A couple weekends ago, I heard about a Manhattan homebrew tour going on as part of NY Craft Beer Week. With a description like this, how could I resist going?
On this intimate homebrew tour, you and 25 strangers—soon to become drinking buddies and friends—will venture inside the homes of three of the city’s finest amateur brewers. Part voyeuristic excursion, part bar crawl, part educational class, the brewers will display their set-ups, discuss their craft and, most importantly, open up their stash of superlative beer.
In his welcome email organizer Josh Bernstein notes “There will be lots of beer today, so I heartily recommend eating a sizable breakfast/lunch”. With three stops and at least four beers to sample per stop with multiple samples per beer for most beers, having an entire pizza for lunch turned out to be a good idea.
The first stop was at Tommy Furnari’s apartment where he poured an English bitter, a pale ale, a Bavarian hefeweizen, and a nut brown. All were delicious and there was some great conversation, questions, and knowledge sharing going on with the other homebrewers on the tour. Tommy was fairly new to brewing and did a great job on all his beers despite what, even by Manhattan standards, is a small kitchen.
Next up was Chris Weik who is a friend of Tommy’s and got him started in brewing. Chris has been brewing for about four years and recently was named the Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room and Kelso of Brooklyn Homebrew Hero for his Saison du Stiff (RB) recipe. We tasted two saisons–including Saison du Stiff–a porter, a pumpkin ale he bottled last year and a bottling from the original Saison du Stiff.
The final stop was Rich Buceta’s. Rich is in the process of opening up a brewery, SingleCut Beersmiths. In the mean time, he’s brewing an assload of awesome beer in his apartment. Rich had a tasting menu that spanned pages with about twenty brews on it. His fridge was a force to be reckoned with. We were able to sample the beers he is planning on launching with as well as anything else he had brewed up. He was more than gracious and kept pouring beers until late into the night and gave some of us there at the end beer of our choice to go.
This was a really fun tour. Josh was a knowledgeable and personable guide and Tommy, Chris, and Rich were all great hosts that are brewing some excellent beer. If you’re in Manhattan or Brooklyn after Josh takes a break from recent tours and GABF–where he’ll be debuting his new book Brewed Awakening–you should go on a tour.
View all the pictures from the Manhattan home brew tour.