502 Franklin Avenue, Bed-Stuy
Anyone who’s spent time drinking at Bar Great Harry, Mission Dolores, or The Owl Farm—all owned by brothers Ben, Seth and Mike Wiley—can guess what they’re getting into at Glorietta Baldy, the newest addition to the Wileys’s ever-expanding Brooklyn beer empire. It’s the team’s first venture outside the Carroll Gardens and Park Slope neighborhoods on which they’ve already made their mark—neighborhoods, mind you, that are practically synonymous with the bearded, beer-loving thirtysomethings who’ve served so long as their easy-target audience. The formula they’ve developed should translate to Bed-Stuy nicely, though, allowing them to attract the younger, ostensibly hipper clientele they’re likely to encounter there.
Named after a hiking trail in New Mexico, Glorietta Baldy is nondescript in much the same way its predecessors are. Upon entering, there’s a standard bar area to your right and a long row of two-seater wooden tables down the left side. There’re a couple of pinball machines in the back, some Christmas lights, and a few scattered pieces of punk rock ephemera—a quick scan of the place will reveal a 7 Seconds album cover propped up on some overhead pipes near the back corner and a Bad Brains sticker placed inconspicuously on a wall. The music when I visited (early in the evening on a quiet weeknight) veered toward far-out jazz, but it’s easy to imagine it getting a bit rowdier on the weekends.
The bar is about as unpretentious as it gets, really, even for these guys, and the beer selection is the same. There are 12 draft lines, featuring an assortment of craft beers that, for now anyway, puts a premium on approachability rather than the omigod I can’t believe they have that factor some places go for. The highlights when I visited were Barrier Brewing’s delicious and unbelievably creamy Moochelle milk stout, the most recent version of Stone’s Enjoy By series of IPAs, and Brooklyn’s own Grimm Artisanal Ales’ From the Hip, a Belgian pale ale flavored with rose hips. You could argue that the lineup doesn’t offer enough variation, with a predominance of lighter offerings like Naragansett Lager, Evil Twin Low Life Pilsner, and Stillwater’s Classique, which the bar’s own menu described as a better version of a “classic American hi-lifey beer.”
As for cocktails, the bar offers a standard selection of essentials. I ordered an Old-Fashioned that was almost everything I require an Old-Fashioned to be: a perfect combination of sweet citrus and spicy rye. The orange slice and cherries were muddled, though, and when it come to Old-Fashioneds I’m proudly anti-muddling. These are small gripes, of course. Glorietta Baldy is a perfectly worthy addition to the burgeoning Bed-Stuy bar scene—as well as the Wiley