Although my hubby is a craft beer lover, I hate to admit it – but I am the exact opposite. I just can’t wrap my head around beer. It does not taste good to me. Caleb always says that it is an acquired taste. I can’t fathom why anyone would drink something gross only in hopes to one day trick your taste buds in to liking it. Anyway, I try! So when the hubs found out about historic bar McSorley’s Old Ale House, it suddenly topped the list of NYC adventures. I really wanted to make sure he had a great time on this trip because I knew he was dreading standing in the NYC freezing cold for hours upon hours to watch the ball drop on New Years. So, after walking aimlessly around Manhattan we ended up at McSorley’s drinking beer and chatting with one of Taylor Swift’s tour make-up artist – who wanted to give us awesome tickets to Skrillex for New Years because she knew someone – of course. How come I can’t ever “know someone”? Where is my “someone”? Does anyone else always seem to know someone who “knows someone”?
McSorley’s, for me, wasn’t really about the house-brand ale. It was about how intriguing the bar’s history was. When you walk in to McSorley’s you instantly feel cozy and friendly – mainly because it is packed with loud smiling faces. The communal seating at the tables had people almost on top of one another. Everyone was loud, fun, friendly and loving – it almost reminded me of my in-laws family gatherings. :]
There are two beers sold at this bar. Light or dark – for me I didn’t want either, really, I was just there to enjoy the ambience, but a grouchy old man (I assumed was a bouncer-sort of person) kept yelling at people to drink and if you weren’t drinking fast enough he told you to get out. I do not like confrontation or scary old guys. So, I swallowed my fears and drank. I was surprised the beer actually wasn’t that bad until I realized we all had two mugs. Way too much for me – lucky me I have a price charming husband who swoops in and helps me out. Each beer at McSorley’s Old Ale House is split in to two different mugs. This bar is CASH only by the way. Which comes as such a surprise nowadays with technology being everywhere, but it just added to the charm.
It was fun to learn so many unique things about McSorley’s. Like this bar use to be a major bro-fest. It wasn’t until 1970 that women were allowed in (by court order). If you can squeeze through the crowd you can find wishbones hanging above the bar. The wishbones were hung there by boys going off to World War I to be removed when they returned home safely. There still those wishbones left from those that never returned. Along with the wishbones, McSorley’s has memorabilia all over the walls dating back to 1910 – this memorabilia is to never be removed. I also heard that Houdini’s handcuffs were connected to the bar rail!
So, definitely add McSorley’s Old Ale House on your list of hot spots in NYC. Even if it is just for one beer (in two mugs), the ambience of sawdust floors and newspaper clippings – this bar is a must! The address is: 15 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003.
Also, we asked the Irish bartender about the grouchy old man bouncer that was yelling orders at everyone and he said he just likes to come here and have fun. He doesn’t actually work there. Hilarious – more power to you old man, do your thing! I can’t wait to get away with crazy stuff like that when I’m old. Being old must be an adventure all on it’s own.
Has anyone ever been to McSorley’s? What did you think? Any other encounters with the beer-nazi bouncer/random old man?