Conrad Hilton once called The Waldorf Astoria, “The Greatest of Them All,” the highest pitch to top a previous, resounding chorus of adulation for the grandest and most novel of hotels. The culinary sanctum that created a beer as a tasteful reminder of the hotel’s legacy, used good character judgment in choosing a Belgian Ale — textured, urbane, and distinctive — suitably named, The Greatest of Them Ale. The Waldorf Astoria chose Empire Brewing, based in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, to assist in branding its historical persona. A Belgian ale was also chosen to coordinate with summer leisure, as it tastes like a full-bodied ale but without the heat at an ABV of 5.5%. The nose is alive and really pulls you into the rich spicy body of an authentic Belgian iteration, but the finish is truly idiosyncratic leaving the palate with a memorable expression of lemon verbena grown on the hotel’s home turf. Specifically, on the hotel’s 21st-floor rooftop, which wasn’t living up to its potential, completely under-utilized. Separate brainwaves among the staff found a common signal and reinvented the outdoor enclosure as an event space and gardening enclave. The herbs, plants, and other culinary accessories are all organic and used in signature delights. This explains why the brew tasted so freshly squeezed as if the hops themselves were grown on the roof. Greatest of Them Ale mingles nicely with light fare, salads, fruits, and seafood.
Waldorf Astoria had partnered with Empire Brewing last year to concoct a fall personage, “The Waldorf Buzz,” made with the eponymous 21st-floor rooftop honey and will relaunch in the coming months. Exclusively available at The Waldorf Astoria.
Del Frisco’s younger sibling, Del Frisco’s Grille, is a casual personality of its classic antecedent, Del Frisco’s steak house. But sometimes a burger and a beer is the right treatment, which is why the ubiquitous steak house loosened little brother’s collar. And the restaurant’s culinary think tank wanted to represent its turf with a self-branded brew to match its signature fair. A team of eight conquistadors led by head bartender Chad partnered with New York’s own Captain Lawrence Brewery and crafted Del Frisco’s the Grille Pale Ale. Made with four bags of hops, it’s an amber pale ale that accommodates the palate like a Brooklyn Lager only slightly more hopified. Since the brew isn’t a fully committed IPA, the ABV of 6% will please new pale ale converts and connoisseurs alike, and it unites with summer’s jaunt and light fare but stands up to a healthy burger and upcoming fall tonalities. The Grille Pale Ale’s versatility matches the mellow loft-style atmosphere, high, exposed ceilings, and warm color palette. The booths feel like a big bear hug with a wide-eyed view of eclectic traffic and Rockefeller culturati. Not to mention the applause the beer deserves, Del Frisco’s Grille has created a unique branding concept, not with sauces, accoutrements, or gimmicks, but through a marquee beer in which we can relax and interact with the restaurant’s personality through a more lasting, tasteful way. In staying consistent with its individualist ethos, Del Frisco’s Grille is the only one of its kin to maintain its own separate menu — by New York, for New York. Visit delfriscosgrille.com.
Samuel Adams Pumpkin Batch is the perfect herald for fall. Consistent with the spirit of the New World, New England colonists experimented with pumpkin as a replacement for traditional malts. The brew’s rich, creamy, and silky essence tastes thoroughly organic with a full-flavor profile because pumpkin is the essence of the beer—not an additive. The brew is so fully present that it tastes like you have an entire pumpkin patch in your mouth. But the pumpkin’s basis is partnered with a Belgian ale yeast rendering additional spicy and fall-centric fruity accords including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; not to mention, the malt and roast structure that carries the pumpkin along the palate through the full experience. Pumpkin Batch is brewed with Sam’s two-row pale malt blend and East Kent Goldings and Fuggles hop varieties. The beer adds dimension to fall-favorite cuisines such as roasted chicken and butternut squash risotto, but it also partners well with after-dinner sweets like pumpkin pie, cobbler, peaches and cream, as the spicy amber idiosyncrasy plays off the tongue in sync with the desserts’ sugar qualities. Samuel Adams Pumpkin Batch is currently on shelves for a limited time. Available at participating retailers.
Samuel Adams Hoppy Red is the product of new adventure taken down under to Australia and New Zealand. The staple American brewer went searching for profiles that would texturize and deepened its signature two-row pale malt blend, and it discovered hops that produce rugged, spicy, and ultimately piney characteristics. The beer rolls around the palette with the same depth and bearing as a piney IPA backed up with amber accords. It has a subtle sweetness but is dominated by the toasty, smoky, and resinous fundamentals. Nelson Sauvin hops characterize the faint nectar notes, which are named after the Sauvignon grape. Ella hops are also blended in, producing floral hints and winks of anise bolstered by the deep amber and piney base. East Kent Goldings, Northern Brewer, and Hallertau Mittelfrueh Noble hops are also worked in. The bold flavors pair well with spicy curries, and the bitter tonalities complement desserts, especially with caramel apple tart and carrot cake. The brew will be included in Samuel Adam’s Fall variety pack. Available at participating retailers.