Last night we wedged ourselves into what might be my favourite place of the trip so far, and we’d been to some pretty fantastic places. The Pony Bar showed up near the top of BeerAdvocate‘s NYC beer bars, and last night we found out why.
As it turned out I never did sit down in the place. There was only one stool available at the bar, so Nellie sat and I stood. It started off a little crowded and ended up very crowded by the time we left, so a table never presented itself. Just as well — we found there was an advantage to the spot we had. Meanwhile, the music was tailor-made for old guys like me…Jane’s Addiction, Bob Dylan, Heartless Bastards, CCR…so good.
There was a board over the bar with twenty featured taps. Every time they changed a tap one of the bartenders would ring a bell, the crowd would cheer and then — depending on the new entry on the board — clap or boo playfully. One of those bartenders, Mirjana, became our buddy for the night and took great care of us. I don’t know how we always get adopted by great bartenders, but I’m not complaining either. Especially since at least one of the beers was comped.
We ended up drinking twelve beers between us (Chelsea High + Dry porter, Avery Out Of Bounds stout, Davidson Bros. coffee stout, Abita Turbo Dog, Long Trail Hibernator, Sly Fox O’Reilly’s stout and Magic Hat Circus Boy for me; Weyerbacher Fireside ale, Magic Hat Circus Boy, Barrier Bulkhead red, Southern Tier IPA and Firestone Walker Double Jack double IPA for her) and an amazing plate of sausage & pretzels. All that, plus a tshirt for Nellie, came out to $81 before tip. Incroyable.
Despite that, the twelve beers weighed on us and I knew we’d need a little extra grease in our bellies to be functional the next morning, so…back to Shorty’s for more sandwiches! It was an early evening by NYC standards, but mainly because now (the next morning) we’re up, showered, fed, packed and about ready to head to the airport. What a great wrap-up to a superb trip.
Now then…here’s hoping that EWR doesn’t screw us on the trip home.