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Beer Taps Go Back to the Future With 'Flux Capacitor' at FiDi Bar

By Irene Plagianos on July 19, 2013 8:25am 

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — How many gigawatts does it take to pour a glass of beer?

1.21, according to Clinton Hall, an expansive new Financial District beer garden, which is taking a cue from Doc Brown and putting 10 of its "super craft beers" on tap through a special "Flux Capacitor" machine that's used to control the carbonation and temperature of each brew.

The custom-built draught system is called a Flux Capacitor "since it kind of looks like the time-travel machine from the movie 'Back to the Future,'" said co-owner Telly Hatzigeorgiou. "But it really makes a difference in the taste of beer."

The 4,000-square-foot beer hall at the corner of Washington and Rector streets, which features an indoor bar and outdoor beer garden, will be one of just a few places in the country that uses the special beer machine when the spot opens on July 29, Hatzigeorgiou said.

Invented by Southern California brewer and restaurant owner Gabe Gordon, the system allows each individual draught line to serve beer at its own specific temperature, pressure and carbonation level. Recently opened Tørst, a Scandinavian craft beer bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, also uses the suds system.

Clinton Hall will serve a rotating draught selection of 20 tough-to-find brews and ciders, from the United States as well as from Germany, Belgium and other international beer havens, said Hatzigeorgiou, who also runs the Seaport's Beekman's Beer Garden and Governors Beach Club, Governors Island's outdoor bar.

Along with the Flux Capacitor, Clinton Hall's owners were inspired to head back in time for the name of the beer hall, Hatzigeorgiou said.

The rustic bar's name came from national monument Castle Clinton, a former military fort, which sits a few blocks south of the bar in Battery Park — and is said to have been the country’s first beer hall.

Aside from the specialized suds, Clinton Hall will also have a full bar and "gourmet" pub food, featuring what Hatzigeorgiou calls an extensive selection of bratwurst and sausages, served on homemade pretzel buns with sides like rosemary-parmesan pommes frites. Other dishes include a short rib burger and Prince Edward Island mussels steamed in Wit Bier.

Clinton Hall is another joint venture between Hatzigeorgiou's company, The Lure Group, and Merchants Hospitality, which owns a slate of city eateries, including Lower Manhattan's Pound & Pence Pub and Restaurant and Oaxaca Mexican Grill.

The companies also launched Pier 15's Watermark Bar over Memorial Day weekend.

"We have a great space — about 2,000 square feet is outdoors — and we're really looking forward to opening," Hatzigeorgiou said.

"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads!" said a future Clinton Hall patron, after being slightly flux-incapacitated by a few special taps.

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