This past Friday and Saturday the Beer and Bacon Classic festival was held in New York City. Another one of the many craft beer fests that are held throughout the year in the city. This one is a traveling beer and bacon fest that tours baseball fields around the country. Here in New York it was held at Citi Field stadium (the former Shea Stadium) at 123-01 Roosevelt Avenue in Corona, Queens and is the home of the New York Mets baseball team.
It featured over 40 local restaurants serving bacon infused dishes and over 40 breweries and cideries pouring their craft products.
I attended the Saturday evening session. I have to admit it was a great venue to have an event, it gave me the opportunity to see the new stadium which is a much more interesting event space than some of the other beer venues.
I generally like the dark beers such as stouts, porters and cream ales, but since this was a spring time event, not much of the heavier beers were poured but I did find a few ciders. I was lucky to get in to the event before general admission and was able to sample some of the food, when they opened the flood gates at the general admission start times, the lines at the food stands became impossibly long.
Some of what I sampled:
Bad Seed Cider Co. With 0gms of sugar, about as bone dry as you can get.
Downeast Cider House: Flagship original and summer blend.
Doc’s Draft: Hard pear cider and original.
Strongbow Hard Cider
Northern Spy Hard Cider
Original Sin Hard Cider
McKenzie’s Cider Co.: Seasonal reserve and black cherry.
Ace Cider Co.: Pineapple Cider.
Jonas Bronk Beer Co.: One of the few stouts served, nice and creamy.
This past Sunday I attended The Bloody Mary Festival, a multi-city event that was advertised as “a celebration of our beloved brunch cocktail and the largest event of its kind”.
It was an afternoon of sampling Bloody Marys prepared by local bars and restaurants along with food trucks and a DJ.
This year the event was held at the Grand Prospect Hall at 263 Prospect Avenue in Park Slope Brooklyn. It’s a 100+ year old oak paneled beer hall event space that someone described as “Disney-does-Hapsburg”.
This time around the vodka sponsor was Bleu Storm vodka, an ultra premium French vodka made from whole wheat.
A few of the Bloodys and the restaurants/bars that serve them:
Bloody Mary Liberation Party The Prospect Park
Lucky Luna (Greenpoint) Kimchi and Nori Bloody Mary
Esme (Greenpoint) Esme Bloody Mary
Syndicated (Bushwick) Blood For Dracula
Travel Bar (Carrol Gardens) The Well Traveled
706 (Prospect Heights) The 706
Hunter’s (Cobble Hill) Hunter’s Saigon Mary
Skylark (Park Slope) The Skylark
Talde (Park Slope) Talde Bloody Mary
Catfish (Crown Heights) Creole Bloody Mary
This past Saturday I attended the annual New York City Craft Distillers Festival. A pre-prohibition themed event of over 60 craft spirits with a live jazz style band.
A century ago New York States breweries and distilleries produced oceans of spirits made from local ingredients. The Volstead Act changed all that and Prohibition shut down most of those distilleries and breweries. The industry began to recover in the early 21st Century when the State laws regulating distilling were loosen which resulted in the explosion of local micro-distilleries and breweries. There are about 30 craft distillers and counting in New York State with some in Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx.
The event was held at the hip Bowery Hotel at 335 Bowery in Manhattan, a castle-like venue. There were plenty of local whiskeys, gins, vodkas, tequilas, fruit-based eau di vie and even some absinthe.
With live music and people enjoying unlimited spirits, it was a party.
Some of the Distillers I sampled from:
Orange County Distillery
Catskill Distilling Co.
Tres Papalote Mezcal
Black Button Distillery
Valentine Distilling Co.