Monday, November 22, 2010

Growlers and Good Times at Good Beer

The East Village block of E 9th St between A and First Aves. is hopping (no pun intended) these days with new foodie finds. Sandwiched between Whitmans, a favorite new burger joint, and Olivia Bistro, a pretty new Med eatery, sits two-week old craft beer shop aptly named Good Beer.

Affable owner David Cichowicz quit his job in publishing and opened the inviting retail shop-cum-gourmet hangout because he "loves beer." And it shows. Cichowicz aims to carry a selection of 900 ever-changing bottled beers. For now the store is brimming with 450 types including rare finds such as Tampa's Cigar City and McNeill's from Vermont. A dozen brews on tap ($6) rotate and currently include Hercules Double IPA, Hop Crisis IPA, and Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. Or taste a flight of 4 for $8.

Growlers and draught brews
Just as exciting is Good Beer's use of growlers. Thanks to Whole Foods and a few pioneering beer shops in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, 64-oz. growlers are slowly catching on in New York. Good Beer sells the eco-friendly glass jugs for $6.99. Or bring in your own to refill at no extra charge.

Cichowicz knows that beer tastes better with nibbles, so he's compiled a greatest hits menu of sweet and savory. All are organic, heritage and/or local. On the savory side, kielbasa - both spicy and cheddar filled, organic hot dogs, vegan sausage, various meat and cheese plates. There's even beef jerky to graze on. The sweet stuff at Good Beer comes with a twist - bacon buttercrunch toffee, hot rod pretzels dipped in chocolate and chili nuts, and beer corn - caramel popcorn studded with candied mustard seeds and pretzel bits. Nibbles and plates range from $3-$15. Good stuff.
Beer heaven

422 E 9th St, between Ave A and First Ave. Hours Mon-Sat, 11am-10pm; Sun, noon-7pm

Good Beer NYC on Urbanspoon

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