September 16-September 25 in NYC Craft Beer Events – my picks

Stone rep Dennis Flynn, Greg Koch, me & my Dad at last year's Stone Tap Takeover at Rattle n Hum. (I really should have practiced my Gregface)

Today begins the annual orgy of everything craft beer collectively known as NY Craft Beer Week.  Last year was amazing – night after night of unbelievable events, incredible beer & food, and fascinating beer personalities.  I had a spectacular time throughout.  It’s extremely tough to choose through all of the goings-on and you’re probably not going to go wrong no matter what you do.  I’m laying it out like this – where I’ll be each night and where I wish I could be if there were more than one of me.  I’m including official NY Craft Beer Week events along with unrelated events.

First – go buy your NY Craft Beer Week passport.  They’re available for $10 at every establishment that is participating in NY Craft Beer Week.  They entitle you to a $3 beer (a brewery has been pre-chosen for each place) at each bar or restaurant inside and discounts at all the stores.  If you don’t make it to every joint (which is humanly impossible in my mind unless you drank from open to close every day for the full ten days), you will get $2 off one NY state produced beer at each bar or restaurant and a discount at the stores good through Labor Day 2012.  So it’s a sweet deal no matter how you look at it.  And a great excuse to check out some of those places that have been on your to-go list.

*As of this morning, the NY Craft Beer Week is available for both the iPhone & the Android.  There’s a free version that everyone should get & a paid version that gives you all the benefits of the paper passport. For the iPhone:  paid version here & free version here.  I’m not sure how downloading Droid apps work but here’s a link to the free version & the paid version.

Ah, so here goes:

Friday the 16th:

I’ll be at Freaktoberfest, the official opening event of NY Craft Beer Week.  This is always a fun, fun time – awesome beer, live music, burlesque and sideshow freaks.  Who could ask for more?  This year it is being held at Southpaw in Park Slope, runs from 7 pm-1 am and $50 tickets are still available – get them here.  I’ll be pouring for Wandering Star Brewery – if you go, please stop by and say hi.

Where Mary clones would be (and you if for some reason you don’t like drinking killer beer while watching scantily clad dancers and sword swallowing):  Rattle n Hum for Barrier & Greenport Harbor night.  Two of my favorite local breweries sharing the taps – a partial draft list is here. Or Jimmy’s No 43 for the Greenport Harbor event & release of their new Otherside IPA.  Idle Hands is having a 1 Year Anniversary Party with $1 craft drafts til 8 pm.  Or Rye House for Ommegang night.  Or The Pony Bar for Ithaca night.  You really can’t go wrong tonight.

Saturday the 17th: 

I’ll be at Spuyten Duyvil for Zwanze Day.

On Tap:
1. Cantillon Zwanze 2011 (NOT TAPPED UNTIL 3pm)
2. Cantillon Kriek
3. Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus
4. Tilquain a L’Ancienne Oude Gueuze (The NYC Debut of the first Lambic Blender in 15 years and the 1st ever located in Wallonia)
5. Allagash/New Belgium Vrienden (A collaboration brewed with dandelion greens and elderberries and fermented using a blend of New Belgium’s Lactobacillus strain and the Allagash Brettanomyces strain.)
6. De La Senne Taras Boulba (One of the greatest low alcohol beer in the world and brewed by Yvan de Betts who also help develop Zwanze 2010.)

In Cask:
Hanssens Oude Kriek (In Firkin!)

In Bottle:
Cantillon Zwanze 2010
Tilquain a L’Ancienne Oude Gueuze
De Oude Cam Oude Lambick
Hanssens Experimental Raspberry, Cassis and Scarenbecca
Cascade Kriek
Avery Brabant and Depuceleuse
Two Brothers Askew
Victory Wild Devil 2008
Lover Beer Beer Bera

Other places I would love to be:  Ginger Man is hosting 11 French Brewers.  Sycamore (Ditmas Park) is having a pig roast with Lagunitas beer (limited availability – click on the link for tickets).  Thrillist is hosting a series of pub crawls.  Jimmy’s No 43 has The Homemade Fare & and Empire event.

Sunday the 18th: 

I’m hosting a stop on Josh Bernstein’s Park Slope Homebrew Tour.  Tickets are limited and available here.  I’ll be pouring my Gratzer (with 100% home-smoked cherrywood malt), my Gose, an Earl Grey Tea Ale & my brand-new Absinthola (absinthe-inspired soda) plus maybe a few more goodies.

Other goodness:  Brew n’ Chew at the Diamond.  Amazing event – get your ticket before it sells out!  Dogfish Head brunch at Rattle n Hum (reservation required).  Or the Empire brunch at Taproom 307.

Monday the 19th:

I’ll be at the Brooklyn Brewery for a private release party. And probably at Rattle n Hum at some point to help celebrate a friend’s birthday & drink some delicious Empire brews.

Oh, but there are many other places that I wish I was:  The Stag’s Head is hosting a sweet Allagash tasting.  Sycamore has a Scandinavian beer & cheese pairing featuring 12% Imports beers (ticketed event).  Jimmy’s No 43 is hosting a Nanos and Nomads dinner featuring beer from Wandering Star, Pretty Things, Blind Bat & Barrier (ticketed event). Blue Smoke has a Captain Lawrence dinner (reservations required).  Resto has an Ultimate Brewmaster’s Degustation Dinner with 6 courses and each course is paired with 2 beers (reservations required).

Tuesday the 20th:

I’ll be at the New York City Homebrewers Guild Meeting at Burp Castle (speaker to be determined).

And Holy Cow!  I don’t even know where to start with everything else tonight:  Try the newest Brooklyn Brewmaster’s Reserve, The Companion, along with several other Brooklyn beers at Good Beer in the East Village.  The theme for the $10 Tuesday Tasting at Jimmy’s No 43 tonight is Northeastern Small Breweries.  Listen to Jeremy Cowan of Shmaltz read from his memoir “Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah” while drinking the “Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah” sampler of 6 Shmaltz beers at Pacific Standard (books & beer=a great pairing).  Colicchio & Sons has a Victory beer pairing dinner with an amazing menu (reservation required).  Dive 75 is hosting a Taste of Brooklyn event, featuring beer from Kelso, Brooklyn, Sixpoint & Coney Island.  Rye House is hosting a Dogfish Head event featuring ancient & specialty ales.  Rattle n Hum has a Captain Lawrence event with a very appealing list.  Head down to Spring Lounge after 11:45 pm for Empire Brewing. Phew.

Wednesday the 21st: 

I’ll be at The Pony Bar for the Barrier event – 22 freaking taps of one of my favorite breweries, yeehah!

Other worthiness:  Fifteen taps of Empire Brewing tastiness at Dive Bar.  Pretty Things at Rye House.  Sixpoint Beer Dinner at Colicchio & Sons – yet another amazing menu (reservations required).  George Keeley has Ithaca beers on.  Explore the fun world of beer cocktails at Taproom 307.  The Ginger Man is showcasing Japanese beers.  And Just Food has the Let Us Eat Local fundraiser at the Altman Building (ticketed event). In Williamsburg, Huckleberry Bar is hosting a Summer Blowout Belgian Beer Celebration with $15 flights ($20 with food pairing).  Jimmy’s No 43 has a Cigar City Throwdown, featuring the one & only keg of Tiramisu Sweet Stout to reach NY.

Thursday the 22nd:

I’ll be at Brewer’s Choice at City Winery.  This was one of my favorite NY Craft Beer Week events last year – incredible beer & food (ticketed event).  Oh, and a keynote speech from Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster, author of the newly published Oxford Companion to Beer (which I can not wait to get my sticky little hands on) and a most excellent speaker.

Also awesome:  Hang out with the always entertaining Greg Koch at Rattle n Hum for a Stone tap takeover – start practicing your Gregface now!  Empire Brewing tap takeover at The Pony Bar.  Sam Calagione will be at The Ginger Man for a Very Old Beer & Extremely Stinky Cheese event – intense & delicious (ticketed event)!  Bierkraft is hosting an Ithaca event in Park Slope.  The Double Windsor in Windsor Terrace is throwing an NY vs PA event, with fourteen drafts of Greenport Harbor, Blue Point, Victory & Troegs – and all drafts are only $5.  The Guilty Goose is having a Cigar City Meet the Brewers dinner (reservations required).

Friday the 23rd: 

I have not yet decided where I’ll be tonight but this is what I will be choosing from:  Kelso night at Breukelen Bier Merchants.  The Stag’s Head has a NYC vs Boston event.  Rye House has a Rye event with rye beers on tap & rye whisky specials (this one’s in the lead at the moment – I love me some rye).  The Pony Bar is hosting Great Adirondack Brewing Company (which you don’t see too often down this way).  Mugs Ale House has a Sierra Nevada Meet the Brewer event.

Saturday the 24th: 

Once again, I’m not sure where I’ll be today but these lead the pack:  Taproom 307 has an All New York, All Day & Night event.  Rattle n Hum has a NY State Beer & Cask FestThere’s a “Have Beer, Will Travel” festival at Hudson Terrace, featuring 50 beers primarily from NY & Canada (ticketed event) – cancelled.  Home on the Grange is a festival featuring local beer & food (ticketed event).  The Rye House has a Breckenridge eventDrink NY state beers & listen to NYU Steel, a steel drum group, at Dive Bar.  And Idle Hands has $5 craft drafts all day long.

Sunday the 25th:

I’ll be detoxing with girlfriends at the marvelous Spa Castle but if I wasn’t, I’d be at the Brewer’s Brunch – the Official Closing Event of NY Craft Beer Week.  Tickets are available here  Cancelled. *NEW*: Rattle n Hum is having a Mission Brewery launch tomorrow – list here.

And that’s it.  For now, anyway – I might add more picks as additional details come my way.  Choose wisely but I bet you won’t be disappointed in anything you do.  This is a great week for exploring craft beer and especially the exciting world of NY-brewed beer with multiple Empire, Ithaca, Barrier and Greenport Harbor events, to name a few.  Pace yourself, eat along the way, hydrate and enjoy yourself!  I hope to see many of you out there.





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