehearsal nearby, and our friend Brad, of Bradco Brew (@itsbradco on Instagram!)
It was my first time visiting the brewery, although I’d tried a few Big Alice beers at Astoria Bier and Cheese (the most notable being Salted Caramel, a tart, salty, sweet brown ale which is pretty mind boggling to think about…), and at The Jeffrey (Queens Honey Brown, a sweet, malty, subtle brown ale that perfectly compliments the amazing, salty pretzels The Jeffrey serves).
LIC Native White Stout, at Olivers in Astoria
What I love about Big Alice is their ability to offer a beer for any type of palate. (Insert diatribe about how the IPA market is saturated, how hops are ruining beer, whine, whine, whine, complain, complain, complain, etc.) I love IPAs, I will seek out the juicy, 0 IBU milkshake beer, and the palate destroying, 100 IBU, dank, bitter IPA. But I love variety every once in a while. So, when I stepped foot out of the rain, soaking wet, and into the brewery and, out of 13 taps, only two were IPAs, my smile grew ear to ear.
Me, upon entering the Tap Room…
A White Stout? A Jalapeño Rye? Multiple different sours? This place is cray cray (that’s what the kids say nowadays, yeah?) I knew I was in for a trip around the beer world on the wings of a Malted Falcon (I just made that up, but it’s my new band name, so…) and I was ready to fly… (Also I now just realize that Malted Falcon is also a pun on “Maltese Falcon” so I’m smart and funny don’t you think? Anyone? Anyone? )
The first beer I tried was Peach Gose (pronounced Gose-uhhhhhh). This was the perfect start to my flight, tart, dry, crisp, and salty. Summertime in a glass. Next, when Bradco arrived, I tried the Hibiskas Goes-uh. The floral notes added a nice balance to this salty, tart Gose. Another fantastic, wildly imaginative brew.
The tap room was nearly filled with large groups of people, which rotated about every 15 minutes. I asked Larissa, the first bartender I met, if anyone ever stumbles upon the tap room (Big Alice is located deep in an industrial section of Long Island City, so for me, it seemed like a destination). They said they get a lot of runners and bikers who see the large sign on Vernon Avenue, which runs along the East River.
I then met the other bartender, Annie, who was just as friendly as Larissa. I started talking about the blog, and how my last post was about Moustache Brewing Company and how I visited them when they canned their first beer. Larissa said, “That’s funny, because my boyfriend helped them can as well!” TURNS OUT, that JAY, from that very blog post, was Larissa’s boyfriend! The Craft Beer world is smaller than you think!
IIIIIT’S A SMALL WORLD AAAAAFTER ALLLLLLL (I’m so, so sorry….)
Jay came by later in the evening for a beer. And, since this is a beer blog, I will talk about that beer.
Our unanimous favorite beer of the night was the Jalapeño Rye. Untappd classifies this as a Black IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale. The beautiful citrus from the hops is balanced by some spice from the rye, and Annie explained that they take all the seeds out of the jalapeño, so you get all the sweet, pepper flavor, without too much spice, but enough of a bite to intrigue you into another sip… And then another. And then another. It leaves you wanting more, and at 6.3% ABV, you can have another and still be even keel to enjoy the rest of your evening. Go to Big Alice right now (well, Wednesday through Sunday) and TRY THIS BEER!
Some other favorites from the evening were: the Sweet Potato Farmhouse Ale, a dry, sweet saison brewed with sweet potatoes, with bold sweetness from the potatoes, and some peppery notes from the saison yeast, and Sour One (named for it’s bitterness at 1 IBU). At 5.2% ABV, it’s a little higher than the two Goses I had earlier in the evening, but I loved the tart, acidic, fruit, and a little bit of funk, baby! I wanted to get all James Brown up in the tap room but it might have been too lit. I apologize for that last sentence.
In summary, Larissa and Annie treated Holly Kay, Bradco and I like we were family, and we really appreciated chatting with them and spending the evening in the gorgeous brewery/tap room. Holly picked up a tee shirt (she’s been collecting shirts from her favorite breweries we’ve visited throughout the year, so, Big Alice, you guys rank!) We stayed as long as we could, right until 10pm as they were closing. Thanks again for the great evening! We’re definitely going back, and you should go too!
Follow Big Alice on Social Media!
Facebook: Big Alice Brewing
Until next time, Cheers!