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November 19, 2009

Blind Tiger Ale House: The Best AND Worst Beer Bar in NYC

The photo above is deceptive. Its taken from outside the bar through their front window (also note i didn't take it, I borrowed it from MSNBC). Also of note is how few people are in the bar when the photo was taken. Imagine the complete opposite of the crowd above...and then double it, and you start to get an idea of how crowded Blind Tiger's VSK Event was on Wednesday evening.

Their beer list was staggering, as it often is. The faithful Blind Tiger patrons are always to be counted on to show up in droves. Looking at the list, there are multiple beers that are once-in-a-lifetime level:
Del Borgo/Dogfish Head My Antonia
Sierra Nevada Limb and Life (in collaboration with Dogfish Head)
Allagash Interlude '07
Lagunitas Barrel Aged Ruben and the Jets
Goose Island Demolition
Stone Vertical Epic '06
Dogfish Pangea
Dogfish 120 redux'08(via Randall)
Brooklyn Backbreaker (cask)
North Coast Old Rasputin 10th Anniversary (aged in bourbon barrels)
Brouwerij De Regenboog Wostyntje '08 (mustard seed ale)
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout '04
JW Lees Harvest Ale aged in a Calvados Cask (Wooden Pin)
Bear Republic Apex '08 (imperial IPA)
Rogue Chatoe Rogue Wet Hop
Rockies Fresh Trak (fresh hop)
Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter
Southampton Saison
Chelsea Imperial Mild Aged in Bourbon Barrels
Blue Point 10th Anniversary IPA
Smuttynose Big A IPA '07
Kuhnhenn All Hallows (Pumpkin Ale)
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine
Flying Dog Horn Dog Barley Wine '07
Great Divide Hoss Lager (Vienna Lager)
Lefthand Goosinator
Farnum Hill Cider Semi Dry
Magic Hat Sour Notion
Picobrouwerij Alvinne Melchior (Belgian Strong Ale)
If you're anything like me, you're wiping up all the drool that has spilled out of your mouth while reading that list. Seems a LOT of people felt the same way.

We showed up at about 6pm, which is already regrettable since the event technically starts at 3pm, but I do have a (dumb) day job. Any time I go to Blind Tiger, I brace myself for the annoyance of how small the space is versus the large amount of patrons, but this was a whole new level. I walked in the door, looking for my friends. I made my way through the crowd and it took me about 7 minutes to maneuver from the front door to the bathroom, something that would normally take about 3 seconds. I finally found my friends who were squishing their way through the room the same as I.

After awkwardly trying to find a spot to try to try to get one of the three bartenders attention, we looked at eachother and realized that even if we did get a beer, it would have been near impossible to enjoy it comfortably. It was incredibly frustrating, but we left without getting a single beer. It felt terrible to be so close to such a large amount of rare, delicious beer, but it was just too much.

I walked out never wanting to come back. They have SUCH insane events that it just becomes overwhelming. So, what do do? Number 1, waaaaah i went to a bar and it was too crowded, waaaaaah. Yeah. But at the same time I really wish Blind Tiger could somehow have a bigger space. Or maybe spread their rare kegs out more perhaps. All that said, our friend Jeff arrived a little after 9pm and it had started to clear out a bit. I guess next time an event of this magnitude comes along, I'll have to sacrifice a couple kicked kegs and just go later after a good chunk of the crowd has stumbled out. /endrant

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