How a Wrong Turn Lead to a Good Ale at the LIC Beer Project

Sometimes a wrong turn leads to a good ale.

Wasn’t paying attention, Kiddo. Right turn off Queens Plaza North. A block screaming Quentin Tarantino. A bevvy of auto body shops. Cars jacked on sidewalks. ‘Flat Fix Here’ signs everywhere. Roar of cordless drills tightening wheel nuts.

And then? Quick glance to the left.

Garage door half opened. People sitting at wooden tables on steel stools.

Brewey outside

“Hey, Kiddo. You feel like hanging and downing a few?”

So, as the Ramones used to shout, “Hey, ho! Let’s go.”

Sheet metal ducts run the high ceiling. Wooden casks along the brick walls. Silver silos at far end of room. An immaculate stainless steel basin in a room behind a glass window. Exotic bottles of beer on the window ledge. Not far away people, toss bean bags at wooden boards.

Brewery Bean toss 1

“Don’t know about you, but tossing Bean Bags sure beats crunching numbers…You agree, Kiddo?”

Welcome to the LIC Beer Project, Kiddo.

Brewery Sunday crowd

“Talk about finds…It’s like somehow the Seattle craft brewery scene has come to Queens.”

Open six months. A former tobacco holding factory.

Ten taps. All Belgian style ales. Maybe a poet gave each ale its name and wrote the descriptions.

Ardent Core. ($6) “…The final result is softly contoured pale golden ale…The finish is super crisp and dry.”

Wonderlic. ($6) “…generously hopped with Amarillo and Saaz brewed with Abbey yeast….bitterness as well as a soft maltiness.”

Modern Aberration. ($7) “This beautiful, golden ale with a billowing white head, explosive hop, and yeast profile…Tropical pineapple, orange rind and mango dominates…”

You like poetry Kiddo, right? So, linger, ok? There’s space.

Seven seat sleek bar. Pandora selections loud and clear through hidden speakers. List of ale’s on a vintage mirror above the taps. Customers stare at the mirror with the focus you give a menu at a four-star restaurant.

“What are you going to have?” the bartender asks. Major league tattoos, red hair, and knows her stuff.

“Your best.”

You tell her your likes. She looks at the taps. Bites her top lip. “Got just the one for you,” she says.

Draws you a taste. “Ardent Core. Our flagship beer,” she says. “Lemon. Earthy and a blend of secret spices.”

Brewery beer 1

“Who names an ale Ardent Core? Whatever, Kiddo.  One sip and you’ll be talking about the LIC Beer Project for a long, long time.”

You sip the ale slow. Kiddo, if you were here, you would raise your glass and shout, “Here’s to urban renewal.”

The ale is finished. You put money on the bar top. The bartender thanks you and says to come around again.

Outside on 23rd Street, a cordless drill goes back to work. A red sky appears above the Queensboro Bridge and a woman leans against the brick wall near the entrance to the LIC Beer Project.

She bends one knee and presses the sole of her shoe against the wall. A goblet filled with an ale in one hand. Cell phone and cigarette in the other.

“You okay?”

She shrugs.

“A guy?”

The electric drill goes silent. Wheel nuts hit the sidewalk.

Tears well in the woman’s eyes. Her lip quivers. She sips the ale and looks away.

Yeah, pure Tarantino, Kiddo.

 

Key Information:

LIC Beer Project

Address: 39-28 23rd Street, Long Island City, NY 11101

Phone: (917) 832-6840

Taproom Hours: Thursday:      4 pm-11 pm

Friday:           4 pm – 11 pm

Saturday:      1 pm – 11 pm

Sunday:        1 pm – 9 pm

Website:                www.licbeerproject.com  

 

Bathrooms: Spacious and Clean

Nearest Subway Station: Queensboro Plaza

Parking: Easy after 6 PM and on weekends

 

 

 

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How to Properly Clink Glasses at Mosaic, a Very Proper Neighborhood Beer and Wine Bar .

Mosiac front

Mosaic in Astoria. Where the vibe is good and the selection of beers and wines even better.

She sat at a table nearest to the entrance of Mosaic She looked out the window at the Christmas lights along 24th Avenue in Astoria and tapped her manicured nails on the round table.

The bar keep carried a Belgian Ale to her table. He put the Ale in front of her. She wore a green woolen blazer, a collared shirt and a grey knit scarf. You heard the bar keep tell her about the Ale. A hundred seventy varieties of beers, porters, ale’s and stouts. You sensed she appreciated his words.

Brett, the bar keep, has a way with words, too. He recently returned from eight months in Las Vegas where he performed in the musical ‘Rock of Ages.’ He has worked at Mosaic for three and a half years, which is one year shy of how long it’s been open. You hope he cracks The Big Time, because here’s a man who will know how to spend his money on decent wine.

Don’t know what to try?

Ask Brett for a suggestion.

This time around, Brett poured a glass of a 2013 Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Crest. So bold that you smelled the scent of black cherries and blackberries. A complex first sip that almost made you want to say you tasted a spice. But, that would be misleading. You tasted the flavor of vanilla, currants and a hint of cocoa.

And what an ideal spot to chill out with a glass of wine.

Mosaic in Astoria redefines the notion of what it means to feel comfortable. Two sips in and  you think you’re inside someone’s home.Bronze gilded ceiling panels. Rustic Victorian furniture. Maroon red walls.

 

But, you’re not at someone’s home. You’re at a lounge. Decorative round tables. Antique sofas. A chandelier in the center of the room. Subtle music on the sound system. Young professionals in swank garb with iphones not far from their drinks. Their voices jovial and a few octaves louder than a whisper. The vibe is good. Mosaic is an excellent choice if you need a spot to meet a friend or if you’re up to the second or third date.

Bar shot mosiac

A rustic Victorian decor that’s memorable and comfortable.

So, here’s the dipout on that table near the entrance:

Tall guy in dark collared shirt and new Levi’s 522 Slim-Fit Tapered Leg Jeans arrived. Slender with a been to the gym physique. Dark frame glasses and a nice smile.

The woman waited on her Belgian Ale. She got up from her seat and gave him one of those second date kisses and hugs. Brett, the bar keep, walked over with a bottle of the Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon. He poured the man a glass and you smelled the fragrance of the wine from your seat at the bar.

Brett returned to the bar and the couple bantered before they clinked glasses.

She looked him in the eyes. He looked around the room.

You wanted to say ‘Cut. Do a retake.’

But, you said nothing except what you told yourself: “Hey, Dude…You got to look them in their eyes when you toast.”

So it goes.

You finished your glass of wine and walked out onto 24th Avenue in Astoria. The evening sky dark. The Christmas lights blinking.

Info:

Mosiac

(718) 728-0708

25-19 24th Avenue

Astoria, N.Y.

www.mosaicastoria.com

email: info@mosaicnyc.net

Food? Yes. Interesting array of small tasting plates.

Bathroom:   Just one. Though well decorated.

Parking:  Good if you’re lucky.

Nearest Subway:  Mosaic is known as a neighborhood spot, which should answer that question.