Blog: The 2013 Beer Balls at Alewife
When we go balls deep, we mean it! Any time that you can celebrate meat and beer at the same time, it should be treated like a national holiday. This past Saturday afternoon, the LocalBozo.com crew made our way to Alewife, the Long Island City home for all things craft beer for a day of meaty bliss. Yes friends, the day had finally arrived as “Get Real Presents” would host the 2013 “Beer Balls” event- a day that is so meat centric, we’re surprised that an actual caveman didn’t show up, club us over the head, and leave with a plate of tasty meatballs.
The 2013 “Beer Balls” was broken up into two deliciously decadent sessions. Our crew opted for the first of the day which started at noon sharp. We wasted nary a moment running through the front doors into the large bar space to grab our tasting glass and meatball tickets. It’s always important to wet ones whistle before chowing down on the day’s eats and luckily for us, the entire bar was awash with some of the best craft beers going today. We started off with the highly drinkable “Amber Ale” from Empire Brewing. The caramel and slightly hoppy ale was the perfect treat to lead us into our first meatball tasting of day. The pairing of the people representing MB34 and The Philly Chef brought what may have been the spiciest and most complex ball of the afternoon. Their comically named “Dirty Balls” were deep fried, then tossed in their infamously secret “Dirty Dust” comprised of twenty distinctive spices, followed by a slow and low baking process. The overall taste profile was reminiscent of a spicy appetizer from an Indian restaurant with the pepper burn lasting a few minutes after having eaten it, making the ball a delectable challenge to consume. In order to put out the fire we ran over to our good friends at Bronx Brewery for their classic “Pale Ale.” After this ‘ball break’ we made our way over to the first of two tables from our hosts at Alewife. Three highly unique choices were available for some super sized tastings. These included their: traditional “Swedish Meatballs,” “Dragon Balls,” and “Pork al Pastor.” The latter was our hands down favorite of this bunch as the meatballs were infused with chipotle heat and the sweetness of pineapple, sending us back to drop off more tickets for seconds.
After a quick refill of the nectar that is craft beer we climbed the steps to the second level of the bar for more balls! With our bellies primed for more hand molded meat mounds we made our way over to Gramercy’s Tommy Lasagna. The Italian eatery came to the event with the most traditional meatball of the day and one that would subsequently be our favorite. Their offering was a trio of mini meatballs on a skewer made of beef, pork, and veal topped with grated cheese and served with a cup of spicy tomato and garlic sauce. We literally dumped the sauce cup on the balls, drenching them with old world Italian goodness. As the hours rolled on, our beer selections leaned to the heavier varieties. Smuttynose’s “Noonan” was a black IPA that was thick, creamy and the perfect counter to these salty balls. It was an all out pleasure to gulp down. Meanwhile, Alewife’s second table featured two additional excellent selections of innovative balls- their “Moroccan Meatballs,” lamb based and drizzled with their yogurt, mint, cucumber and dill based sauce and their “Winter/Spring Balls,” a blend of turkey and veal with pine nuts and dried cherries, served with a lovely cranberry-sour cream sauce. Needless to say at this point we were quite full, yet very happy.
The team at Get Real Presents doesn’t fool around when it comes to throwing events that beautifully fill one’s stomach and liver, as well as an afternoon with memorable times. We are chomping at the bit to see what they have up their sleeves next and can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for this now annual meatball feast!
- Jay Rubin