Fourth Annual New York Craft Beer Week Kicks Off This Friday

September 13, 2011
Bierkraft's display at Brewers Choice, 2010

Clare Goggin

Over the past four years, New York’s Craft Beer Week has become a wonderful collection of events created by a beer-loving and friendly group of people. This year is no different.

The 2011 New York Craft Beer Week will feature several events and it’s always hard to plan each day. To give you a little hint, here’s a guide to the events that Mad Hops and I either will attend or that we really want to attend over the next few beer-filled days — along with a few back-ups if we can’t get into the party. Hope to see all of your beautiful faces this year over a pint of quality beer!

Side Note: I’m a little disappointed in how few events have been planned for anywhere other than Brooklyn or Manhattan. There are a few in Queens and maybe one in the Bronx but we really need to step it up here — am I right? This is New York City’s craft beer week — not Manhattan and Brooklyn Craft Beer Week.

Friday, September 16, 2011 – Day 1
Barrier Brewing Co. at Rattle ‘N’ Hum: Best to jump in feet first with craft beer week and a few pints of Barrier and maybe some of the darker Greenport Harbor ales are not a bad way to start. Also, you’ll make tons of knowledgeable friends at Rattle ‘N’ Hum who can point you in the right direction when you’re staring at that very long beer list on the wall.
Free Event, 4pm to midnight; 14 East 33rd Street, Midtown East

Freaktoberfest at Southpaw: Friday nights are good for a party and it sounds like Southpaw’s got quite a New York Craft Beer Week kick-off party planned. It’s unlikely that we’ll be trekking out to Brooklyn this Friday but for those of you (and I know there’s several of you) already in Brooklyn, Southpaw will be ripe with beer and entertainment — and by that, I mean burlesque dancers and live music. It will be the night before the official Oktoberfest begins after all so why not celebrate with Freaktoberfest?
Tickets: $50, 7pm – 1am; 125 Fifth Ave., Park Slope

Saturday, September 17, 2011 – Day 2
Pig Roast with Lagunitas Brewery at Farm on Adderly: Pig. Roast. That’s really all I need to say here but I’ll go on … Chef Tom Kearney is hosting this 14 hour pig roast and Lagunitas will be on hand to pour their brews as well. The roasting begins at midnight but you won’t get more than a peek at the pig unless you come a little later in the afternoon for a plate.
Plates: $25, 2pm – 8pm (food served at 4pm); 1108 Cortelyou Road, Flatbush

Thrillist Craft Beer Crawls, multiple locations: Always a great way to pass a Saturday, beer crawls are not only fun but they’re active — so you’re also walking off all those beer calories. This one involves several great craft beer locations and you can choose between a Brooklyn crawl or a Manhattan crawl — though Mad Hops and I are not really sure why there’s no Queens crawl!
Passes: $25-$34 (depending on how many bars you want to hit), noon – 4pm; multiple locations

Sunday, September 18, 2011 – Day 3
Special Brewed in Brooklyn Tours with Urban Oyster Tours: I admit it — I’m a geek for a good tour. Especially one with beer. If there are any other tour/beer geeks out there, then we should definitely look into this event. It follows the history of Brooklyn brewing from the Brooklyn Brewery to the Coney Island Brewing Company. You’ll get beer, brunch and transportation along the way. Plus there’s some walking involved so you’re once again walking off those beer calories — ain’t nuthin’ wrong with that!
Tickets:$79, Starts at noon; Brooklyn Brewery, 79 North 11th Street, Williamsburg

Ommegang Beer & Cheese pairing at Greene Grape Provisions: Cheese, please! Pairing artisanal American cheeses with Belgian-inspired American brews always sounds like a superb idea to me. In fact, there is a school of thought that beer is a better pairing for cheese than even wine. So why not experience that during New York Craft Beer Week with this event. Greene Grape knows what they’re doing when it comes to craft food so let them handle the cheese; Brewery Ommegang will be on hand to pour their brews.
Free Event, 3pm – 6pm; 753 Fulton Street, Fort Greene

Monday, September 19, 2011 – Day 4
Captain Lawrence Beer Pairing Dinner at Blue Smoke: Two things I love about this event: Captain Lawrence brews (they don’t specify which ones) and the promise of braised pork belly. Yum! The brewery’s own Scott Vaccaro will be on hand to host the event and personally pour you some delicious and refreshing beers. Go and enjoy and make sure you try the sweet potato fries.
By reservation only, Tickets: $75, 7pm – 10pm; 116 East 27th Street, Murray Hill

The Great Gnomegang Hunt at Pour George: Honestly, I don’t have a ton of information on this event; I just really loved the name. I haven’t even been to Pour George, which opened earlier this summer but they seem to have a decent (though conservative) tap list along with some good eats. Seems to be a great place to go for a taste of the Ommegang/Brasserie d’Achouffe collaboration beer on a Monday night.
Free Event, 6pm – 9pm; 35 West 8th Street, Greenwich Village

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 – Day 5
Not Too Drunk To Read at Pacific Standard: Literature is the central theme of this party at the Good Beer Seal-winning bar. Schmaltz Brewing’s own Jeremy Cowan wrote a book and he wants to read it to you while you drink one of six Schmaltz beers on tap. You really can’t beat that … well, unless this was an event in Queens — that would beat this. Anyhow, Schmaltz and Pacific Standard are hosting this party to celebrate the release of Jeremy’s book, Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah. So be nice and at least try to pay attention — maybe there’ll even be pictures in this book!
Free Event, 6pm – 9pm; 82 Fourth Ave., Park Slope

The Brewmasters’ Series, Victory Brewing Company at Colicchio & Sons: Our neighbors from Downingtown, Pa., will be joining the team at Colicchio in sons to pair their delicious brews with a menu created by Chef James Tracey and Pastry Chef Stephen Colluci. It’s always nice to spend time with neighbors — especially when they make beer like Victory. Masterbrewer Bill Covaleski will be bringing some of that beer with him so check it out if you can. The tickets are a bit expensive so be sure you haven’t maxed out your credit cards first.
By reservation only, Entrance Fee: $95, 6:30pm – 9pm; 85 Tenth Ave., Chelsea

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 – Day 6
Cigar City Brewery & Oyster Party at Jimmy’s #43: Mad Hops loves oysters; I love Cigar City. This might be the perfect combination. Some of Cigar City’s more limited beers will be on hand and, since I recently visited the brewery in Tampa, Fl., I can assure you, they’re gonna be good. I don’t really have much to say about the oysters — but they’re local (from Brooklyn) and they’ll be available all night. Jimmy’s a fantastic host so this one is a can’t-miss for me, at least.
Price: (Not really sure but it appears to be free admission), 6pm – 10pm; 43 East 7th Street, East Village

Midnight Meet the Brewer at Spring Lounge: This is another one that I don’t have a lot of info on but San Gennaro will be in full swing on the front doorstep of Spring Lounge. The meeting with Empire Brewing’s brewmaster — and the rest of the team, for that matter — doesn’t happen until midnight so the idea of enjoying San Gennaro then hanging out with a bunch of brewers definitely appeals to us.
Free Event, midnight – 4am; 48 Spring Street, Nolita

Thursday, September 22, 2011 – Day 7
Very Old Beer & Stinky Cheese at Ginger Man: As I’ve mentioned above, I like me some cheese ‘n’ beer. So the promise of both pretty much anywhere at any time is a top priority for me. This particular one is hosted by celeb brewer and Dogfish Head founder, Sam Calagione. Having met the guy a few times while writing a story about Birreria for Mutineer magazine, I can promise that he will be charming and funny and a great addition to any beer and cheese pairing. Oh — and free glassware. Done!
Free Event, 5pm – 8pm; 11 East 36th Street, Midtown East

Brewers’ Choice at City Winery: Having attended this in the past, I am excited about this year’s event. Your ticket gets you access to a large collection of brews sprinkled all around City Winery. In addition, each beer entry has a food pairing partner. My favorite last year was probably the sausage in a pretzel roll with sweet onion jelly paired with Ithaca White Gold. I can only assume that the same fantastic beers and foods will be there this year. Although, I also assume that Greg Hall (formerly of Goose Island) will likely not be the keynote speaker this year …
Tickets: $55 – $1,000 (for VIP groups), 6pm – 10pm; 155 Varick Street, Soho

Friday, September 23, 2011 – Day 8
Food and Beer Pairing with the Bronx Brewery at Cafe D’Alsace: One of the newest breweries in the area, Bronx Brewery has earned a lot of buzz. Cafe D’Alsace’s own sommelier and cicerone will be on hand to personally pair delicious eats with several brews that the brewery has to offer. Specific details are yet to come but I’m interested in seeing what may be the first beer week entry for this new brewery. (Though I could be wrong about that — am I wrong?)
Free Event, 7pm – 9pm; 1695 Second Ave., Yorkville

NYC vs. Boston Beer Night at The Stag’s Head: What a perfect night to pit NYC brews against their cohorts in Boston. Join in on this taste-off set against the Yankees vs. Red Sox game going on the same night. You might be surprised which city wins this beer-off — or maybe you won’t. Who are we to say, really?
Free Event, 6pm – 4am; 252 East 51st Street, Midtown East

Saturday, September 24, 2011 – Day 9
Williamsburg, Bushwick & Park Slope Homebrewers’ Tours: It doesn’t really get much more local than New York City homebrewers’ — especially since we’re typically working with very little space. Lead by beer journalist Joshua M. Bernstein, this tour will give you the opportunity to meet Chris O’Leary (Brew York, New York and friend of Beer Goggins), Jason Knight and Billingsgate Brewery which is making beers especially for the tour.
Tickets: $25, 2pm – 7pm; Location will be disclosed upon purchase of ticket

Home on the Grange Festival at Manchester Pub: The largest celebration of local and sustainable foods in New York City, this festival combines all-inclusive beverages, tasty snacks (hors d’oerves for the foodies) and awe-inspiring views from the rooftop of the Brooklyn Grange. You’ll leave full and happy after all is said and done.
Admission: $89, 2pm – 5pm or 6pm – 9pm; 37-18 Northern Boulevard, Long Island City

Sunday, September 25, 2011 – Day 10
Rare Ass Beer Brunch ‘N’ Bruzzer at Rattle ‘N’ Hum: On the last day of New York Craft Beer Week, brunch will be a key meal. Head over to Rattle ‘N’ Hum to get your fill and get your hands on some rare beers. Be warned, it’ll be crowded and the food won’t exactly be gourmet. But if you’re anything like Mad Hops and I, you may be digging for change in your pocket at this point so this will likely be an affordable but high-quality option. And you can Untappd all your rare beers as you eat.
Free Event, noon – 4pm; 14 East 33rd Street, Midtown East

Brewers’ Brunch at Hudson Terrace: I can’t tell a lie — I’m typically not a fan of Hudson Terrace (over-priced and a little douchey but a nice view). However, since this official beer week closing event will be hosted by the New York Craft Beer Week team and they use the term “Kegs & Eggs” in the description, I think this will be an exception to the rule. Not only does this involve food, it also features the Giants vs. Eagles game — so throw on the added appeal of Sunday football and you’ve got a pretty good event.
Tickets: $40, noon – 4:30pm; 621 West 46th Street, Hell’s Kitchen

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