This Saturday, Dec. 3, Jimmy’s No. 43 will spotlight brewers and distributors from around the globe at the Seventh Annual Battle Of The Belgians, an afternoon event featuring unlimited samples of over 20 draught and bottled beers.
The scope of the Battle, which promises Belgium classics to new Americans plus abbey and Trappist beers, is on par with the overall mission of Jimmy’s No. 43. In addition to offering folks a cozy place to enjoy locally sourced food and craft beer, Jimmy Carbone — owner of Jimmy’s No. 43 — hopes to deepen visitors’ knowledge of food, beers, wines, and spirits.
Last month, Jimmy’s hosted Porktoberfest, which took place in the same rom in which Woody Allen’s Cafe Society was filmed earlier this year. The event gave visitors a sample of the more than 30 cider-makers in New York State, along with a fair share of pork. Visiting from Atlanta, chef Matthew Roher served up bigos, a pork and sauerkraut stew, succotash, delicate squash puree, white-cheddar grits, short ribs, and roasted potatoes with kielbasa and cheese sauce. Route 66, one of the vendors present, dished out pulled pork with creamy chipotle sauce and greens. Most of the ingredients were sourced earlier that morning from Union Square Farmers Market.
Yet that’s just a taste of what’s to come this weekend at the Battle of the Belgians. American and Belgian beers are expected from B. United, Merchant du Vin, Duvel (owner of Ommegang), and Shelton Brothers. As for food, the Battle Of The Belgians will offer a whole roasted hog, alongside vegetarian options.
According to Jimmy, the event is a chance to spotlight lesser-known beers. “Belgium was the greatest beer culture,” Jimmy explained. “[Six] years ago, the Battle was created to showcase emerging American brewers who were making Belgian-style beers. From this event, I’ve learned more about just how great Belgian beer can be.”
Now, he’s sharing that knowledge with others. Jimmy maintains that beer can attract tourists from around the world; he wants to give visitors a taste of the world beyond New York, too. And, as he says, there’s no place better do that than in the neighborhood he lovingly refers to as “The Brew-meeter Triangle.” (McSorley’s Old Ale House, among other beer haunts, is on the same block, and the building that houses Jimmy’s also housed some of the first home-brew groups started in New York City).
“I don’t want just alcohol and gas; I care about flavor,” Jimmy said. “People to come to New York City to go to the great pubs and small beer bars. This is an opportunity for them to come and have a true beer experience.”