New York City Beer Week 2014: Feb 21 to Mar 2

New York City Beer Week 2014You can view the full schedule of events at the NYC Brewers Guild site. Some of my choices:

  • Saturday 2/22 - Urban Oyster’s NYC brewery tour – starts at Paulaner Brau Haus: Tour 4 NYC breweries for beer, knowledge, food and fun. Tickets.
  • Monday, 2/24 7pm - Bacon Nation Beer Dinner with Peter Kaminsky & Wandering Star Brewing – Jimmy’s No. 43: Because, bacon. A five-course beer dinner with bacon. Special guests include Chris Post and Alex Hall of Wandering Star, and featured beers also from Rockaway and Rushing Duck. Tickets.
  • Tuesday, 2/25 8pm – Cuzday – 508 GastrobreweryBecause 508 is great and Chris Cuzme is a nice guy (and great brewer) head to 508 for a special Cuzday with a series of collaborative beers on all six taps between brewer Chris Cuzme and local homebrewers. The six beers were brewed with Brooklyn Homebrew, Bitter & Esters, Pour Standards, The NYC Homebrewers Guild, The Brooklyn Brewsers and Brooklyn Brewshop. Cuzme performs on saxophone from 8 pm – 10 pm. Pay as you go.
  • Wednesday, 2/26 6:30pm – 8 pm – Books on Tap: The Craft of Writing about Craft Beer – The StrandYou’ve always wanted to drink beer in The Strand and this is your chance. Oh, also, you’ll get to hear about writing about craft beer from NYC’s best craft beer authors including Jeremy Cowan (proprietor of Shmaltz), Josh Bernstein (The Complete Beer Course and proprietor of many great Homebrew Tours), and John Hall (The American Craft Beer Cookbook). No tickets required, but space is likely limited.
  • Sunday, 3/3 12pm – 3pm - Closing Beer Brunch – Houston Hall: If you want to see a bunch of hungover brewers and beer fans in a huge beer hall that used to be an automotive garage, then this is for you. No tickets required from what I could tell.

Autographed Copies of The Complete Beer Course on Sale

So you’re sitting around coming down from the shopping high that is Cyber Monday and wanting one last fix, right? Yeah, that’s right, I know you are. So, what you should do is get yourself a signed copy of Josh Bernstein’s The Complete Beer Course.

The Complete Beer Course
The Complete Beer Course by Joshua M. Bernstein.
Photo credit: Christopher J. Scott

Why? As Josh puts it:

[...] a portion of every sale is earmarked for diapers for my daughter. She has an insatiable Huggies demand.

If that’s not enough (and it should be because what are you, some sort of monster that doesn’t like cute babies?) it is a great way to learn about beer, regardless of your level of knowledge. Don’t know the first thing about craft beer? You’ll learn so much that your friends will consider you the beer geek/douche in no time. Can’t remember the difference between a gose and a gueuze? You’ll be reminded and probably even learn something you didn’t know. Sounds like a win to me.

Disclaimer: Josh is not only a fine author but a fine friend.

The 5th Annual New York City Beer Week is February 22 – March 3, 2013

I’ll be posting more on this in the next week, but here’s the press release for now.

NYCBG Logo

5th Annual New York City Beer Week
February 22 – March 3, 2013

NYC’s Top Craft Brewers, Celebrity Chefs, Beer Bars and Acclaimed Restaurants
Join Forces for the Premier Craft Beer Spectacle of the Year!

Opening Night Bash @ Galapagos Art Space, NYC Brewer’s Choice 2013, Celebrity Chef Food & Beer Pairing Dinners @ Resto/Applewood/Murray’s Cheese Bar/Blue Smoke, 7th Annual Williamsburg Cask Beer Festival, Jimmy’s Homebrew Jamboree, HE’BREW Beer @ Eugene Mirman Comedy Show (Jewish Museum), 2nd Annual aPORKalypse Now Fest, Split Thy Skull XIV, Urban Oyster Tours, Closing Party @ La Birreria at Eataly, and Much More

Featured Tap Takeovers:
NY State Beers @ Idle Hands Bar & Taproom 307
NY State Barrel-Aged Beers @ Bronx Ale House
Kelso Brewery @ Sycamore
Goose Island Beer Co. @ Dive Bar

New York, NY – January 23, 2013 – Now under the direction of the New York City Brewers Guild, the 5th Annual New York City Beer Week (February 22 – March 3, 2013) will bring together 12 NYC craft breweries, nationally and internationally renowned breweries, tons of beloved NYC beer destinations, celebrity chefs, and acclaimed restaurants for the premier craft beer spectacle of the year. Celebrated events such as NYC Brewer’s Choice 2013, The 2nd Annual aPORKalypse Now Fest, and The 7th Annual Williamsburg Cask Beer Festival will return as part of this year’s Beer Week. The week also features brand new boutique craft beer events, celebrity chef food & beer pairing dinner menus, educational tours, and ambitious tap takeovers from NYC Guild Brewers and beyond. For more information, stay up-to-date at: newyorkcitybrewersguild.com.

Three signature Beer Week events include: Opening Night Bash at Galapagos Art Space, Feb. 22; NYC Brewers Choice 2013 at City Winery, Feb. 27; and the Closing Party at La Birreria at Eataly, Mar. 3. Below you will find detailed information for the three Signature Events, as well as a list of additional special events happening during the 5th Annual New York City Beer Week.

5th Annual New York City Beer Week Signature Events:

*Fri., Feb. 22, 2013: NYC Beer Week Opening Night Bash @ Galapagos Art Space (16 Main Street, Brooklyn, 7 pm – 10 pm, $45)
-Ticket price includes an official NYC Beer Week 2013 tasting glass, and unlimited beer tastings from over 20 American craft breweries. NYC Brewers Guild members and other acclaimed breweries will pour their latest craft beers. To see a full list of breweries, and to purchase tickets, please visit Eventbrite: NYCBeerWeekOpeningNight.eventbrite.com

*Wed., Feb. 27, 2013: NYC Brewers Choice 2013 @ City Winery (155 Varick Street, NYC, 6 pm – 10 pm, $60)
-Join 20+ brewers who will each personally pour his/her most special beers alongside a thoughtful food pairing provided by NYC chefs and artisanal food producers. Dave Broderick (Blind Tiger, Beer Sessions Radio) and Jimmy Carbone (Jimmy’s No. 43) carefully curate the list of brewers and food purveyors to present their favorite specialty beers and artisan treats. Scott Vaccaro, owner/head brewer of Captain Lawrence Brewing, is the keynote speaker. Additional info is available at: brewerschoice2013.eventbrite.com

*Sun., Mar. 3, 2013: NYC Beer Week Closing Party @ La Birreria at Eataly (200 Fifth Ave, NYC, 12 pm – 4 pm)
-The official closing event will showcase various beers from NYC Guild Breweries paired with food selections from Eataly’s lunch menu. It’s a pay-as-you-go event; there’s no fixed price. Reservations can be made via UrbanSpoon.

Beer Week Special Events:

*Thurs., Feb. 21, 2013: HE’BREW Beer Presents Eugene Mirman @ Jewish Museum NY (1109 5th Ave, NYC)
-Shmaltz Brewing is the official beer sponsor for the Eugene Mirman comedy show at the Jewish Museum New York, as part of the Wind Up event series. Various selections in the HE’BREW Beer line-up will be available for purchase.

*Sat., Feb. 23, 2013: Bronx Ale House Presents Rare & Barrel-Aged NY State Breweries Tasting (216 W. 238th Street, Bronx)
-Beer list will feature rare and barrel-aged beers from NY State breweries.

*Feb. 23 – 26, 2013: d. b. a. Brooklyn Presents The 7th Annual Williamsburg Cask Beer Festival (113 N. 7th Street, Brooklyn, cash bar)
-More than a dozen specialty casks will be tapped simultaneously over the 4-day festival. The event will include the “Mega Beer Raffle” fundraiser featuring lots of rarities and vintage bottles. All raffle proceeds will benefit the family of the late Ray Deter, founding partner of d.b.a.

*Feb. 23 – Mar. 2, 2013: Urban Oyster Tours
-Brewed in Brooklyn Tour: Feb. 23 & Mar. 2, 2013 (12 pm – 3:30 pm, $60)
-Fermented NY Craft Beer Crawl of Williamsburg: Feb. 23 & Mar. 2 (1 pm – 4 pm, $65)
-Fermented NY Craft Beer Crawl of East Village: Feb. 28 (3 pm – 6 pm, $65)
-Brewery, Winery, & Distillery Tour: Feb. 23 & Mar. 2 (12 pm – 3:30 pm, $70)
-Tickets available at urbanoyster.com, 347-618-8687

*Mon., Feb. 25, 2013: Blue Smoke Presents Captain Lawrence Beer Dinner (Battery Park City: 255 Vesey Street, NYC, 7 pm, $80)
-Blue Smoke and Captain Lawrence Brewing come together for a standout beer dinner showcasing a special food & craft beer pairing menu.

*Tues., Feb. 26, 2013: Resto NYC Beer Dinner w/ Shmaltz Brewing, Captain Lawrence, and Empire Brewing (111 East 29th Street, NYC, 7 pm – 10 pm, $70)
-Executive Chef Preston Clark will design a 3 – 4 course food pairing menu with standout craft beers from Shmaltz Brewing, Captain Lawrence, and Empire Brewing. Resto will shape the menu to uniquely compliment beers from these fine local breweries. Selections will include Funky Jewbelation (Shmaltz), Hop Manna (Shmaltz), White Aphro (Empire), and Golden Delicious (Captain Lawrence).

* Tues., Feb. 26, 2013: Applewood Beer Dinner w/ Kelso Beer Co. (501 11th Street, NYC, 7 pm)
-Kelso Beer Co. and Applewood will incorporate all facets of the beer production process into this farm-to-brewery-to-table dinner. It’ll feature 5 – 6 courses with dishes such as Beer Poached Sausages, Beer Braised Short-ribs, and even some brewery fresh spent grain pretzel rolls sweetened with malt syrup from the brewery. Kelso Beer List: Pils, Nut Brown Lager, Rauchbier, Pale Ale, and Cabernet Aged Industrial IPA.

*Tues., Feb. 26, 2013: Sycamore Presents Kelso Brewery Night (1118 Cortelyou Rd., Brooklyn, 7 pm, cash bar)
-Kelso Beer Co. will showcase their latest craft beer releases.

*Wed., Feb. 27, 2013: Idle Hands Bar Presents NY State Breweries Tasting from Ommegang, Barrier Brewing & more + Bourbon (25 Ave. B, NYC, $10)
-Beer list will feature selections from exclusively NY State breweries.

*Thurs., Feb. 28, 2013: Dive Bar Presents Goose Island Tap Take Over (732 Amsterdam Ave, NYC, cash Bar)
-Goose Island Beer Co. will showcase their latest craft beer releases.

*Sat., Mar. 2, 2013: Get Real Beer & Alewife Presents “The 2nd Annual aPORKalypse Now” Local Beer and Pork Festival (5-14 51st Avenue, Long Island City, 12 pm – 10 pm, $40)
-“aPORKalypse Now” will feature 10 pigs, all local breweries, cask ale, beer and food pairings, and a special VIP hour. Additional info is available at: aporkalypse13.eventbrite.com

*Sat., Mar. 2, 2013: Jimmy’s No. 43 Presents Jimmy’s Homebrew Jamboree (43 East 7th Street, NYC, 12 pm – 3 pm, $35)
-Jimmy’s Homebrew Jamboree will be hosted by craft beer author Josh Bernstein (Brewed Awakening), and will feature 14 homebrew creations curated by Bernstein and Jimmy’s No. 43 brunch treats.

*Sat., Mar. 2, 2013: Taproom 307 Presents NY State Breweries Tasting (307 3rd Ave, NYC)
-Beer list will feature selections from exclusively NY State breweries.

*Mar. 2 – 3, 2013: Mugs Ale House Presents Split Thy Skull XIV (125 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, cash bar)
-Mugs Ale House will pour around 20 beers each day that are 8% ABV and over. The 2-day event will feature a cask of Blood Brothers IPA, brewed by Brooklyn Brewery for their 20th Anniversary. Lineup will be announced soon at mugsalehouse.com.

*Sun., Mar. 3, 2013: Murray’s Cheese Bar Beer Dinner w/ Garrett Oliver (264 Bleecker Street, NYC, 5 pm – 7 pm, $75)
-Join Brooklyn brewmaster Garrett Oliver and Murray’s resident cheese expert Aaron Foster for a 5-course beer dinner at Murray’s Cheese Bar. Dishes will feature ingredients from Murray’s and be paired with some very special, even “non-existent,” Brooklyn Brewery beers. With Garrett and Aaron sharing their humor and wealth of knowledge as the courses roll out, this event is a treat for both your tastebuds and intellect.

The mission of the New York City Brewers Guild is to advocate for and promote awareness of its local brewing members; to increase the visibility of local beers through innovative events, programming, and consumer education; and to foster a healthy, ethical, and growth-focused craft beer industry throughout the city. The 5th Annual New York City Beer Week continues a beloved citywide celebration of the breadth of exceptional craft beers from around the region and around the world!

The Village Voice partners with The New York City Brewers Guild for the 5th Annual New York City Beer Week. The official Beer Week website will launch in connection with The Village Voice in January 2013.

About the NYCBG:
The New York City Brewers Guild is a pending 501[c]6 non-profit founded to advance New York City’s brewing industry – and thereby lessen human misery. Guild breweries include Bronx Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery, Chelsea Brewing Co., City Island Brewery, La Birreria at Eataly, Harlem Brewing Co., Heartland Brewing Co., KelSo Beer Company, Rockaway Brewing Company, Shmaltz Brewing Co., Sixpoint Brewery and 508 GastroBrewery.

Hospoda NYC Drink Writers Happy Hour

Hospoda Draft System

Last night I attended a media event at Hospoda here in NYC where they showcased their unique draft system by pouring Pilsner Urquell and couple Brooklyn Brewery beers. Hospoda has been on my restaurant list for a while and while their food gets rave reviews what caught my interest, when I first heard about them almost a year ago, was their draught system they call the Bohemian Beer Quadrunner. They use this to pour Pilsner Urquell in four different ways, each giving a different flavor.

Four different Pilsner Urquell pours. Sweet (top left), Slice (top right), Creme (bottom left), Neat (bottom right).
Four different Pilsner Urquell pours. Sweet (top left), Slice (top right), Creme (bottom left), Neat (bottom right). Images courtesy Hall Company.

As soon as I walked in I was handed a small glass (not the mug pictured above) that was mostly foam and told to drink it quickly. Since I’m always up for a drinking challenge (and they were providing beer and snacks) I obliged. My first thought was this tastes like it was poured out of a nitro tap. My second was that this was sweet, without the bite I normally associate with Pilsner Urquell. As I later learned, they use standard CO2 but their tap system aerates the beer and the bartender can vary the flow coming out to create anything from a standard pour to the foamy “Sweet” I just had.

Hospoda Draft System

I moved through their other Urquell pours, each one with less head and creaminess: Slice (four fingers of head); Creme (normal head–the classic way of pouring a Czech pilsner I was told); and Neat (no head). It was definitely an interesting way to taste the same beer and I’d recommend getting flight and enjoying all four.

Hospoda worked with Pilsner Urquell to create the “cold shipped express” initiative to get the beer from the brewery in the Czech Republic to the US in just two weeks, refrigerated throughout the journey. They take their beer seriously and the attention to detail in pouring, serving, and caring for the beer is noticeable. The centerpiece of the restaurant is the bar that houses the Quadrunner with a plexiglass floor in front of it that looks down into their spotless, well-organized beer and wine cooler.

After the Urquell I decided to try Brooklyn Brewery’s current Brewmaster’s Reserve, There Will Be Black, a hoppy black ale I had a month or so ago at the brewery. I liked it there and also when poured through Hospoda’s Quadrunner. Was it better? Worse? I have no idea since I don’t have tasting notes or a memory to speak of. After only serving Pilsner Urquell since they opened about a year and a half ago, why add Brooklyn Brewery’s beers? Hospoda started by purchasing a sixtel of Brooklyn Lager to try on the system and invited the owners and brewmaster Garrett Oliver to stop by to taste it—where they noted it tasted as fresh as it does from the brewery when poured through the Quadrunner.

If you are looking for a good, interesting beer experience that you can’t get anywhere else in the US along with some great Czech-inspired food I’d definitely check it out. There’s something for both the beer geeks and foodies in your party.

Disclaimer: At this event I and the other attendees received complimentary: beer and snacks from Hospoda; a complimentary mug from Pilsner Urquell; and a complimentary bottle opener from Brooklyn Brewery.

Review: Social Ave’s Beer EssentiALES Beer Glasses

A glass for (most) every style.

Beer EssentiALES are a new product from Social Ave., distributed by long-time glassware producer Luigi Bormioli. I wouldn’t review beer glasses without something to make them interesting and in this case there were two things. First, I have a couple sets of Luigi Bormioli cocktail glasses and really like the look and feel of them. Second, they are targeted to craft beer drinkers.

Note the set of glasses I used was provided to me by the manufacturer. The beer consumed was provided by me.

The glasses are made of borosilicate glass. This does two things. First, it makes them very light. More importantly though, it makes you feel like you are using a lab beaker to drink your beer and gives you a satisfied mad scientist feeling. I’ve had a couple friends use them and both commented on how light they were and their surprise that it felt good when they were used to heavier glassware. The style-specific shapes are a modern touch on the classics. [update: this also means they are strong. I tested this claim by dropping one when putting it away. It fell to the counter with no damage at all.]

I’d recommend these if you you’re looking for some interesting, nice looking beer glasses. As of 5/29/12 the only place I can find these online is Everything Kitchen ($29.99) but they should be on Amazon soon.