Tribute to my favorite pub; all categories

What should a great pub\bar be?

Many beers? From many countries? Quality beers? Friendly Staff? Good food? Great location? Large? Small? Modern? Old?

Well that is a tricky question. But at very few occurences you just feel that this is it, this is something I like in pub, and this is a place that I like to return to.

This little tribute is such a place.

Barcade located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York city started out as a car workshop that was bought by a couple of micro beers & arcade enthusiasts in 2005. The place opened up in September 2005 and has quite quickly developed as a beer heaven for US-micro beers on draught, also recently on cask that is being more and more popular in the state.

So what about the hype, lets start with the actual building.

When you first arrive to the place it is really not easy to understand that this is a pub and a place where you should actually get close to. It looks like something that should actually been teard down ages ago, but that is part of the charm.

It is a rought place that just with its little sign saying "Barcade" shows directly what the place is about.

A place where you primarly drink beer (no food is served except beer nuts and chips) and can enjoy it with others also liking the beers to be based on quality and love to the craft brewing industry.
When you enter the place you will notice the exposed brick walls and the 25-foot ceilings, on the
left side a row of arcade games from the 80s, on the right hand side a long bar that strechtes out from start to end of the place.

And this is also one of the key things with a great bar, meaning the bar, you should be able to sit at the bar and not just get the beers from it. For me beers should be consumed at the actual bar, through that you can really get the atmosphere of the place.

So to summarize so for, it needs to be rough, meaning a place with a built in athmosphere and soul that shows that the place is primarly for beers and not just a place that has been heavily designed to be cool and classy. Secondly we need a long bar, either on the side or placed at the end of the place.

Barcades primarily serves micro beers through out the country and almost always on draught. The beers are handled with care and served with a understanding of glassware and suitable amount of beers (bad example of that is an other great place but that has no understanding of amount and glassware, at Mugs Ale Hourse also in Williamsburg I was served a Weyerbacher Double Simcoe India Pale Ale in a English pint!, great bargain but without understanding that you can not drink a English pint of a beer with arround 10% without loosing your touch and the touch of the beer), so you get a double ipa or a imperial stout in snifter or tulip, a american pale ale in a american pint glass as it should be.

One of the strange things that I have noticed the last couple of years in NY is the trend to replace the glass from american pint to english pint, why?, you should keep the glass that it should be not try to copy the english tradition.
Becuase if so, you are missing one thing, english beers are often light beers with ABV between 3 and 4%, american micros are often stronger in taste and ABV, so it is not a good idea to serve a 6-7% ABV Pale Ale or IPA in a larger glass, you just get drunk people not enjoying your beers.

Other things you notice is the staff, who has the knowledge and love of beers. They know what they are serving and they can talk about what the beer is about. If you do not know what you want they can help you out, and they have that special ability just by asking a couple of question can get the beer you really like, or just by knowing your last beer can spot out the next you should have, just before you realize it yourself.

Amount and number of changing beers is on my list of a good place, but is not the most important thing you look for. But anyway here you have a large number of taps and that is constantly changing in line and a great collection of beers from both the east, west coast and the rocky areas.

For example in this particular moment I could have enjoyed the following beers (unfortunately you can not be in NY every weekend, :-);

Allagash Four, Avery Karma, Blue Point Oatmeal Stout (cask), Middle Ages Kilt Lifter, Rogue Shakespeare Stout (Nitro), Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale, Sly Fox Saison Vos, Southampton IPA, Victory Prima Pils etc etc.

So this place is on my number one spot, it can not be any better, only pity is that NY is so far away. So I have to enjoy most of my beers locally. But at least everytime I am in NY Barcade is the number of spot.

Thanks to the folks at Barcade, thanks for giving me the ultimate beer experience.

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