NYC Beer Week 2016: Brewers to Look for and Beers to Drink

NYC Beer Week  2016 (Feb. 19 – 28) is almost upon us. With less than two weeks to go, it’s time to start planning which beers to seek out, many brought to you by the ever-growing and awesome group of talented New York City brewers. Lucky for all of us, some of us were clued in to what will be pouring throughout the 10-day “week” of incredible local beers.

The recommendations below include beers poured at the NYC Beer Week 2016 press preview held at Flatiron Hall on Jan. 27, 2016. Several of these breweries will also be debuting SMaSH beers on Feb. 19 during the city-wide SimulTap, or simultaneous tapping of State Malt and State Hop beers brewed specially for NYC Beer Week. Possibly the best lineup of these (10 SMaSH beers on tap) will be tapping at Banter on Feb. 19, but you can find them throughout the city and week in small quantities. Continue reading

Brooklyn Pour 2015: New Venue, New Vendors and New Favorites

At the fifth annual Village Voice Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival, held this year at the new Brooklyn Expo Center on the afternoon of Sept. 26, 2015, three things were clear: 1) New York City’s craft beer appreciating community continues to grow; 2) local and regional breweries are matching that growth with innovative and on-trend beer styles; and 3) Skylight One Hanson will be deeply missed.

Mug holdings contest

A mug-holding contest at the Sam Adams booth put Brooklyn Pour goers’ stein hosting strength to the test.

New Venue

The Brooklyn Expo Center on Greenpoint’s Franklin Avenue is everything you want in an event space: vast, well lit and high ceilinged, the venue has plenty of room to accommodate a growing list of brewers, attendees and sponsors, with photo ops aplenty, back patio space with skyline views and well-managed bathrooms to boot. However, those who have attended the Brooklyn Pour in the past know that this venue is no match to the art-deco masterpiece that is Skylight One Hanson in Fort Greene.

Plenty of distractions bordered the expansive space, inside and out: a photo booth for friends to pose and hashtag (complete with sponsored backdrop) hung in the front; tables touting contests and giveaways mirrored brewers’ coolers along the sides of the room; a mug holding contest sponsored by Sam Adams brought brawny bros to the rear; and a personal favorite, a Whole Foods-sponsored “Mix Six” pack photo op floated in the back of the room, beckoning grown men and women to slip into its shoddy cardboard hug (Halloween costume, anyone?).

Whole Foods Mix Six

Build your own custom six-pack of friends. This makes a great Halloween costume for beer buds!

Cold brewed coffee (Califa FarmsGrady’s) and scotch liquor tables (Aberlour, Jameson Caskmates) beckoned bean and booze hounds to the back of the room, providing a fairly welcome, albeit unnecessary alternative to the 125+ beer options available.

Liquor libations

Aberlour single malt whiskey (above) and Jameson Caskmates tastings were also available at the Brooklyn Pour.

Other than liquid libations, the Brooklyn Pour offered attendees food options on the outside patio — Nuchas, Papaya King and Coney Shack stood in front of the neighboring building, while Keste grilled cheeses and Zum Schneider brats and pretzels stood in tents closer to the building — but the options and seating seemed oddly limited in the massive amount of space. A few more tables and trucks would have transformed the area into a welcome respite from imbibing and bumping elbows.

New Vendors

Nearly 70 breweries were in attendance at this year’s Brooklyn Pour (a total of 67 were confirmed at press time), with 25 making their Brooklyn Pour debut. These included: Allagash Brewing Company, Anchor Brewing Company, Angry Orchard, Aspall, Austin Eastciders, Barrier Brewing Co., Big Alice Brewery (VIP only), Downeast Cider House, Fentimans, Fire Island Beer Company, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., Iron Maiden, Kronenbourg Brewery, Lost Nation Brewing, Newburgh Brewing Company, North Coast Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewery, Samuel Adams, Sixpoint Brewery, Speakeasey Ales and Lager, St. Feuilliens, SweetWater Brewing Company (VIP only), War Flag Brewing Company, and Weihenstephan.

Breweries represented last year who did not return in 2015 included a total of 35: 508 Gastrobrewery (now closed), Ayinger, Bayou Teche, Bear Republic, Boulder, Brewery Ommegang, Broken Bow, Bronx Brewery, Crispin Cider, Dyckman, Founders, Goose Island, Grimm Artisanal Ales, Gun Hill, Harlem Blue, Harlem Brewing Company, Ithaca, Lagunitas Brewing Co., Lake Placid Brewery, Lindemans Brewery, Magic Hat Brewing Company, MOA Brewing Company, Original Sin, Radeberger Brewery, Radiant Pig Craft Beers, Rekorderling, Samuel Smith, Saranac, Shipyard Brewing Company, Sly Fox Brewery, Steadfast Beer Co., Stevens Point Brewery, Transmitter Brewing, Wolffer Estate Vineyard and Yonkers Brewing Co.

New Favorites

Disclaimer: we were not able to make it to every booth. That being said, we have an eye for interesting brews, and these were some of our new and noteworthy favorites.

BKPour2015_Barrier

Barrier Brewing Co. Red Button Imperial Red Ale

 

Eataly

Birreria Eataly Strawberry Blonde Cask Ale

 

 

Rockaway Brewing Co. NY Pharm (and Justine!)

Rockaway Brewing Co. NY Pharm

Rockaway Brewng Company NY Pharm

 

Lost Nation Mosaic Single-Hop IPA

Lost Nation Mosaic Single Hop IPA

 

Weihenstephaner

Weihenstephaner

Crow Weiss

Comet Weisse

Weihenstephaner Comet Weisse

 

 

Third Rail IPA

Third Rail Beer Skyland IPA

 

 

Oskar Blues John

Oskar Blues IPA 

 

Finback Brewery

Finback Brewery Close of Day

 

Bars We Love: Fetch a Few Brews at Luckydog! – Brokelyn

Luckydog has been a longstanding Brokelyn favorite due to its gruff and casual vibe, decent and cheap booze, and most significantly, its dog-friendly-bordering-dog-necessary policy.

All good things come to an end, however, even when man’s best friend is on your side. Despite unconditional love from local K9s, customers and even Yelp reviewers, Luckydog lost its pooch privileges (along with several other Brooklyn bars) when the New York Department of Health cracked its joyless whip across the borough last year.

The bar no longer gives its loyal locals the warm and fuzzies, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve your love money—in fact, on the contrary, they could use a little extra love right now. Next time you’re in South Williamsburg, stop in for a pint or two (Rockaway’s ESB was on tap last time I stopped in), maybe a bowl of water for old times’ sake, and reminisce about the days before doggy discrimination, when you would drink a beer with someone else’s animal next to you, or go to the bar next door because of your boyfriend’s allergies.

For some extra Luckydog intel, check out fellow Brokester, Kate Mooney’s look at the dog ban in her recent piece in the New York Observer, “Dining With Dogs: Here’s What’s in Store for Luckydog Bar in Williamsburg.”