This post will be part recap of the Pint Mash-Up on Saturday and part review of 61 Local. Mostly because I hate reading recaps because they bum me out about something I missed, so why on earth do I even write recaps. I write them because it would be weird if I posted photos with no text or explanation, when really I just want to show you my photos. Look at the photos! The text is meaningless.
Anyway keep reading please…
So on Saturday 61 Local hosted the Steve’s Pint Mash-Up, an event designed to debut Steve’s Craft Ice Cream’s new beer-inspired flavors. So what better place than a bar that serves exclusively local beer?! They handed out free samples of all the flavors, along with free mini scoops, so this was already a wonderful way to spend the gloomy afternoon.
After tasting all three of the new flavors Steve’s was promoting (Maple Porter Pecan, Beer Pretzel Caramel, BKLYN Blackout), I can say they were all very tasty. The idea of combining beer and ice cream was something I wasn’t entirely sure about, but the beer flavor was actually very mild and cut the usual sweetness of ice cream. I thought the flavors were all really great and complex. Listen to me! It’s like I’m a professional ice cream eater or something.
In addition to the free offerings, ice cream sandwiches and beer floats were for sale! I tried a beer float with Sixpoint Diesel Stout and the Beer Pretzel Caramel ice cream – it was pretty tasty. There’s no picture because I consumed it before I thought to even take a photo. Oops.
Not being a big beer drinker myself, I thought I’d foray into the land of local brews with a few 5 oz. samplers. I don’t know if other bars do this, but 61 Local will let patrons try their beers at the bar for free (just a sip!) or you can purchase a little sample glass for only $3. I ordered my very own “flight” of three beers for just $9, and had a really fun time sharing them – I would definitely recommend this for people who can’t commit to a drink (or anyone, for that matter!)
Left to right: Aphrodite Fruit Ale, Brewery Ommegang; Liquid Gold, Captain Lawrence Brewing; Javahead Coffee Stout, Troeg’s Brewing Company.
Of the three, I think the Javahead was my favorite – it had a nice coffee flavor without being bitter or overly strong.
After a few sips of our trial beers, I got down to business – the ice cream sandwich and a pint.
The cookies in the ice cream sandwiches were provided by Ovenly – I chose the sandwich with Steve’s Mint Cacao Chip coconut créme (dairy-free!) ice cream, Ovenly’s chocolate chip & cherry cookies, and a smear of fudge. It was delicious. The beer pictured was my favorite of the day, some kind of Koelsch which is no longer on their menu and I can’t remember the exact name! In any case, it was very good.
Boyfriend ordered a sandwich while we were at the event (“The New Hamster Grilled Cheese: Landaff cheese, Dickson’s Farmstand ham and spicy pickle relish on parma country bread”), and while I yet again didn’t manage to photograph the elusive grilled cheese, he said it was very good. I can confirm that it looked and smelled good.
So on to some stuff about 61 Local. The whole theme here is “local,” obviously, so they only serve local Brooklyn brews and the food on their menu is sourced locally. They don’t have much in the way of a kitchen, but a sandwich press, quality ingredients, and some knives seem to get the job done, providing a menu that transcends typical bar food but isn’t really dinner either.
As for the beers, the menu changes regularly and seasonally, which keeps things fresh and interesting. It’s always nice to be surprised and try something new, and 61 Local definitely provides an experience beyond your typical four beer tap. There’s no liquor at 61 Local, but they do have a nice selection of “local” wines, mostly coming from upstate (hard to find room for vineyards in the 5 boroughs.)
A great place for groups, 61 Local has lots of large tables to gather around, ample standing/moving space, and high ceilings with good light during the day. Based on my experience on Saturday, it would seem that children are allowed (during the day at least) which might be great for families, but is a bit of a detractor for very young cool people who don’t want to face their impending doom at the hands of a future baby. (I hate future babies.) Keep in mind, the neighborhood is teeming with families.
61 Local is an unpretentious, relaxed spot, great for a beer and a sandwich, probably better for a few Sunday drinks rather than a Saturday night rager. Come with friends and appreciate what Brooklyn has to offer.
61 Bergen St
(between Boerum Pl & Smith St)
Brooklyn, NY 11201