There Were No Branded Brewskis at the Pride of Brooklyn Homebrew Festival

Categories: Beer, Video

The second-annual Pride of Brooklyn Homebrew Festival went down over the weekend at Littlefield (622 Degraw St.) in Park Slope. The day was filled with 25 of Brooklyn's top homebrewed beers open for the tasting. There was a wide range of choices: from smoked porters, extra hoppy IPAs and fruit blends that would have you think it's already summer.

Video by Jessica Pitcher for the Village Voice.

See also: "Photos: Homebrewed Beer Comes Out Into the Open."

Homebrew Community Shines at Pride of Brooklyn

Categories: Beer

Twenty-four sets of amateur brewers gathered in Gowanus on Saturday to compete for top honors at the Pride of Brooklyn Homebrew Festival. The event, held at Littlefield (622 Degraw Street, Brooklyn, 718-855-3388) for the second year, welcomed hundreds of attendees to sample a diverse range of styles, from ESB, smoked beer, and cream ale to gose, a rainbow of IPAs and pale ales, and fruit beers. Organizer Casey Soloff explained that while participants sign up at will, he tries to curate the offerings so that people don't all bring the same beers.

More »

Thousands Win Develops a Beer-y Way to Improve the Environment

Thousands Win co-founders Julian Hensarling and Caleb Freese

After 20 years, it was bracelets and boulders that reunited kindergarten friends Julian Hensarling and Caleb Freese: The pair ran into each other at a Brooklyn rock climbing gym. "Julian came up to me, and we were both wearing bracelets from Bierkraft, which is one of our favorite bars," Freese says. "It was kind of odd that both of us would put Bierkraft bracelets on separate of each other."

The chance encounter set in motion a beer-related business partnership; a year later, the duo started to work on Thousands Win, an urban farm brewery and rooftop hop farm.

More »

Drink Small for Session Beer Day

Categories: Beer

April 7 marks an important historical event for beer drinkers: Little Repeal Day, when, in 1933, after 13 long years of Prohibition, beer of 4% alcohol by volume (ABV) or less became legal again. (Full repeal occurred eight months later, on December 5, 1933.) Since 2012, the day has become known among certain enthusiasts as Session Beer Day -- a holiday to celebrate and promote tasty, low-alcohol brews.

That doesn't mean light beers, though. Sessions are not a lesser version of something else, they're beers in their own right, with a low alcohol level conducive to a prolonged drinking session (hence the name). Lew Bryson, drinks writer and founder of the Session Beer Project, defines the term using loose but important criteria: 4.5% or lower ABV, with enough flavor and balance to keep you interested over multiple pints. "I just want a beer that's not going to interrupt the conversation," he says. It should be "low-alcohol, but not low-taste."

More »

How to Explore Queens This Spring

Categories: BQEats, Beer, Queens

Though we're currently being treated to a final wintry blast, spring is officially here. As the last piles of exhaust-blackened snow melt away, the city's biggest borough plays host to a number of food-related events. Here, we preview the coming season of eating and drinking in Queens.

More »

Gun Hill Brewing: The New Little Brewery in the Big, Bad Bronx

Categories: Beer

Photos by Susannah Skiver Barton
Brewmaster Chris Sheehan with Gun Hill Brewing Company owners Kieran Farrell and Dave Lopez
You may not be looking for a reason to go to the Bronx, but consider this one: after 50 years without a working brewery, mash tuns and fermentation tanks are once again chugging along in the borough.

One of the breweries responsible for the revival is Gun Hill Brewing Company (3227 Laconia Avenue, Bronx, 718-881-0010), which is sandwiched between an auto shop and the local 262 plasterers' union on a desolate block off East Gun Hill Road. The brainchild of two baseball-playing buddies and seasoned brewmaster Chris Sheehan (formerly of Chelsea Brewing Company), Gun Hill's taproom has only been open for a few weeks -- and the grand debut on March 22 welcomed Bronx locals and intrepid travelers from more far-flung boroughs alike.

More »

10 Great Beers for Spring

Categories: Beer

Photos by Susannah Skiver Barton
After approximately 59,827 feet of snow this winter, we're more than ready to shake off the lingering chill and get outside. And now that it's staying light into the evening hours, it's easy to take advantage of seasonal drinking at your favorite park, backyard patio, or stoop. Try one of these beers to ward off bad memories of slush lakes and polar vortices, and get a jump start on enjoying warmer weather.

More »

NYC Craft Beer Winter Harvest Festival Returns

Categories: Beer, Events

Hand Crafted Tasting Company
Once upon time, New York was a major beer producer. Prohibition, though, in addition to wiping out fun, destroyed the Empire State's role as a leader among beer regions. Now, our great city appears to be angling for a comeback. Along with breweries in every borough and some great brewpubs, we have become champions of the great tradition of beer festivals. And on November 23 and 24, New Yorkers can take part in the NYC Craft Beer Festival - Winter Harvest held at the Lexington Armory (Lexington Avenue and 25th Street).

More »

Alobar Celebrates Second Anniversary With Nose To Tail Party

Alobar via Facebook
Alobar's popcorn builds on its nose-to-tail philosophy.
Two years ago, Jeff Blath opened Alobar (46-42 Vernon Boulevard, 718-752-6000) in Long Island City two years ago, implementing a nose-to-tail menu that's kept the neighborhood well-fed. That type of cooking is no longer a novel idea -- butcher-chefs proliferated throughout the city some time back -- but that doesn't take away from its benefits: The method is one of the most sustainable ways to cook meat because it means using the whole animal, including often-ignored cuts like kidney, liver, and other offal.

More »

Braven Brewing Company Works Toward Opening a Brewery, Bringing Brewing Back to Bushwick

Braven via Kickstarter
Marshall Thompson, left, and Eric Feldman want to revive Bushwick's brewing legacy.
Williamsburg may have been the center of Brooklyn's globe-spanning craft revolution, but it's neighbor to the east, Bushwick, has come on strong in recent years--and as artists and artisans continue to move in, it's unsurprising that we're seeing a steady rise in shops, galleries, and restaurants, and we'll likely soon experience an uptick in breweries and distilleries. Breweries, as it happens, are nothing new for this part of the city: By the 1890s, Bushwick, then a German immigrant community, was home to the thriving Brewers' Row, a 14-block stretch of Bushwick Avenue that housed 14 breweries--and produced a third of the beer consumed in the city. Prohibition hammered the area, but the last of those historic shops held on until the 1970s before it finally dried up.

Now, there's very little physical evidence of the bygone industry, save for a few landmarked buildings. It's only a matter of time, though, before that modern wave of creative DIY-ers revive the craft--and that could happen as soon as next year: Braven Brewing Company is raising funds right now to open a brewery in Bushwick.

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault