Last year right around this time I reviewed a number of Brooklyn beer bars.
Well, March has come around again and it seems like a good time to hit some more.
I prepared for the evening by having a pilsner at Smolen and a plate of excellent pork goulash at nearby Milan's.
Then it was on to the Double Windsor.
The Double Windsor is located in Windsor Terrace, adjacent to Park Slope but worlds apart. The Terrace is grittier – there are way fewer posers but that comes at a price. In a one block radius I passed a beggar asking for loose change and a fat toothless man riding a Jazzy. The bar itself is located diagonally across the street from Farrell’s, the notorious hell pit famous for serving Budweiser in Styrofoam cups and it’s frequent fights. (The two are not unrelated.)
But I don’t hold Farrell’s against Windsor Terrace. It’s really a fine and safe place. A nice antidote to the preciousness of Park Slope.
The DW struck me as a cross between a British pub and a California style bar. A generous U-shaped bar was flanked by long tables on two sides. There’s a wide planked floor, the walls are exposed brick, and the French doors along two of the walls looked like they could be opened up as the weather got warmer. As it was the late March weather was unseasonably pleasant and the front doors were opened wide. There was a plant behind the bar near the cash register. That’s California for you.
There was a single TV tuned to a black and white movie on Turner Classics. The implied message was “This Ain’t No Sports Bar.”
The two bartenders were young and efficient and I had no problem getting drinks when I wanted them.
On the Friday I was there the crowd was in their 20s and 30s; I had the feeling they were mainly locals. Nice people. There was plenty of noise but no shouting.
Rolling Stones, the Pogues. The Zombies. The Yardbirds. The Kinks. Did I mention this place had the vibe of a British pub? I swear I figured that out before I heard the music.
A friend of mine has this theory that rock and roll hasn’t advanced over the last 30 years. The fact that a room full of people in their 20s was happily listening to this stuff makes me think he’s right.
There were 13 craft beers on tap along with one tap for Guinness. Why waste one? It’s not hard to get a pint of Guinness at most bars around the city. But I’m quibbling.
There was a printed beer list with short descriptions of each beer. I see more and more places doing this rather than simply listing the beers on a hard to read chalk board. I like this trend – it helps to figure out what you want when confronted with 7 or 8 new beers.
I started with a Wolaver’s IPA from Vermont. This was medium in complexity and not wildly overhopped. Pleasant enough but I would probably pick something else if I was going to have a few.
Next was a Racer 5 from Bear Republic. On the list it was billed as “a floral and aromatic English style ale” and while there was a bit of truth in that I thought it read better than it tasted. Too much floral and not enough English enough to suit me.
To be fair, I liked what I had just fine and considering that were 11 other beers on tap I easily could have found more appealing choices if I’d kept at it.
The Double Windsor serves food. Although the menu isn’t on line what I saw seemed appealing in a pub food type of way. A sign advertised “house made beef jerky,” a reminder that I was in Brooklyn where artisanal charcuterie is the order of the day.
I’ll bet this place would be perfect for a pint or three on a leisurely summer Sunday afternoon. I wonder if I could persuade them to turn on a baseball game if we kept the sound off.
The Double Windsor
210 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215
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