New York's craft beer scene has never been hotter - Metro US

New York’s craft beer scene has never been hotter

NYC Beer Week 2018 packs in over 100 events from Feb. 23-March 4.
NYC Beer Week 2018 packs in over 100 events from Feb. 23-March 4.

New York state just passed a huge milestone that will come as no surprise to beer lovers: Craft-beer production in the state is the highest it’s ever been, with an average of one new brewery opening every six days in 2017, for a total of 400 places turning hops and malt (crops also making a resurgence in the state) into the good stuff.

That’s a lot of ground to cover for New York City Beer Week. The 10th annual celebration of brewing in the five boroughs and beyond kicks off Feb. 23 and runs through March 4. But with 100 events spread over dozens of venues, they’ll do their best.

“With over 60 breweries participating — 30+ city-based brewers and 30 guest brewers from around the country joining in — this promises to be one for the history books,” promises Dave Lopez, co-founder of Gun Hill Brewing Co. in the Bronx and a member of the New York City Brewers Guild, which organizes Beer Week.

The Brewers Guild is a nonprofit founded to promote the city’s brewing industry, but they’ve always strived to provide a holistic view of the beer scene, inviting brewers whose work they like from around the country and beyond.

All of which is to say, it’s an amazing time to love beer, and Beer Week is a great chance to meet the passionate people who make it, drink some one-of-a-kind brews that won’t be seen anywhere else, and try the out-of-town beers that the experts think are good enough to make it here.

We’ve lined up the highlights of beer week here; for more, check out the full Beer Week list.

Opening Bash

This is where you’ll find the entire festival in one place. All 60 breweries taking part in the festival will be there, vying to show off their best beers in the festive atmosphere of the Brooklyn Expo Center. Pair your pours with bites from the Craft Beer Food Court, plus live music, games, tons of swag and more. $80, Feb. 24, 6-9:30 p.m., Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St., Greenpoint

Beers from the Hudson Valley

See what our foodie neighboring county to the north is up to at Beers from the Hudson Valley at Bed-Stuy’s best craft beer bar The Wilky. It’s a good thing they serve great grub, too — there will be 18 taps to sample from breweries including Industrial Arts, Peekskill and Sloop, so come ready to party. Free entry, Feb. 24, 2 p.m.-midnight, 108 Patchen Ave., Brooklyn

Fermentation Festival

Funky food is good for you, and the Fermentation Festival is your chance to try the world of living food beyond pickles with offerings from over 40 vendors, ranging from kimchi and sauerkraut to mead and, of course, beer. There are live demos and seminars, interactive stations, arts and crafts, and live music from the Homebrewsicians and the American Sankeys. Most activities and many samples are included. Feb. 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St., Brooklyn, $20

IPA Takeover

Yeah, yeah, IPAs have been hogging all the headlines for years, but if you’re not over it yet (like us), head to Strong Rope Brewery to try seven IPAs all made with ingredients from right here in New York state. Brewers include the fabulously named Ripe & Ruin and Heavenly Root. Feb. 28, 4-8 p.m., 574 President St., Gowanus

5 Borough Challenge Biergarten

Beginning Feb. 22, Brookfield Place’s Winter Garden will turn into an all-local biergarten every Thursday night through March 15. Each session will feature one beer from each of the five boroughs, with those voted most popular invited back for the final night to crown the best in the city. It’s not a comprehensive survey — NYC has about 40 breweries at this point, so you’d need an eight-week event to try them all — it’s a great introduction, and has the advantage of taking place indoors, under palm trees, with live music and bar games. Free entry, pay-as-you-go beer and food, Thursdays from Feb. 22-March 15, 4-9 p.m., 230 Vesey St.

Singlecut Ren Fest

When you’re making Renaissance-era beers, you need some Renaissance-era foods. SingleCut Beersmiths in Astoria is throwing a little out-of-season Ren Fest to feature cask ales, a revived style of beer rising in popularity among serious beer geeks that spends its life in a cask, from fermentation to serving, with barely any carbonation and served at room temperature. Your ticket includes tastes of the beers, a smoked turkey leg and “other Renaissance inspired tomfoolery.” $22.50, March 3, 2-6 p.m., 19-33 37th St., Queens

Ruppert’s Cup Awards Brunch

Each brewery has their own recipes and strengths, but what happens when they all have to work with the same stuff? Find out at the fest’s final event when 16 breweries unveil their SMaSH brews — that’s State Malt and State Hops, so everything was grown right here in New York. They’ll be taking over the taps at Randolph Beer DUMBO so you can taste them all by the ounce (or more), along with the usual brunch menu. Pay-as-you-go, March 4, noon-2 p.m., 82 Prospect St., Brooklyn

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