Forget about the 12 days of Christmas. For a certain breed of beer geek, the 10-day long, borough-wide brew bacchanalia, New York City Beer Week, is the most wonderful time of the year. And although festivities don’t actually kick off until February 20th, the NYC Brewers Guild just announced four exciting new additions to their regular roster of events—which generally include tastings, menu pairings, beer dinners, tap takeovers and more—over 50 of which take place in Brooklyn restaurants, breweries and bars.
NYC Beer Week 2015 will premiere with an “Opening First Tap,” featuring 100 rare beers scattered amongst 100 local beer destinations. The singular collection includes craft beers you can only get in NYC that night, such as KelSo’s IPA aged in Jameson barrels, Gunn Hill’s Barrel Aged Void of Light, and Transmitter Brewing’s Brett Farmhouse Ale. And talking about limited edition beers, you’ll also want to keep your eyes peeled for the debut of special 2015 SMASH brews, which will only be available throughout beer week, at a number of participating venues. Each member of the NYC Brewers Guild has fashioned a supremely local beer, using only state-grown malt (NYS Pale Ale, Vienna or Amber Rye), and state-grown hops, including Chinook, Willamette and Cascade. And you better believe we’re eager to see what Brooklyn’s own guild members have in store, including Sixpoint, KelSo, Brooklyn Brewery, Other Half Brewing, and Grimm Artisanal Ales.
On Tuesday, February 24th, KelSo’s brewmaster Kelly Taylor (who happens to be president of the NYC Brewers Guild), will host a grand “Brewer’s Choice” event at Sanders Studios in Clinton Hill, right next door to his Greenpoint Beer Works. Ticketholders will be able to taste more than two dozen beers, mix and mingle with the brewers themselves, and feast on food pairings from local restaurateurs. The gala will also feature keynote speakers discussing the state of the craft beer industry, celebrate the five year anniversary of Beer Sessions Radio on the Heritage Radio Network, and distribute the annual “Local Beer Hero” Awards, acknowledging often unsung workers, such as brewery staff, distributors, sales reps and more.
Finally, a battle for the title of “The Best Brewery at NYC Beer Week” will take place throughout the festival, with the winner being awarded the coveted Ruppert’s Cup (named after celebrated American brewer, Jacob Ruppert Jr.) at the Closing Party Brunch. Participants are required to host a valued-added Beer Week event highlighting an extremely rare beer release, or a Meet-the-Brewer event, and for $5 per vote (with all proceeds donated to NYC’s City Harvest), craft beer fans can help make their favorite brewery’s ultimate dream come true.
So if the mid-winter, post-holiday doldrums have you down, don’t worry about making do with all number of faux food festivities (didn’t you know, it’s National Prune Breakfast Month?)! Because for lager, ale, porter and stout enthusiasts, there’s still a whole lot to celebrate come February.
For more info, visit newyorkcitybrewersguild.com