Recovered from the Great American Beer Festival yet? Good, because New York Craft Beer Week descends upon the Big Apple from September 24th through October 3rd with dozens of breweries from across the nation serving up their newest brews, their rarest cask and their latest experiments to the revelry of thousands of New Yorkers. It’s a great time to be a craft beer geek indeed.
Feeling daunted by the bevy of events throughout the week? Not to worry. I’ve created this handy guide to the top ten not to be missed activities from NYC Craft Beer Week to help keep your live, wallet, and day job in check.
Staten Island Brewfest 2010
Start your festival off with a ferry ride to Staten Island to one of the best value events of the week… The Staten Island Brewfest 2010. This inaugural SI fest features tastings with 30 breweries including Allagash, Cigar City, Kuhnhenn, Southern Tier, Founders and more. Unique to this festial is their Homebrewers Pavilion where you can rap with some of NY’s best, sample their wares and geek out on conversations about wort chillers and mash tuns. The fest will also feature historical exhibits on loan from the Staten Island Museum detailing the borough’s once-proud brewing tradition, food and great music. The festival takes place in two sessions, limited to 300 people each, and they are even offering free shuttle service to and from the ferry so no excuses from you Manhattan and Brooklynites!
12:00pm – 7:00pm (2 sessions) | $25
UPDATE: Just got a crazy teaser on some of the beers that will be at SI Brewfest… Check it out!
“Dogfish Head is bringing the ’06 Fort, billed as “The World’s Strongest Fruit Beer”, Brooklyn is breaking out a couple of their “retired” Brewmasters Reserve beers, Backbreaker and Blast, Bear Republic is bringing their specially crafted NYC Craft Beer Week Festival beer called Ryevalry, Weyerbacher is bringing their XV Anniversary Ale, Ithaca is bringing Super Friends, the ultimate “collaboration ale”, Stone is bringing their 14th Anniversary Ale, Keegan Ales is bringing their Special release Four Philosophers, He’Brew is bringing their Rejewvenator 2010 (with Concord Grapes), and Harpoon is bringing their 100 Barrel Series #32 (Potts Landbier). There’s even more but I figure those are enough “specials” and “limiteds” to keep your readers salivating!
Beer Nation Presents Hop Persuit
If you prefer bar hopping to the festival scene then the boys from the Beer Nation web series have got an event for you. Find a partner and rally to Rattle N Hum at 2pm to start off a week-long scavenger hunt-style race full of daily missions to amass points for prizes and (more importantly) bragging rights. Make sure you bring your cell phone or digital camera to snap pics of all your accomplishments. To Make A Reservation email seth[at]beernationshow.com
2:00pm | $10 per team
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 be tapping the first Paulaner Oktoberfest kegs to ever reach American shores at 6:00pmalong with Weihenstephaner FestBier, Hofbrau Oktoberfest and half a dozen other German brews. Continues all week
Get Real Cask Ale Festival
This is the place to be Sunday (or Saturday if you are afraid of ferries). Patrick Donagher (Rattle N Hum), Mary Izett (Ale Street News), Alex Hall (Gotham Imbiber) and Chris Cuzme (Malted Barley Appreciation Society) have joined forces for the biggest cask ale festival NYC has ever seen. There is a crazy list of brewers who will be in attendance, 80+ casks of random and rare beer pouring, and local food from some of the city’s finest purveyors. Plus home brew demos, Q&As and more. Whew. This is one not to miss!
12:00pm – 8:00pm (2 sessions) | $65
Pretty Things v. Funky Cheese
Massachusetts’ Pretty Things make some damn fine beers that pair quite well with funky cheese. Try seven of each tonight with Martin Johnson and Ray Deter (d.b.a.). Click here for advance tickets.
7:30PM – 9:00PM | $30 per Person
Rye House Whisky and Beer Dinner
What goes great with beer? How about a nice glass of whisky? “Alcohol Professor” Adam Levy pairs five craft beers with five whiskeys over a four course dinner with Rye House chef Greg Johnson. This is one serious palate buster of an event. Price includes tax. 18% Gratuity will be added.
6:30PM – 9:00PM | $80.00
BrewYork’s Beer 2 Garden Charity Event
My beloved BrewYork family (a collaborative of New York-centric beer writers, brewers and advocates… if you didn’t know) have gotten together to drink for a cause this Craft Beer Week and we are hosting Beer 2 Garden tonight. The event features eight rare beers from the best of the best breweries New York State has to offer and 100% of the sales are going to support East New York Farms, a local organization aimed at youth and adults to address food justice in the community by promoting local, sustainable agriculture and community-led economic development. The crazy beer line-up features Brooklyn Brewery Cookie Jar Porter, Captain Lawrence Birra DeCicco, Sixpoint Anniversary IPA, Southampton North Fork Fresh Hop ESB (cask), Greenport Harbor Double IPA, Dogfish Head Bitches Brew, Ommegang Belgian Pale Ale, and Kelso of Brooklyn Kellarfest (Oktoberfest). This is the perfect after work happy hour!
6:00pm – 2:00am | No Cover
While it may be a pricey ticket, NYC Brewer’s Choice at City Winery is one seriously special event. Fifteen amazing brewers will be pouring and discussing rare and small-batch beers paired with gourmet small plates. There is a keynote speech from Greg Hall (Goose Island) as well as appearances by Luc Boivin (Dieu du Ciel Microbrewery), Garrett Oliver (Brooklyn Brewery), Jeff O’Neil (Ithaca Brewing), Dann Paquette (Pretty Things Beer), Brian Strumke (Stillwater Artisanal Ales) and more. Consider this the ultimate beer and food pairing.
6:00pm – 10:00pm | $90
GreatBrewers.com LES & Tribeca Pub Crawl
If Brewer’s Choice is a bit of a steep price-tag for you then take the laid back approach with GreatBrewers.com downtown pub crawl. This free event will take you around Tribeca and the LES to some of the best off-the-radar bars for great food and great beers. To Make A Reservation, email tim.stendahl[at]greatbrewers.com
6:00pm – 11:30pm | No Cover
Homebrewing in New York has exploded in the past year and today’s homebrewers tour is a great chance for newbies to get a sneak peak at some of the city’s best homegrown beer labs. Check out these professional setups in pint-sized apartments, discuss the craft and sample the prize-winning results. Make sure your bring a metro-card… and eat a big lunch. Your guide is food and drink journalist Joshua M. Bernstein. Limited to 20. To Make A Reservation Email josh.bernstein[at]gmail.com
1:00PM – 6:00PM | $25