Beer-Boiled Blue Crabs and Lagunitas Beer at Sweetwolf’s This Sunday
By Brooklyn Magazine and Brooklyn Magazine
Staying in town this weekend and not happy about that? You can take out your pent-up cabin fever on a pile of blue crabs with a mallet then. This Sunday, Sweetwolf’s restaurant in Park Slope is hosting an all-you-can-eat Maryland crab boil, co-hosted by Lagunitas Brewery, which will be pairing beers for the feast.
This will be the first event of its kind at the restaurant, which has been open for about seven months. Located on a residential corner in South Park Slope on Sixth Avenue, Sweetwolf’s is known for its homey comfort food with a fresh, seasonal bent. “It’s a neighborhood joint,” said Eric Wolf, the owner of Sweetwolf’s and a first-time restauranteur, who has a background in fine arts. “I’ve been living in Park Slope for 17 years and saw this place become available a year and a half ago.”
Wolf is no stranger to throwing crab boils, however. In the past, he’s thrown them in his own backyard, and plans to replicate the parties in the restaurant on Sunday. One of the restaurant’s investors is from Maryland, he explained, and will be driving up from the state with two bushels of live Chesapeake Bay blue crabs for Sunday’s feast. “We have these two long farm tables, so we’re going to throw some newspaper down, give everyone a mallet and a cracker, boil the crabs with copious amounts of Old Bay. It starts at 6:30 or 7pm and goes until we run out,” said Wolf. With two full bushels of crabs he estimates at least 45 people will be be set with plenty of crabs to crack apart, and Sweetwolf’s will be serving up classic accoutrements of corn on the cob, potatoes, and some watermelon for dessert.
Wolf says Lagunitas is one of his favorite breweries, and is excited for the beer pairings that they’ve chosen for the event. The Petaluma, California-based brewery has recently released a beer only available in the New York market, called the Fusion IX. “We flew a couple of bar owners and homebrewers from New York out to the brewery to help make it,” said Mark Slijukic of Lagunitas. “The beer is a light daytime session beer brewed with white wheat and a whirlpool addition of grains of paradise. It features experimental hops from Perrault Farms (including the somewhat new, watermelon Jolly Rancher-flavored Mosaic) as well as a healthy Citra dry-hop. The light malt backbone really allows the hops to shine through.”
In addition, the crab itself will be boiled in Lagunitas’ Czech-style Pilsner along with the Old Bay. “Pilsner and shellfish are a classic pairing,” says Slijukic. “Again, delicate enough not to overwhelm, with a nice spicy Saaz hop bite, and a bready, biscuity, but clean finish that will allow the flavor of the crab to shine on the palate.”
Both beers will be poured for actually drinking at the event, too, and for a $35 all-you-can-eat-and-drink price, there’s really no way to find a better deal even if you were in a sleepy coastal town instead of Brooklyn this weekend.