Saturday, November 23, 2013

Notes From The Bar: Pinch American Grill

Hello, beer connoisseurs! And welcome to another installment of "Notes From The ____"!

This is a follow-up post of sorts to my recent outing to the Alamo to see Crafting A Nation. As you'll recall, my buddy and I received a gift card for a free growler and fill at Pinch after the movie, so we decided to grab a couple more craft-heads and head out to Empire City Casino, walk right past all the sad-looking people gambling (while looking as out-of-place as possible, mind you), and go up to Pinch for a couple pints and a growler fill.

Now the interesting thing about Pinch is not only that it sports 100 different beers on tap, but that they're all brews from New York craft breweries. From the up-and-coming Yonkers Brewing Co. to Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint, they had a very wide selection of beers to offer.

So my comrades and I sat down at the very nice, neo-retro-style bar and were waited on by a very friendly bartender. She stuck around and shot the shit with us, which only added to the experience. But choosing which beers to order was a bit of a task because there were 100 to choose from and the beer menu was a touch-screen tablet. That was a really cool touch (so to speak).

For my first beer I, as well as my buddy Cristian, settled on a Pinch House IPA, which is brewed by Yonkers Brewing Co. I had it on tap at the Alamo, but I think I liked it even more at this place because they poured it into a pilsner-style glass rather than a shaker pint. I loved it even more. The citrusy flavors really came through and it still struck me as quite sessionable.

We did a bit of cross-tasting among ourselves as well. My good friend Max got a pint of Yonkers' Pinch House Stout, a nitro-brewed stout which really knocked it out of the park. Having tried Left Hand Brewing's Nitro Milk Stout, I was a bit wary about trying anything else nitro-brewed, but I loved this one. Creamy, smoky, and a head that was so thick it actually had to sit for a minute before it died down enough to drink. Though the flavors were a little more subtle because of the brewing style, I enjoyed how rich it was. Note to those wary about nitro brews: get them on tap!

Next, we got a communal sample of HeBrew Messiah Nut Brown, brewed by Schmaltz Brewing Company. It was delicious. Dark, roasty malts coupled with some nuttiness and a bit of sweetness to the backbone which made it refreshing enough. Quite a nice brew.

My final choice of the evening, as it was for my other companions, was Sixpoint's Resin. Now, I have had many great IPAs, such as Captain Lawrence's and Ballast Point's Sculpin, but this one was magnificent. Resin had a nice dark golden color and plenty of head. At 9.1% ABV I expected it to have a lot of flavor to compensate, and it did. Powerful grapefruit and lemony notes came forward. It had a good amount of bitterness which made its mouthfeel complex. It had a dry, bitter finish, but with enough lingering grapefruit flavor to leave me wanting to take another sip. The boys at Sixpoint have done good!

Then it came time to choose which beer to fill the growler with. Cristian and I decided to stay as local as possible and settled on Yonkers' Irish Red Ale, which also received consensus from my two other companions. We took it over to a friend's house and decided, "Why wait to taste this?" So we divvied it up and tried it. It was a solid Irish red. Light, malty, and subtly hoppy. I like Yonkers' approach to their beer: always sessionable with just enough flavor to make their beer appealing.

And that was the visit to the bar! If you're in lower New York, stop by Empire Casino and head up to Pinch for a great time and to support local breweries.

Until next time, cheers!


[Above photos via (in order):, Flickr user chefelf, Steve Greenlee of]

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