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The Blizzard of 93 Pub Crawl

Updated: Feb 2, 2022

By Tony Forder

I'm currently stitching together a book about the Origins of Craft Beer. Today Jan. 29, we have a Nor'easter going on outside and it puts me in mind of the Blizzard of 93.

An Ale Street News reader named Ed Crandall (we were in our second year of publishing) wrote in with a description of the Blizzard of 93 Pub Crawl. He and his cohorts followed the route of a pub crawl we had previously published.

"Saturday, March 13 was a big weather day throughout the eastern US. In New York City the storm paralyzed surface transportation that evening. The streets were mighty gummed up with 12 inches of snow and it snowed and rained alternatively with a side order of gusty winds. It was truly a fitting time for a village pub crawl.

"So with the Ale Street News article in hand, the crawl began at Madison Square Garden after the Big East basketball tournament with a shuffle down seventh Avenue. Since there were no taxis to be hailed, we (four Syracusans and a Bostonian) schlepped our way to stop number one, Telephone (2nd Ave. and 9th Street ) in the East Village. From there it was on Brewskys, Burp Castle and McSorley's (all around the corner on 7th Street). Telephone was a good place to dry off, use one of the British telephone booths, and sample a fine initial British beer. At Brewskys we each enjoyed a Blizzard Bock and sampled a Belgian Framboise (admittedly from a bottle). At Burp Castle, a shrine to beer if ever there was one, we tried an Old Foghorn barleywine.

"McSorley's was a place for lingering since we partook in the reasonably priced ($2.25) sandwiches complete with McSorleys trademark hot mustard. We strategically parked ourselves in front of the Ladies Room and from there we were able to regale the joint with songs of old. We even hosted a spirited impromptu lap diving contest where several young ladies hurled themselves into the ample lap of our fearless Jerry Garcia-look-a-like Chef Roget.

"At Cedar Tavern (82 University Place) we enjoyed a much more sedate experience. Good conversation was had with a couple of lovely in-towners, Mimi and Sue. Despite our insistent efforts Mimi would not sell her red knit cap. At the White Horse (11th and Hudson) we dried our socks on the radiators which proved popular with some of the other patrons. We also collected many (some lewd) autographs from a group of world travelers. Unfortunately Cowgirl (10th and Hudson) was closed for the evening so we found our way to Chumleys (near Barrow in Bedford) by accosting people on the street. Chumleys was clearly the sawdustiest of them all. Next was Jekyll and Hyde (7th Ave., at Christopher Street), truly an adventure in skeletons and bathroom finding. At that point (stop 9 out of 10), we called the crawl to a halt so we could have a place to start next year's crawl (i.e. Peculiar Pub). Thanks and salutations to Ale Street News for guiding us through that stormy night."

Ed Crandall (general contractor), Tony Fair, (teacher), Kevin Farmer (environmental engineer) Roger Sinta (polymer chemist), Dennis Walsh (beer purveyor and bon vivant)

photo - one of our favorite ads DL Geary's Hampshire Special Ale, "Available only while the weather sucks."


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