American Craft Beer Extravaganza! So much beer to choose from and so little time to drink them all!
One does not simply walk into the Pony Bar expecting to order an imported beer. Well, actually, they just don’t have any here. American beers all the way baby! It was quite fitting to down a few here not too long ago on the 4th of July.
This new outpost of beer love is a terrific addition to the UES neighborhood we reside at in NYC and has already become a hot spot. With over 20 rotating beers on tap there is more than enough diversity for everyone’s palate. Ciders and cask beers too. All of the beers are a ridiculously affordable $6 each. Yes, all of them! It’s cray cray! So while the frat boys were downing $8 Heinekens and lame Bud Lights at the many bars in the area I was enjoying some mighty tasty craft beers here. Empire, Smuttynose, Dale’s, Ommegang, Boulder, Barrier, Kona, Coney Island, Southampton, and Abita are just a few that we happily imbibed.
It seems the higher ABV gets an 8 ounce pour while those under 8% ABV receive 14 ounce pour. They also offer growlers to go at a reasonable fee, for either $16 or $19, plus a small deposit on the glass. Bartenders seem to know their beer and will happily offer tastings if you want to sample a few before your purchase.
Love the rustic decor here. Canoe hanging from the ceiling, spacious with lots of seating, growler jars used as hanging lamps, barrels used as tables, beer signage everywhere, great classic rock playing, and only a few tv’s. It’s meant to be a gathering place for beer lovers, and succeeds admirably. Behind the bar are two large digital screens listing all the beer available that day. When they change beers the bartender rings a bell notifying everyone that a new beer has been tapped. Sweet!
The Pony Bar also sports a nifty menu of food offerings. Their home made potato chips with malt vinegar are addicting. Large hot soft hot pretzels with deli mustard help soak up the beer. The sandwiches are huge! I had the fried oyster and bacon with lettuce, spicy tartar sauce, on toasted Pullman bread. A big messy to eat but delicious. We also had the eggplant sandwich with roasted red peppers, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, on a toasted ciabatta roll. Also very good, and a nice option for beer loving vegans.
There are a few qualms I have with the place. Horrible acoustics. It gets extremely loud in here. The AC seems to be on as some parts of the bar are cooler than others, and the bathrooms are like a sauna. As it’s the UES it seems like the baby carriage crowd is here during the afternoon hours. Still, these are minor things that in no way affects my view of this wonderful American craft beer emporium. I saw a mixed crowd here that did range from mostly mid 20-somethings and older, but was not really an obnoxious frat boy gathering. Everyone was here to enjoy beer and the company of friends.
Seriously, if you can’t enjoy knocking back a few American craft brews at the Pony Bar you really should be hanging out at one of frat boy bars in the hood drinking warm light beer.
That, or just give up drinking beer.