Brew n’ Chew Homebrew and Food Pairing Competition at the Diamond on Sunday, Sept. 20

The 8th Annual Brew n Chew will take place at the Diamond on Sunday, Sept. 20.

The 8th Annual Brew n Chew will take place at the Diamond on Sunday, Sept. 20.

Brooklyn craft beer bar, The Diamond is known for its fair share of accolades—from being one of the “best jukebox bars in Brooklyn” to receiving honorable mention as one of Craft Beer & Brewing’s national craft beer dive bars, the Greenpoint staple has long enjoyed a reputation for its expertly curated selection of unusual brews from around the world, served in an atmosphere completely devoid of pretension.

This weekend, on Sunday, Sept. 20 from 3 to 5pm, the Diamond will be the one handing out the awards—at the 8th annual Brew n’ Chew homebrew and food pairing fundraiser.

That essential relationship between good food and good beer will be on display at the Diamond, where six homebrew teams will put their beer and food making chops to the test. The menu is subject to change, as the last two teams are still deciding on their offerings (Team 6 not shown).

Brew n’ Chew Team 1

Beer: Stout with coffee, maple syrup and cardamom
Food: “Some kind of waffle-taco hybrid”

Brew n’ Chew Team 2

Beer: Brett Lavender Saison
Food: Tiramisu

Brew n’ Chew Team 3

Beer: Hoppy American Saison
Food: Pork rilletes on crostini with cornichons

Brew n’ Chew Team 4

Beer: Old Ale
Food: Butterscotch pudding

Brew n’ Chew Team 5

Beer: Table Saison with Apricots, or Dry Hopped Saison, or Belgian Singel
Food: Smoked portabello mushroom slider & smoked pork tenderloin slider

One hundred percent of proceeds from Brew n’ Chew will be donated to Horizons Leadership Project, an organization that holds summer academic and elective programming for mostly disadvantaged Brooklyn youth. The winning team will take a trip to Sly Fox Brewing Company, a Phoenixville, Penn. craft brewery which is sponsoring the event.

“I can honestly say that this is one of the greatest days of the year to be at the Diamond and people love this community event,” Pollack said.

Tickets are $25 and will be available at the door, but you can snag them ahead of time here.

Beer Quote: Dave Carpenter on Fresh Hops

“Fresh hops remind us that there is virtue in reserving some things for special occasions.” — Dave Carpenter, “The Last Seasonal,” Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine,  Aug.-Sept. 2015

I truly savored this Brewers’ Perspectives feature unveiling commercial craft brewers’ approaches to utilizing the extremely ephemeral wet hop. With harvest season upon them, Left Hand Brewing Company ( Warrior IPA), Crazy Mountain Brewery (Sticky Fingers Wet Hopped Ale) and Comrade Brewing Company (Superpower IPA, a 2014 Great American Beer Festival Silver Medal winner in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category) each demonstrate the delicate nature of fresh, local hops, and the worth of going great lengths to achieve them.


Photo credit: Dave Carpenter “Hops Harvest 2015: Meet the Hops Harvesters

Brewing Video Tutorials and Courses on the Cheap (and Free!)

Beer lovers are, more often than not, drawn to the craft beer scene after trying a new style or being introduced to a better form of the beverage. Before you know it, there are tap takeovers, beer festivals, day trips and vacations planned exclusively for breweries and basically, we pretty much have beer on the brain at all times. But even if you memorize every BJCP style guideline and keep up with all the latest trends, the only way to truly know beer is to make it.

If you’re interested in learning how to make beer and don’t have plans for the Siebel Institute or the  International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD) just yet, there are several online courses that will accomplish the basic “how to” of homebrewing without the hefty tuition. Here are three that are actually worth considering, both for their content and the cost.

All-Grain & Partial Grain Brewing by Craft Beer & Brewing.

This intro video is only the beginning.

All-Grain & Partial Mash Brewing by Craft Beer & Brewing 
Price: FREE IF ENROLLED BY 8/25, otherwise $24.99, or $9.99/month for access to all Craft Beer & Brewing classes.

Along with publishing a monthly print magazine and regular digital content, Craft Beer & Brewing produces comprehensive brewing basics courses (as well as more advanced techniques) in their online homebrewing education platform. The course offerings range from extract brewing to partial to all grain, and each class offers step by step segments complete with downloadable, printable instructions and checklists for your brew session.

The video/slideshow/handout combo is a big draw for me, so even though I’ve been all grain brewing from the start, I’m registering for today’s free course and considering signing up for the monthly access. (My first foray into flavoring – strawberries and mint sprigs in a summer wheat ale – is currently fermenting, and I’d love to learn more about incorporating fresh ingredients into future brews. The yeast harvesting may have to wait.)

Enroll for the free class here – it’s FREE today (Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015)!

Beer Brewing 101 by Brooklyn Brew Shop in collaboration with Brit + Co.

Look how happy she is after brewing her own beer!

Beer Brewing 101 by Brit + Co. and Brooklyn Brew Shop
Price: $19.99

Cutesy DIY fanatics, Brit + Co. recently collaborated with Brooklyn Brew Shop co-founder, Erica Shea to present Beer Brewing 101, a fun and easy guide to brewing a one-gallon batch of beer. The class uses Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Grapefruit Honey Ale beer making kit, which is also available for purchase at 10% off the original price of $40 when you buy the class for $20. The principles of this tutorial apply to any beer of any batch size, and divided by chapter, the course manages to condense the 4-6 hour brewing process down to less than 30 minutes of digestible, re-watchable content.

Check out Brooklyn Brew Shop’s blog post here or sign up for the class on Brit + Co.

Introduction to All Grain Brewing by the AHA.

Feel the satisfaction and joy of turning grains into beer.

Introduction to All Grain Brewing by the AHA
Price: Free?!

Although they don’t advertise these as brewing classes per se, the American Homebrewers Association is also full of resources and information on how to brew at the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. These include videos, recipes, how-to guides and tips detailing the brewing process from start to finish (with pictures!).  As a member of the AHA, I’m thrilled to discover this – and I’m pretty sure it’s available for anyone to use.

Peek at the “Let’s Brew” section for a multitude of homebrew recipes and free offerings on how to brew.

Learning is cool, go do it!

Beer Affair

#WomanCrushWednesday: Mellie Pullman

Now in a millennial world, it’s not so surprising that women are joining the beer community in troves, stepping onto the scene as sales representatives, marketing coordinators, reporters (ahem) and imbibers, and—although they are still few—brewers and brewmasters.

But before there were us gals who started appreciating good beer post-2000 (although we still may feel uniquely, utterly female in a scene that continues to be dominated by beer guts and beards), there were women like Mellie Pullman, who I’d like to spotlight for my first #WomanCrushWednesday (#WCW) post here on Beer Affair.

I do not mean this in the literal or romantic sense, as I’ve never met Pullman personally, I mean it simply in the sense that my “love affair with beer” (where the name Beer Affair came from) is due in part to women who flew their freak flags high before it was popular, or even possible, for gals like me to be a part of the beer community.


“Replanting the Seeds of Brewing,” Craft Beer & Brewing, May 15, 2015.

After re-reading a feature written by Tara Nurin in Craft Beer & Brewing last month, “Replanting the Seeds of Brewing,” I was reminded of all of the women I have yet to meet, the history I have yet to learn, and the amazing strides women have made in this still-young industry since it began its second wind in the 1980s.

As a young woman swept up into the romance of the craft beer world just five or so years ago, I have to acknowledge the true pioneers before me, and commend these ladies for stepping up to the plate when it was even harder to be a female in a male dominated business like beer. (Or, as Nurin phrases it, for each woman who had to “finesse her way out of enough brewer-as-bearded-German-guy stereotypes.”)

In the days before national women’s industry groups like the Pink Boots Society (and in my case, local groups like the Beerded Ladies), these gals were among the first to explore the beer business, truly planting the “seeds” that sprouted roles for women in the brewing industry today. Among the “firsts” these femmes accomplished, Pullman is particularly #WCW-worthy for the following:

1. She was first female brewmaster in contemporary U.S. history;

2. She helped bring Utah its first brewery, Wasatch Brewery, in 1986; and

3. She lobbied to modernize the alcohol laws in Utah which were, even up until the late 80s, quite restrictive.

Beginning with Pullman and moving through the significance several more, Nurin’s article attributes beer props to Beth Hartwell, who co-founded Hart Brewing in Kalama, Wash. (now Pyramid Breweries) in 1984; Rosemarie Certo, who co-founded Dock Street Brewing in Philadelphia in 1985; Carol Stoudt, who became the nation’s first female sole proprietor-brewer in 1987; Barbara Groom and Wendy Pound, the first female ownership team in the industry, who opened Lost Coast Brewing in Eureka, Calif. in 1990; and Teri Fahrendorf, currently specialty malt account manager at Great Western Malting in Vancouver, Wash., who entered the industry at 1988 as a brewing intern and now has 19 years’ experience as a brewmaster and brewery supervisor at various locations.

Although you can take the woman out of the brewing industry (according to Nurin, Pullman left her post at Wasatch just three years after co-founding it), you can’t take the brewing industry out of the woman—Pullman is now serving as an associate professor at Portland State University, where she teaches several courses in the Business of Craft Brewing Certificate program.