Fate found me tonight, and I was drinking a beer when it did.
My original plan was to go to a German bar in Alphabet City called Zum Schneider. I’d grab a seat, get a beer, and enjoy it alongside the great book I’m reading. As you can guess, that didn’t happen. Whether it was the bitter cold night air or the inviting happy hour signage, I decided to make a pit stop in The Belgian Room on St. Marks at Avenue A. With a draft list including Corsendonk’s Christmas Ale and Jolly Pumpkin’s Noel Calabaza, it was clearly as good a place as any to stop. I proceeded to grab a seat, get a beer, and enjoy my book.
I thought I’d struck gold finding a quiet little bar with good stuff on tap. Little did I know that at that very bar at that very time the New York Beer Meetup Group was holding their monthly get-together. Within minutes, the completely empty bar was hopping with enthusiasts looking to kick back, talk beer, and have fun. It was great.
I’ll save my reviews of the beers I had for The Beer List, but I had a really good time talking with the people that came. The New York Beer Meetup Group is a product of Meetup.com, a social networking site that lets you connect with groups of people with similar interests. There’s no official membership or prerequisites for joining, it’s a “just show up and chill” system.
I, for one, am very glad I did. It was something I never would have thought of (or have been brave enough to try) before, but it ended up being great. Not only was it fun to strike up conversations with complete strangers, it was a nice to air out a lot of what I’ve been learning lately. Plus, picking the brains of fellow enthusiasts turned out to be really insightful.
I highly recommend checking out Meetup.com to see what groups you can potentially crash. I know it may be a little weird going alone, so get a couple friends together and check one out. If you’re into beer, NYC Beer’s really great people. If not, here are some other groups that might pique your interest:
- NYC Cooking Commune (reminds me of a good idea I heard once…)
- Meet Other People and Cook in Brooklyn
- Couples Dinner Party Club
- Cupcakes Take the Cake
- Tour Epicure – Culinary Adventures
- NYC Wine Tasting Group
- Cooking NYC! (Dinner Parties,Wine Tastings,Ethnic Food & More)
- The NYC Cheese Lovers Club
- The Brooklyn Vegan Potluck Group
- Tamales, Tequila, Latin Food Lovers