At long last, Astoria now has a craft beer retail shop it can be proud of. (No offense, Euro Market, you do have quite a fine selection of craft beers, but I’m convinced some of your offerings have been on the shelf since Clinton was President).
But not just a retail shop: it’s also a cheesemonger’s pantry of delights, a place to fill your growler of craft beer for the week, and a place to eat and drink amidst the action.
This Saturday, after teasing the local beer geeks for weeks with the butcher paper-covered windows, Astoria Bier & Cheese (34-14 Broadway, at 35th St.) officially opened. My wife and I were there (with young Cadel, who at 8-months of age, can already tell the difference between Centennial and Fuggle hops) to sniff out the action. And, by the throng of patrons streaming into the door like camels to the oasis, it’s clear they have hit a niche the neighborhood has been in desperate need of.
Owner Yang Gao–who also owns and operates, Astoria Wines & Spirits next door–has dreamed of opening this shop for the last three years, slowly biding his time for the adjoining retail space to open up.
With the help of Jacob Berg (beer guy) and Jenny Schumacher (cheese gal), 60 cheeses are available, along with 190 bottled beers and 10 on draft (which included Founders Breakfast Stout, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye & Unibroue Maudite)—not to mention, a full-wall mural in the bathroom of Kim Jong Il milking a cow. Wowza. Below are some pics of the space. Now, get yourself down there for a pint, Astorians!