It’s that time of year once again… New York Craft Beer Week kicks off tonight bringing some of the world’s best beers to the Big Apple. From September 16th through the 25th, dozens of breweries from across the nation and around the world will feature their newest fall beers, finest year round drafts and special one-off pours throughout the five boroughs. And with this year’s festivities coinciding with the first week of Oktoberfest, its time for New York to get downright sudsy with some of the best beer events of the year. And, of course, we’re taking I Drunk That to the street to cover all the action of 2011 NY Craft Beer Week!
While this week’s calendar can be a bit overwhelming, fear not. Below is a list of the best NY Craft Beer Week events, broken down by day to keep you properly boozy all week long. Keep an eye out for our lens at a lot of these events and be sure to say hi!
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th
4th Annual Freaktoberfest
The official kick off party of NY Craft Beer week is just that… one major party. Bands, burlesque, and outstanding beers kickstart the week at this all-you-can-drink, two floor, Brooklyn blowout. Shmaltz Brewing Company bring their whole corral of brews including Geektoberfest, a collaboration with Captain Lawrence and Ithaca Brewing Company made specifically for Craft Beer Week. Bear Republic, Bruery, Pretty Things, Stone and many more join in alongside some special “guest brewed” featuring local homebrew heroes. Top it off with some fantastic live music, including amazing funk from NYC’s own Otis Funkmeyer, and you’ve got quite a night to remember. $50 gets you in and tickets are still available at the door. 7pm – 1am.
- Long Island’s Barrier Brewing kicks off Rattle ‘n Hum’s week of madness
- The Pony Bar lines up nine rare and year-round brews from Ithaca Brewing Company
- Rye House serves up Ommegang brews all night alongside “Abbey” Beer Cheese, House-Made “Hennepin” Beef Jerky, “Witte” Mussels
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th
Oktoberfest at Radegast Hall
So this is not a Craft Beer Week event, per say, but it is Oktoberfest so today is a great chance to kick back with a liter of feistbeer and a sausage at Brooklyn’s best biergarten. Radegast will have live music, an honorary keg tapping and the annual Oktoberfest pig roast. The festivities continue all week but tonight is the big kickoff. PROST!
- Keep things international at The Gingerman for their French Beer Night
- Jimmy’s No 43 keeps things local with local fare. Meet the Tim and Dave of Empire Brewing Company
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th
Brew and Chew
Crafting beer has always been a close cousin of culinary exploration and this annual event showcases some of the city’s finest homebrewers and their kitchen counterparts. Spend the afternoon in Greenpoint tasting pairings from seven chef/brewer teams. Proceeds will be donated to hurricane relief efforts in the western Catskills through the MARK Project. $30 gets you in the door and tastings of each pairing. Buy Brew and Chew tickets here. 3:00pm – 5:00pm.
- Beer author Josh Bernstein takes his homebrew tour through Park Slope this afternoon Featuring Benjamin and Danielle from Brooklyn Homebrew, and Mary Izett of My Life on Craft
- Rattle n Hum host a 4-course, pig roast brunch alongside Dogfish Head beers. $50 and reservations needed.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19th
Allagash Night at The Stag’s Head
We’ll at the Brooklyn Brewery celebrating the release of Garrett Oliver’s “Oxford Companion to Beer” but we WISH we were uptown at the Stag’s head where they will be pouring some of Allagash’s finest. If you crave Belgian brews than don’t miss this event with Interlude 2010, Confluence, Victoria, Vrienden, Curieux and Tripel all on tap.
If you’ve got the loot, Rest hosts Ultimate Brewmaster’s Deugstation, a massive six-course pairing dinner.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st
Beer Cocktails at Taproom 307
Cocktails and beer have a long and sorted history together. And while we have recently seen beers inspired by cocktails, tonight is a night for cocktails inspired by beer. Join Taproom 307′s Beer Sommelier, Hayley Jensen, as they mix and even dry-hop exciting new cocktails inspired by the brews from Ithaca Beer Company. In their words, “Cheers to a little booze at Beer Week!” 7:00pm – 2:00am
- Brookyn Brewery host the public release for their latest Brewmaster’s Reserve, The Companion, at Good Beer.
- Cigar City bring their rarest of rares to Jimmy’s No. 43
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd
Brewery’s Choice at City Winery
While it may be a pricey ticket, NYC Brewer’s Choice at City Winery was our favorite event from last year’s NY Craft Beer Week. Co-hosted by Dave Brodrick (Blind Tiger) with a keynote speech from Garrett Oliver (Brooklyn Brewery), the evening will feature 20 brewermasters on hand to discuss their libations. Each beer will be paired with fare from some of NYC’s finest chefs and artisanal food producers Consider this the ultimate beer and food pairing. $55/$75, 6:00pm – 10:00pm
BONUS: Check out our photos from the 2010 Brewer’s Choice
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th
NY State Beer and Cask Ale Festival
While Rattle N Hum has fantastic events every night during Craft Beer Week, this afternoon’s Cask Ale Festival is our pick of the bunch. $5 beers all night from Great South Bay, Greenport Harbor, Blue Point, Captain Lawrence, Sixpoint, Barrier, Rooster Fish, Bronx Brewery, Ommegang, Kelso, Empire, Chelsea, Brooklyn, Pearl Street, Southampton, Southern Tier, Lake Placid, Keegan Ales, Crossroads, Davidson and more along with casks from around the country. Perfect afternoon drinking!
- Have Beer Will Travel would be our pick today… but its sold out!
- We love biscuits, we love beer… apparently, so does Jimmy’s No. 43!