Thrillist’s East Village Craft Beer Crawl
When I was 16 years old my Dad put it into my head that the coolest thing a man could do was own a bar and serve cool beer. It turned in a romantic dream that we would one day own a father-son bar that served beer and burgers. My Pops passed away before making that dream come true. After his passing I told my Step-Mother that I intended on keeping that promise to my Dad. Then, in September of 2010 I achieved that long time dream when I and two of my good friends, opened Idle Hands.
Since moving to the NYC area in 1996, I’ve spent a significant amount of time hanging out at bars in the East Village. Whether it was Z-Bar, Korova, 7B, Manitoba’s, Croxley Ale House, Lakeside Lounge, B-Side, HiFi, 7A, The Arrow, Angels & Kings, Drop Off Service, Death & Co, Niagara, Doc Holidays, 2B, The Library, Nice Guy Eddie’s, Double Down Saloon, Jimmy’s No. 43, Burp Castle, Professor Thom’s, Zum Schneider, Royale, The Sunburnt Cow, Destination, Black Iron Burger, McSorley’s, 3 of Cups, Ace Bar, Poco, Octavia’s Porch, Good Beer, Duck (RIP), The Cherry Tavern and many, many, more, there has never been a shortage of cool bars to hang out in the East Village. So when the opportunity to become on of them by opening a bar on Avenue B, I was filled with nostalgic joy. Being a part of this awesome community, along with our partners Billy Hurricane’s, is a pleasure and an honor.
Flash forward a few months into opening the East Village’s bourbon, beer and rock speakeasy to a meeting with the folks from Thrillist Rewards. They, along with Greg from Untappd & Dan from That Burger Tent, came down to Idle Hands to see if we couldn’t come up with a cool idea for an upcoming Thrillist Reward. To keep a long story short, I proposed the idea of a neighborhood branding bar crawl that would tie together some of the neighborhood’s best bars, all centered around craft beer.
The idea would be to get a one day pass that allowed you to try a cool craft beer and a paired food item at a number of bars and restaurants in the East Village. The idea would be to form alliance with our neighbors to broadcast the message that the now deemed “EVILL” was THE New York City neighborhood for craft beer enthusiasts. Dan, excitedly agreed to partner with Idle Hands to serve his delicious burgers, while Greg would create an Untappd badge and all of it would come packaged together and promoted through Thrillist Rewards.
With A LOT of help from S.K.I. Beer, one of NYC’s premier craft beer distributors, I was able to coordinate with 10 of our fellow neighborhood craft beer destinations and come up with the Thrillist Rewards East Village Craft Beer Crawl. For only $25, purchasers would receive 1 – 8 ounce pour of craft beer and a paired appetizer redeemable anytime on Saturday, February 26th from 1 to 6 pm. Good at all of the following great places:
When the EVILL Craft Beer Crawl went live on Thrillist Rewards, the 500 available tickets sold out within hours with requests for for another 5-6 times of that of requests for more!!
On the day of, every single purchasing Thrillist Rewards member had to file into Idle Hands and Billy Hurricane’s to collect their “tip card.” This allowed them to redeem at each location their beer and appetizer. With some help from the Thrillist Rewards and What’s On Tap people, we were able to distribute and serve 500 people with cards, beer and burgers!
25 Avenue B, Downstairs
New York, NY 10009
Beer: Coney Island Albino Python
Food Pairing: Sliders from That Burger Tent
25 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009
Beer: Modelo Especial
Food Pairing: Cajun Tater Tots
With 2 hours left of the crawl, Mike from Thrillist, Bari from What’s On Tap, Kyle from Billy Hurricane’s and Rob, Marc and I from Idle Hands set off out on the crawl ourselves!
107 Ave C, corner E. 7th St.
Beer: HB Traunstein Zwickel/Pilsener/Dunkel
Food Pairing: Bratwurstsemmel or Brezn
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 E. 7th St
New York, NY 10003
Beer: Founders Double Trouble
Food Pairing: Heritage Bacon-Grits
219 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
Beer: Harpoon (Thom’s) Ale
Food Pairing: Buffalo Wings
Destination Bar & Grille
211 Avenue A (at 13th Street)
Beer: Destination Lager
Food Pairing: Home Baked Soft Pretzels
Drop Off Service
211 Avenue A bet. 13th & 14th St.
Beer: choice of Stone Arrogant Bastard or Radeberger Pilsner
Food Pairing: Mini Australian Meat Pie or Sausage Roll from the Tuck Shop
33 Avenue B (@3rd Street)
New York, NY 10009
Food Pairing: Mushroom Truffle Croquettes
40 Ave B
Beer: Coney Island Lager
Food pairing: White Bean , Olive and Eggplant Caponata Shmears
Croxley Ale House
28 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009
Beer: Olde Saratoga Lager
Food Pairing: Boneless Buffalo Wings
Unfortunately by the time we got to Octavia’s Porch and Croxley, the crawl had already passed the 6 pm mark and we were not able to redeem. Which for me, is not a problem as I’ve been to both several times and they are both fantastic! Plus, they are across the street from Idle Hands!
For the social networked of those on the EVILL Craft Bar Crawl, there were 2 ways to discover more about craft beers. For those of us users who are on Untappd, the so called “Foursquare for beer drinkers,” bar crawlers were able to unlock a special event-only badge by checking into the beers of the crawl at each of their pouring locations.
If you’re not on Untappd yet, believe me, it’s fun AND addictive! Plus it allows you to discover new beers, new bars and see what your friends and social connections are out there sipping on. If you already have a profile or sign up for one, be sure to friend me! FYI, 10 check ins at Idle Hands unlocks a badge that gets a FREE taste of ALL of our beers on tap!
Enjoyed the crawl or wished you could’ve participated? You’re in luck! You don’t need a Thrillist Reward to find great craft beer in the East Village when What’s On Tap has already done that for you! What’s On Tap is “the first iphone application in New York City that gives you real time information about local craft brew bars and your favorite beers.” Every bar on the Thrillist Rewards EVILL Craft Bar Crawl is featured in the app as well as many, many more of the other great bars in the best NYC neighborhood for craft beer drinking.
Many, many, many thanks to all of the people who helped to put this amazing event together, especially all of our fellow bar and restaurant owners who worked VERY hard to make sure all 500 people who bought the Thrillist Reward and their friends that came along with them, have an amazing experience. It’s no small feat to serve 500 people in a matter of hours and still serve great craft beers and quality foods. A Burgerific salute to Dan from That Burger Tent for once again serving some of the Best Burgers in NYC at Idle Hands! Thanks for Untappd for making yet another AWESOME reason for people to share with each other the word of craft beer. Mucho gusto to What’s On Tap for helping us to run the event day of and make sure every Thrillist Rewards member was able to quickly and smoothly check in and collect their tip cards. Much appreciation to ALL of the Thrillist staff members who put in a TON of man hours in organizing, promoting and ensuring a smooth and fun event. But moreover, on behalf of the entire EVILL, thank you for helping us to expose the best NYC neighborhood for craft beer enthusiasts to a ton of great people. If you aren’t signed up yet for Thrillist Rewards, I suggest you get off your lazy patoot and do it now! (Trust me, I know what is coming next!)
That was awesome and we would hope to be offering a ton of more great events with our neighborhood.
If you missed it, come on down, there’s a ton of great beer waiting for you.
THE BURGER COUNTQUEST
Feb. 26, 2011 – 1:00 – 6:00 PM