Beer Bash Brooklyn

 

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New York City Beer Week began on Saturday, February 22nd. It was the start of 10 days of craft beer events with beer tastings, beer themed food pairings and seminars throughout the city.

The beer week kicked off with the Opening Bash on Saturday afternoon and evening. That event was held at the Brooklyn Expo Center, an event venue at 72 Noble Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It’s becoming a popular spot for hosting beer/wine/spirit events.

The opening bash was sponsored by the New York City Brewers Guild whose mission is to advance New York City’s brewing industry and thereby “lessen human misery”.

It was a huge event with 75+ breweries from New York City, New York State and from around the country pouring their beer to sample with all styles represented. There was even a brewery on hand from Sweden.

At the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, there were so many breweries in New York that New York State was the largest grower of hops in the country. Prohibition brought that all to an end. The last couple of decades has seen a resurgence for the beer industry in New York City and Data from the State Liquor Authority (2018) had 41 breweries throughout the five boroughs.

With such a massive amount of beer to sample, I focused my efforts on sampling any beer that was out of the ordinary. For the most part on that night that meant sampling sour beers which were usually infused with all sorts of fruits and botanicals, and any beer that was aged in various barrels which included wine, whiskey and rum barrels. For a change of pace I sampled stouts which themselves were flavored with coffee, chocolate, coconut and vanilla to name a few of the ingredients used. Surprisingly, I could only find one cider company in the house.

Some of what sampled:

 

Mikkeller:Jammy Buggers” fruited sour ale.

KCBC: “Cosmic Zombie” barrel aged fruited sour ale with coffee.

Bronx Brewery: “Long Island” sour IPA, “Blacktop Stout” imperial stout.

Graft: “Lost Tropic” hop mimosa cider, “Book of Nomad” cabernet franc, black current cider.

Oxbow: “Pinkette” mixed fermented farmhouse ale with cherries

Grimm: “Purple Prose” Foeder fermented sour ale with black current and raspberries.

Icarus Brewing: “AW Raspberry” Barrel aged Russian imperial stout, “A Tale of Two Printers” Rye aged Russian imperial stout. 

Interboro: “Cocotaso” Rum barrel aged imperial stout. 

Collective Arts:Origin of Darkness” Barrel aged cannoli stout, blueberry sour with cocoa nibs. 

Fonta Flora Brewery: “Rhythm Rug” Appalachian wild ale conditioned on local organic strawberries.  

Killsboro:Gimme Gimme Blackberry Peach” Dessert sour.

Brooklyn Brewery: “Rosé de Ville” Spritz sour ale brewed with tart raspberry. 

Screaming Hill Farm Brewery: “Ol’ Barn” Sour series wildberry. 

Threes Brewing:Dare To Know” Fruit punch, rock candy, jamba juice medley, grapefruit essence. 

Widowmaker Brewing: “There’s No Wrong Way” Peanut butter stout. 

Monday Night Brewing: “Situational Ethics” Praline stout. 

Kent Falls Brewing Co.: “Non Linear Thought” Farmhouse pale ale with peaches and apricots. 

Amor Artis: Colonel stout.

 

 

CiderFeast Brooklyn 2019

 

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On Saturday afternoon, November 9th I attended the CiderFeast cider tasting festival which was one of the many cider-centric events held during the New York City Cider Week November 8-17.

The event was hosted by the folks at Food Karma Project and NYC based restauranteur, Jimmy Carbone which hold events throughout the year including the Pig Island BBQ fest in September.

The event which was held at Biba of Williamsburg, a waterfront pub/beer garden serving Polish and American food located at 110 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn.

The tasting showcased over 15 national and international cider producers with many from New York State. Also on hand were small bites including some very tasty “prosciutto” from Kentucky and live music by the JP Bowersock Band.

Hard Cider was once the primary alcoholic beverage and a staple of the early American diet in this country especially during the Colonial period in which according to Rebelseed.com, the early colonists drank about 35 gallons of cider a year.  Prohibition brought that all to an end.

There has been a resurgence of cider making in the United States with sales in 2014 at $2 billion and New York State is the 2nd largest grower of apples in the United States with about a billion pounds grown a year. The 2013 Farm Cideries’ Law made it easier to obtain a cidery license and gave tax incentives to cideries that exclusively use New York State crops. This has helped fuel substantial growth in the local industry.

At the event the local hipsters were able to sample a mix of the mass produced ciders alongside small artisanal producers who experiment with different types of yeast, aging vessels, apples and so forth. Even the big time producers such as Angry Orchard have a division that make unusual (and unusually named) small production ciders.

 

Some of what I sampled:

 

Angry Orchid: Thick as Thieves, Super Natural, Extra Terrestrial

Wayside Cider: The Catskill, The Skinny, The Half Wild, The Wild Select

Descendant Cider Co.: Dry hopped

Abandoned Cider Co.: Classic, Hopped, Barrel Aged

Downeast Cider House: Original Blend, Winter Blend

Urban Farm Fermentory: Super Dry, Hopped, Blueberry

Ommegang Project Cider: Dry, Rosé

Kings Highway: Singapore Sling, Gingersnap, Guavalicious

Original Sin: McIntosh

Aval: Classic, Rosé

Romilly Cidre: Extra Dry, Demi-Sec, Doux

Asturias Cider: Sparkling

Barrika: Basque Cider