Firewater’s Atlantic City
Heard about this bar in the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ called Firewater’s which has a lot of beer in bottles and on draft. So, I felt it was my obligation to go and check it out.
Firewater’s is located on the 1st floor of the Tropicana in Atlantic City, but really the first floor is more like the basement. The Hotel’s Casino is located on the 2nd floor where all the action is. Once you go down to the 1st floor all the “glitz” of the casino and shops is gone. The firewater was a dark bar; half was a beer bar, the other half a martini bar. Besides being dark, there was no real atmosphere or theme to the bar. The bar had about 20 stools and there were 10 or so tables to sit at (no waitresses that I saw)
The bartender we had on a Sunday night seems to be familiar with the beer they had, while I wouldn’t go so far as to call him an expert, he was able to give a suggestion based on my tastes. He also seemed to be the only one working behind the bar, and when it got busy he seemed a bit crazed and hard to flag down. But, I would also suggest sitting at the bar since there is no waitress service.
Now the important part, Firewater’s had 50 taps (there were a couple that were empty when we went) and about 100 bottled beers (8oz-750ml), plus the regular mixed drinks. (No top shelf liquor) Back to the beer, I found there was a nice selection/variety of the beer on tap, from Pilsner to Stout, Seasonal micro brews to Barely Wine to German Oktoberfest. I like to try new beers, so I was able to try a new beer each round… not an easy thing for a guy who simply loves beer.
So you want to know what we drank, the first round was a pretty easy choice. We Started off with something low in alcohol and on the amber side – Paulaner Oktoberfest. Having never drank this before, in retrospect we should have skipped this one (read review). After knocking back this uninspiring brew, we needed something to restore our faith in these taps.
Our next beer was chosen simply by its name, Left Hand Sawtooth Ale. While this beer was better then the last (read review) we realized the bar was serving pints in frozen glasses… a no – no (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/glassware.php). In my opinion, I’m batting 0-2 on beers. While it was better then the first it just was missing something… like flavor… beer was way too cold, masked all the flavors.
The next selection was Belhaven Scotch Ale. This time we asked the beer to be poured in room temp glasses, the bar tender gave us a look when we asked. Not the look you might expect, but was one of “ok, these guys are serious”. He apologized and said that most people wanted the frosted glass if had the choice. Back to the beer, this had to be one of the best beers I’ve drunk in recent memory. (read review) It was hard to go ahead and pick out another beer; I just wanted to keep drinking this beer.
Next, we thought we’d try an extreme beer – Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA. Wow, now this was an intense beer, about 9% abv. (read review) This would be a perfect beer in a 6oz glass or with some food (like some wings).
At this point we’d had about it with the taps, and decided to try out some of the bottled beer. The first bottle we had (split) was a 750ml of Rogue Mocha Porter, as with every other Rogue beer I’ve had, this too was darn good. (read review).
We finished the night with a Ommegang 3 Philosophers. (read review) Not too many places you’ll find this beer.
The bar has a lot of potential, but I doubt it will change from what it is. The selection of beer is one of the better I’ve seen. So if you want a bar with a great selection of unique beers it is great, otherwise it is just a subpar bar with no atmosphere.