Queens Beer Book 2 on NY1 News!

The Queens Beer Book was recently featured on NY1 News.

The Queens Beer Book was recently featured on NY1 News!

This week, the Queens Beer Book made its second annual appearance on NY1 News in an interview with Josh Schneps, owner of Schneps Publications and publisher of QNS.com and Brokelyn.com (co-publishers of the book), and myself, Cat Wolinski, curator, writer, editor and obsessor over this little book of big dreams.

I’m still getting the hang of TV appearances, but I’m sharing this for the sake of the bars and breweries featured in the book. What I hoped to communicate in the interview was that the Queens Beer Book was created to promote local businesses who are making and selling great, independently produced beer, making the craft beer community a possibility in Queens. What came out was more like, “There’s great beer here, and it’s not Budweiser.”

But, foot in mouth or not, I always feel great knowing that people may be catching a glimpse of my efforts to support and encourage the progress of craft beer; that they may retain a little bit of awareness about our local beer makers and the bars, restaurants and shops who are supporting them; and that maybe, just maybe, the next time they reach for a beer menu, they’ll ask for a SingleCut, Rockaway, LIC Beer Project or Bridge & Tunnel, or a Finback or a Transmitter, and they’ll leave the Bud Light behind for the days when better quality, better intentioned beer wasn’t available here.

Check out the video here and the words below from NY1.com:

Queens Beer Lovers Now Have a Guide for Best Brews in the Borough

Beer lovers in Queens now have a go-to-guide to help them find some of the best brews in the borough.

The Queens Beer Book is back for a second year. It showcases more than 30 beers at more than 30 of the best bars, breweries and beer-centric eateries across Queens.

Brooklyn has had its own similar beer book for a few years. Publishers say they’re ready to show off what Queens has to offer.

“The beer scene in Queens is exploding, so right now you have at least a half dozen breweries in Long Island City [and Astoria] alone,” said Josh Schneps , QNS.com publisher.

“The criteria, first of all, is having great beer. That means beers that are made locally, made regionally—things other than the normal Budweiser [and] Bud Light that people might be used to,” says Queens Beer Book curator, Catherine Wolinski.

The book can be purchased online for $30.00. It’s good for one year. For more information visit http://www.QNS.com.

Buy a Beer Book here: Brokelyn Beer Book Store



Civil Eats: 5 Beers From Across the Nation That Are Redefining Local

Kent Falls Brewing's Field Beer, brewed with 100% Connecticut-grown ingredients.

Kent Falls Brewing’s Field Beer, brewed with 100% Connecticut-grown grains and hops.

Brewing beer with 100% local ingredients isn’t easy. These five breweries are making an effort, one beer at a time. Read more—with perspectives from the beers’ brewers and founders—on CivilEats.com.

1. Transmitter Brewing: NY4 / Queens, New York

2. Pike Brewing Company: Pike Locale Copeland / Seattle, Washington

3. Plan Bee Farm Brewery: Flower City / Poughkeepsie, New York

4. Kent Falls Brewing: Field Beer / Kent, Connecticut

5. Ruhstaller Beer: Gilt Edge California Golden Lager / Sacramento and Dixon, California

SMaSH Beers to Look Out for During NYC Beer Week (February 19 to 28, 2016)

Flint of Rockaway and Eric of Coney Island

Flint Whistler of Rockaway Brewing Co. and Eric Hernandez of Coney Island Brewery.

NYC Beer Week kicks off this Friday, February 19 at 7pm with the “SimulTap,” or simultaneous tapping, of New York City beers, each brewed specially for  Beer Week as part of a 10-day celebration of New York beer. Though the SimulTap marks the start of Beer Week every year, this year’s holds special significance because it will feature 15 NYC brewers’ beers made with State Malt and State Hops, being referred to as “SMaSH beers,” spotlighting local ingredients sourced right here in New York. NYC Beer Week is organized by the New York City Brewers Guild.

Note: SMaSH usually stands for “Single Malt and Single Hop,” meaning one type of malted barley or other malted grain and one type of hop are used in the brewing process. In this case, it stands for State Malt and State Hops. Three types of New York malt and three New York-grown hops were used to brew the NYC Beer Week SMaSH beers.  Continue reading

Craft Beer is Not a Fad

In a food and beverage market in which new iterations of products vie for consumers’ attention daily, if not hourly, a certain caste of critics like to claim that craft beer is a fad, a class of drinks in fashion for the time being that will eventually—perhaps literally—fizzle out. It is these commentators who are perfectly content sticking to the American lagers of yore, cracking bottle after bottle of Budweiser, patiently waiting for consumers to return to their comfort zone of cheap, flavorless beer.

Yet, as in other industries in which a new trend took hold of the nation, the beer industry is not simply experiencing a blip that will be forgotten when things return to business as usual. Business is not going to change to usual. The craft beer craze is here to stay, and it’s only going to continue growing as big beer companies, or at least their subpar products, gradually lose the ability to quench beer drinkers’ thirst for good beer.

The Levis Theory: Craft Beer is Here for Good (and Gender Neutral)

Craft beer is the denim jeans of pants. True, beer has its en vogue styles—double and imperial IPAs, Brettanomyces-fermented “horse blanket” sours and barrel aged-to-infinity barley wines may go the way of whitewashed jeans, Capri jeans and bell bottom jeans—but just as denim came into the picture and never left, people are not going to change their minds about drinking beer that better suits their needs.  Perhaps radical at the time, denim became a staple of the American (and Western) wardrobe for men and women everywhere, and people never stopped wearing it. They’re not going to stop drinking better beer, either.

The Playstation Theory: Craft Beer is Adapting to a Changing Market

Whether a gamer, Gen X-er, parent or arguably none of the above, almost everybody knows what Nintendo is. It’s the video game company that created Mario, the Mickey Mouse of video games, the arcade game from Japan that changed the world.

However, ask any modern gamer about Nintendo today, and they’ll shrug. No longer at the forefront of video game innovation, Nintendo has fallen by the wayside while it produces game after game with the same characters, for the same media. In the meantime, other, newer, console companies have been competing for first place: X Box and Playstation.

Playstation is continually coming out with new consoles, controllers, games and stories. Playstation 1, 2, 3 and 4 have each been relevant and coveted, even with X Box and X Box Live as its competitors. Year after year, both systems create new reasons to buy their consoles, their extensions, their games and those games’ new features.

Perhaps the most important distinction between Playstation/X Box and Nintendo is the existence and availability of (free) games in a medium that’s very important to players: the Internet (and in particular, mobile devices). While other video game companies have adapted to new technologies available to game players, Nintendo has famously faltered, preventing its products from becoming available for free or on mobile devices, and as such, it has been left behind. By refusing to adapt to changing consumer demands, the video game giant has become less successful.

As craft brewers invent new ways to make beer and create more locally-focused brews, holding their audience from batch to batch, big beer companies like Bud are slowly but steadily losing market share.

The Mrs. Meyers Theory: Craft Beer Costs More Because it’s Better for You and the Environment

When I was growing up, two or three brands of cleaning products shouted out for shoppers at local supermarkets. Chemicals had to be kept out of sight and under kitchen sinks because they could kill your children. Somewhere, meanwhile, Mrs. Meyers was brewing up new recipes for soaps and household cleaners in her eco-friendly kitchen.

As more environmentally conscious brands tried their hand at products that could actually clean your house without killing you—and look and smell good while they were doing—the next generation of house-cleaning consumers emerged. Names like “Method” and “Honest” bumped their pretty bottles up against harsh names on large containers like “Clorox” and “Windex.” Mrs. Meyers moved in next to Mr. Clean.

Budweiser and Coors may not be poison – I still drink it from time to time, just like I still use bleach to scrub my tiles from time to time – bleach will still clean your tiles incredibly well, just like Budweiser will still give you a buzz. But put simply, when there are better options, wouldn’t you rather do it better?

Compared to macro beers, micro-brewed beer is better for you because its ingredients maintain their nutritional integrity. In other words, the malted barley that is used to make beer and the liquid that’s extracted from it (along with what’s extracted from fruits, herbs and other ingredients included in many microbrews) stays present in the beer that you end up drinking.

This is not the case for major “lawnmower lagers.” Big brands remove much of the nutritional content in their beers via pasteurization to ensure homogeneity prior to sale. Craft brewers not only combat this “empty calories” scenario, but even serve to benefit the bodies of the health-conscious—used as a recovery beverage after a period of physical exertion, craft beer can actually replenish runners’ or cyclists’ electrolytes, as well as rebuild much needed muscle tissue due to vitamins present. (In fact, one Dutch study performed at the TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute found that craft beer drinkers had 30 percent higher levels of vitamin B6 in their blood than non-drinkers, and twice as much vitamin B6 as wine drinkers.)

In my own experience, I have seen a considerable difference in the benefits of micro vs. macro beers in another area related to their ingredients: consumption. For myself and many friends, it has often been the assumption and practice that light beers are made for drinking in large quantities. Thanks to their being cheap, watered-down and easy to “chug,” they are ubiquitously present on college campuses to drink during activities that encourage binge drinking. If only for the sheer volume of bad beer drinking habits (beer pong, anyone?), experiences I’ve had and witnessed among the likes of Coors and Natural Light are not ones I would deign to repeat.

Craft beer, on the other hand, is meant to be savored. Even over a period of several hours, two companions might share two or four beers, as opposed to the dozen or more that could be crushed between the same people in the same amount of time otherwise. Studies have proven the benefits of moderate consumption of beer, qualifying the beverage as part of a healthy diet that can promote well-being, decrease risk of Alzheimer’s, achieve cancer-fighting antioxidants and contribute to LDL or “good cholesterol” which prevents heart disease. (Even further, a 2009 Tufts University study revealed that elderly test subjects who consumed a moderate amount of beer every day achieved higher bone density than those who abstained.)

Consumers’ tendency toward fewer, better, more thoughtfully crafted beers of a wide variety isn’t limited to “trendy” areas, either—the trend is taking hold across the United States, and it’s happening so rapidly in every region that a recent Brewers Association survey determined the majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a local brewery.

A fad implies a temporary fixation with a product or cultural item. The thousands of microbreweries cropping up across the country may be new, and surely many will fail. But the industry at its core will not fail and it is not temporary. Craft beer is a movement, both culturally and economically. As we gain more access to small and independent brewing companies making beers with fresh, local ingredients, we and the next generation of beer consumers will lose interest in lagers lacking flavor, inventiveness and versatility. We’re not drinking craft beer because it’s cool. We’re drinking it because we finally can.