NYC Beer Week is over, the dust has settled and we can now take a minute to recap what happened.
Overall, the week was a great success – a well planned and executed showcase for all the great beer being brewed in New York. The addition of the NYC Beer Week app also made finding events throughout the city easier and made the festivities more accessible for the busy New Yorker. We look forward to exploring the app more next year and hopefully it can be built to operate year round.
Despite all the great events this week, there were two standouts to me that embodied the collaborative spirit of craft beer: The Redhead’s Fried Chicken and Donuts Brunch featuring an Other Half Brewing Tap Takeover and the NYCBW Kickoff Panel at DBGB Kitchen and Bar.
My girlfriend and I woke up a bit groggy from the Beer Cruise the day before and made our way downtown to get some brunch and recharge at The Redhead. This is the event both of us were most looking forward to and we were not disappointed.
We ordered a flight of four Underwest Donuts, which consisted of their Dark Chocolate with Beer Nuts, Maple Waffle with Beer Nuts, the Carwash and the Short, Dark and Round donuts. I washed the donuts down with an Other Half Peachwood Aged Sour before moving on to enjoy the Stacks on Stacks Double IPA. The fried chicken was prepared perfectly and was served with a maple waffle donut for a fun and creative take on “chicken and waffles.”
One reason that this brunch was such a standout in my mind was that it was truly a collaboration between three great food and beer companies. Underwest Donuts, The Redhead and Other Half Brewing all put their best foot forward in creating complete, comprehensive, creative and delicious experience.
The second event which expertly captured NYC’s craft beer culture was the panel discussion at DBGB featuring industry experts, Kelly Taylor (KelSo owner, President of Brewers Guild), Garrett Oliver (Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster), Benjamin Weiss (The Bruery, Director of Brand Marketing) with Jimmy Carbone (Jimmy’s No. 43 Owner, Beer Sessions Radio Host) acting as the moderator.
That night of beers started with The Bruery’s Jardinier inspired by the sessionable beers found on a Belgian dinner table. We then we transitioned to Brooklyn’s Lord Sorachi, an imperial version of the very popular Sorachi Ace Saison, which despite its 9.5% ABV drank easily and contained excellent coconut flavors created by the unique Sorachi Ace hop. The night ended with an imperial IPA by KelSo featuring over a half dozen hops and a punchy, citrus aroma.
The panel of experts discussed a variety of subjects and two, in particular, caught my attention.
The first was a discussion on use of the term “craft” in the beer world and whether or not the industry has outgrown it. Garrett Oliver defended the Brewers Association’s need to define the term, but went on to state that the term is all about the vision of the individual running the company no matter how many barrels per year being produced.
The panel also discussed the separation between NY breweries and how many of the brewers in the city haven’t even met. Kelly Taylor added that this is one of the issues that NYC Beer Week hopes to fix by bringing the entire NY beer community together. A cause we can all support.
With NYC Beer Week now in the rear view mirror, we are looking forward to how the industry will change this year. New breweries are sure to open their doors across the state and we can expect a bigger and better beer week next year.
Thank you to all the breweries, restaurants and bars for their participation and the New York Brewers Guild for organizing such a great week for beer!