By Connor Abernathy
October 16, 1869-- Workers digging a well in Cardiff, New York, unearthed what was thought to be a petrified man of staggering size. The 10-foot -tall “Cardiff Giant” drew crowds of onlookers for 50 cents a peek. The Giant would ultimately go down in history as one of the finest hoaxes in the nation as George Hull, a cigar manufacturer, had actually commissioned a giant stone man to be built, buried, recovered, and exhibited throughout the country as proof of the existence of giants. The original Cardiff Giant inspired many imitations of the hoax throughout the late 1800s. And now one small, dark, craft beer bar nestled between Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
The Wiley Brothers' newest foray into the Brooklyn bar scene is no hoax, though. The brothers' more well-known bars-- Bar Great Harry, Mission Dolores, Glorietta Baldy, and The Owl Farm have supplied beer-o-philes lists of fine craft ales that even the most picky Brooklynites drool over. Cardiff Giant pulls its list of beers all from around New York-- some, like Threes Brewing, just a couple of miles down into the borough. Cardiff Giant sports a small outdoor area with wooden tables and chairs underneath Brooklyn’s ubiquitous cafe string lights. Inside, Cardiff is warm and cozy, perfect for trying a new New York beer and conversing with friends.
My last visit to Cardiff Giant was for more than its A+ draft list offerings. Instead I went for its cans. The well-known gypsy brewing couple behind Grimm Artisanal Ales had distributed ZAP Double IPA to Cardiff Giant. I went to take a look and see if any were still available for purchase. Lucky for me I walked out with a 4-pack of some of the most delicious beer I’ve had in recent time. A fruity double (my favorite) with tropical notes of mango and pineapple left my mouth watering for more. Fortunately, Cardiff Giant supplied.
Though Cardiff Giant’s location on Myrtle Avenue keeps it away from the typical late-night drinkers, we like it that way. It costs a bit more to venture into than George Hull’s giant hoax, but the beer inside is as authentically New York craft as it gets.