Orr Shtuhl is a director of user experience at a web design agency, Blenderbox, a cheese pairing instructor at Bedford Cheese Shop and Murray’s Cheese, and a resident of Brooklyn. Why do you need to know this? Because he’s also a beer expert, and he wants to give you “the bestest” tour of bars and brewpubs in what he believes to be New York’s supreme neighborhood for beer: Greenpoint.
When Shtuhl decided to launch The Bestest, the name for his craft beer touring company that will begin tours in November, he had locals’ interests in mind.
“[Greenpoint] is the best neighborhood for beer in New York right now,” says Shtuhl, who lives and works in the neighborhood, and plans to give tours on the side. “It has everything that’s good about beer in New York right now, and it’s still largely undiscovered. There are two brewpubs here within walking distance from each other—that’s insane!”
The brewpubs he’s referring to, Dirck the Norseman (7 North Fifth St.) and Keg & Lantern (97 Nassau Ave.), are two of the destinations on the Greenpoint tour, both of which brew their own craft beer on premises—something that did not exist in Brooklyn 10, or even five, years ago. In addition, tour destinations like Tørst and The Diamond sit within blocks of each other. “To me, it’s all about exploring your own neighborhood and the neighborhoods around you,” he said.
“This tour is more than just a pub crawl. It’s an educational pub crawl. We’re going to go to a few places, drink some fantastic beers and learn about them.”
In a year’s time, Shtuhl hopes to expand to more beer-centric neighborhoods like Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Long Island City/Astoria and the Lower East Side/East Village. “It is somewhat improvisational—I want it to feel less like an official tour guide tour, and more like you’re exploring a beer scene,” he said.
When asked about beer excursions from other companies like Urban Oyster, Shtuhl assured that his will diverge—the biggest difference being full-size pints on each tour, as opposed to the smaller tastes typical of bigger groups. “You end up getting three ounce pours, which is super frustrating,” he said.
Though pricey, the $75 price tag for tours includes bar tabs for pints, snacks and “little surprises here and there.” Spoiler alert: the surprises are more beer.
To learn more about Orr Shtuhl’s beer tours, visit www.thebestest.nyc.