A Valentine to Brookyln’s Beer Couples

At BeerAffair, we’re all about love. Love for beer, love for the craft beer and brewing community, and above all, love for the local  brewers who bring us thought-provoking, inspiring beverages to drink and socialize with day after New York beer-loving day.

To honor this growing squad of New York City brewers—namely those in Brooklyn—we’ve decided to shine the spotlight on those who we suspect love each other as much as they love making beer.

A Valentine to Brooklyn’s Beer Making Couples

Mary Izett and Chris Cuzme. via Brooklyn Magazine

Mary Izett and Chris Cuzme. via Brooklyn Magazine

Chris Cuzme + Mary Izett = Cuzett Libations

As Niko Krommydas coyly coined in Brooklyn Magazine last February, “Move Over, Jayoncé”: Chris Cuzme and Mary Izett are a brewing force to be reckoned with. These two longtime brewing partners finally tied the knot last year right here on Jay-Z’s own turf, bringing together Chris Cuzme—past brewmaster at 508 Gastrobrewery (one of my favorite places for upscale pub food and inventive beers, now closed),  Brew Crew member at KelSo Beer Co., bartender at Williamsburg beer bar, Beer Street—and Mary Izett, pharmaceutical rep by day and fermentologist, author and radio host by night—together as one brewing force, Cuzett. The couple also co-hosts Brooklyn’s Heritage Radio Network’s Fuhmentaboutit, a podcast about fermenting at home with the focus on, you guessed it, beer. Tune in Mondays at 7pm.


Kelly Taylor and Sonya Giaccobe. via KelSo Beer Co.

Kelly Taylor + Sonya Giaccobe = KelSo Beer Co.

Speaking of KelSo, Kelly Taylor and Sonya Giaccobe have long been leaders of the New York craft brewing scene, most notably working together as co-founders and owners of KelSo Beer Co. Taylor is also brewmaster at Heartland Brewing Co. and president of the New York City Brewers Guild (NYCBG), a non-profit founded “to advance New York City’s brewing industry and thereby lessen human misery.” The NYCBG is also the founding partner of NYC Beer Week, which kicks off  this Friday, Feb. 19. Click here for more info about NYC Beer Week events and beers to look out for.

Joe and Lauren Grimm. via Good Beer Hunting

Joe and Lauren Grimm. via Good Beer Hunting

Joe Grimm + Lauren Grimm = Grimm Artisanal Ales

And what would the romance of Brooklyn beer be without Joe and Laura Grimm, co-founders of Grimm Artisanal Ales? This charming couple has managed to brew their way from their Gowanus apartment to the Great American Beer Festival, where they took home a silver medal in 2014 and a gold in 2015 for their coveted imperial stout, the Double Negative (which has since been released in two barrel-aged iterations). Rumor has it these roving brewers will be opening their own brewing space later this year, but we’ll happily hold onto their mythical gypsy history for now.

Erica Shea and Stephen Valand. via Forbes

Erica Shea and Stephen Valand. via Forbes

Erica Shea + Stephen Valand = Brooklyn Brew Shop

Leading the millennial set of homebrewers with their one-gallon beer making kits are Erica Shea and Stephen Valand, co-founders of Brooklyn Brew Shop. The e-comm company began as a Brooklyn Flea stand and has since progressed to an internationally acknowledged online shop with a full staff helmed from startup central in DUMBO. The duo has done collaborations with the likes of Brooklyn Brewery, Evil Twin and Brew Dog, have been on an episode of Brew Dog’s hit TV series, “Brew Dogs,” and even won an innovation award for their product at a worldwide trade show in China. Recently, they dug their twee footprint into the local food movement, launching Farm Steady, a social media-driven resource for “rooftop farmers” and lovers of all things rustic and Instagram-filtered. We’re not surprised they made it to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2014.

Sam Richardson and Matt Monahan. via Beer Advocate

Sam Richardson + Matt Monahan = Other Half Brewing Co.

You can’t really talk about Brooklyn beer without mentioning micro-brewing all-stars, Sam Richardson and Matt Monahan. These two have received more love in the past two years as partners of Other Half than most brewers receive in a lifetime, be it from beer nerds, beer media or the beer black market. Yes, they both have wives and kids, but we just didn’t feel right rounding up the most romantic brewers of the borough without acknowledging them—especially with a name like “Other Half.”

Cat Wolinski + Pat Phillips

Cat Wolinski and Pat Phillips in Brussels, Belgium.

Cat Wolinski + Pat Phillips = BeerAffair

Signing off from Brooklyn are Cat and Pat of BeerAffair, who have spent the past few years loving and learning about beer in New York and abroad. Happy Valentine’s Day, and happy almost NYC Beer Week 2016. We’ll see you out there!



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