On that 4th evening I was left to explore Williamsburg on my own.

To be fair, my answer to their question;

“What’s Williamsburg got, anyway”

was “Hispsters and craft beer”.

Oh, and it’s been called “the most toxic place to live in America“.


Oddly, it reminded me of the Northern Quarter, minus the Victorian pubs and curry cafes, of course. 80% of it seemed to be small-scale dining for 20-30 year olds.

Pop-ups all over the place

Being predictable, I headed straight for the Brooklyn Brewery tap.

I was asked for ID, you know. Possibly there was a no over-60s rule.

“I’m English” I said.

“You’re fine” he replied.

That’s the mandatory tip, I think

I’d enjoyed my Brooklyn Summer Ale daringly drunk on Coney boardwalk, but it’s pretty dull drinking strong beers on long benches surrounded by young people playing video benches and comparing rents (except at IndyMan).

Shorts still not illegal in the US, unfortunately

I enjoyed the New Indie soundtrack though, and the Saison. But it’s no pub.

I did wonder if the recommendation I’d had from Cem, my Man In Wales would come up trumps (no pun intended).

Then a lady walked right in front of my shot of Mug’s Ale House.

She was reading this.


Oh, it’s closed” she said. Apparently more surprised than me.

I asked her for recommendations, because that’s what you do in countries without a Good Beer Guide.

Are you looking for a pub or a hipster place ?”

“A hips”

This is it, the Kent Ale House.

Weird roof

If you only look at the bottom bit you could be in Hackney.  OK, mostly high tables and TVs, but plenty of locals drinking beer, some of it brown.

Probably St Mirren v Edinburgh City somewhere last night
All your favourite lout

$7 for the house ESB, which wasn’t Fullers but was at least local. The perfect accompaniment to Canada v Cuba and what can only be described as a sloppy burger I didn’t really need but research demanded.

Avocado in there somewhere

Best coffee of the trip, too. I tipped 20% so they didn’t mug me on the way out. Is that enough ? I never knew.

Great views across the river too.



    1. It is. You sit at a bar (ugh), barman brings a beer and walks straight off. How do you give him the dollar per drink you’re supposed to?

      Leave on the bar?
      Add them on at the end?


      1. You can tip when you pay your bill. If it is busy and I want him to come back, I tip as I go! Sometimes it helps, sometimes it fails. What a weird country…

        And I never tip at Starbucks unless they give me change that I do not want to carry around.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Off and on. Sometimes it is obvious that a tip is expected: the jar on the counter. Other times not. I, years ago, insulted some staff by trying to tip. And I find taxi drivers are surprised by our tips. I think we may be excessive in taxi tipping. All of our guide books suggest tipping in pubs by saying “and one for you.” I have never seen this done, but Mudgie has a post on it.


      3. The tip box, often in craft bars, is a relatively new invention.

        “And one for you” or “And your own” seems to be a Manchester invention. When the Holts and Sam Smiths were £1.80 a pint I guess “keep the 20p” is a small gesture, but now OBB is £2 it must be harder.

        You can never be too generous 👍


      4. Seems crazy to tip someone who’s poured you a beer from a row of taps, either right in front of them or just behind.

        But if that person is being paid peanuts, and tips help bring their wage up to a more reasonable level, it puts a different perspective on matters.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Seems to be the case in US that the customer is also the employer who’s expected to provide staff wages.

        The other bugbear is tax. You see something for a nice round $10, go to pay and tax is added on so it’s $11.17 and you have to pay with a card or fumble for change. #MAGA – Devalue the dollar to 50p.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. “if that person is being paid peanuts, and tips help bring their wage up to a more reasonable level” then the paying of tips just enables the premises owner to continue paying ‘peanuts’ rather than the proper living wage that all workers deserve,

        Liked by 2 people

      7. Yes indeed.
        It’s poorer customers who empathise with staff paid peanuts and so give bigger tips than richer customers.
        And so the division between rich and poor gets ever greater.

        Liked by 2 people

      8. And I’m reminded of a very successful Sunday evening Folk Club in Stafford through the 1990s that was run not by admission charge but by a tray handed round in the interval and of my friends attending their contribution was very much inversely proportionate to their disposable incomes.


  1. “but it’s pretty dull drinking strong beers on long benches surrounded by young people” – not at all like drinking Draught Bass on the ‘Death Row’ bench in the Star, Bath.

    “Hard to get used to tipping” other than Sarsons into plant pots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a really polite way of saying “Hey dumbskull you forgot to say what pub you’re in again”.

      So thanks.

      It was the Kent Ale House, down by the river. Tell em I sent ya.


  2. I noticed on the beer menu they had local Michigan breweries Founders and Bells. Did you try either of those at any point? I’m told Bells was founded by a guy who went to the same college I went to; I think that means I’m obliged to say their beers are great!

    Liked by 1 person

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