It’s been a while; got myself a beer job! Possible conflict of interest to say exactly who-what-when-where-how but, if you haven’t guessed by now, you’re not paying attention. So long as I don’t comment directly on that brewery or another as member of said brewery, problem solved. Beer And The City will proceed with tact without caution, or perhaps some caution but no tact. Either/or.
I thought about writing a bit on ‘why I returned to New York’ in response to all the ‘why I left New York’ articles recently, but most essays can be summed-up in a single word: ambition. I saw opportunity here unlike anywhere else, which is exactly why people always have and always will flock to New York City. And I was right—NYC is experiencing a homebrewers movement on par with California and Colorado in the late 80’s, early 90’s. We’ve come a long way from this…
In addition to Barrier and SingleCut, nearly a dozen nano to microbreweries and brewpubs have recently opened around NYC. Other Half is doing big, west coast worthy IPA in Brooklyn, bottle shops like Bierkraft are brewing on site and Grimm Artisanal Ales are nomads based in Gowanus. Gun Hill, the Bronx brewery that makes more than one beer, has a motto close to my heart: ‘all beer is NOT created equal’. Queens is experiencing rapid growth with Big Alice, Transmitter and Rockaway Brewing in Long Island City, as well as Finback Brewery in Glendale (feels as far away here as it did in Los Angeles). Flagship Brewing Company is reason to get off the Staten Island Ferry. One thing they all have in common is free reign to experiment with small batches of beer. Clearly, a brewer walks into a bank is no longer the start of a joke here.
There’s more. Chelsea Piers brewpub lost their 20 year lease; thankfully we have 508 Gastrobrewery and Dirck The Norseman brewing and cooking on premise. Nobody counts Heartland’s various locations just like nobody counts Kelso Beer, but even Paulaner threw their hat into the ring with a new Brauhaus on Bowery. There’s a choice of homebrew supply shops (unusual for any part of the country) providing various educational outlets. We’re also seeing increased distribution in New York, tastes of the Midwest to Pacific North. That’s Metal.
So much beer, such little time. Rest assured that when I’m not writing I am drinking. My new line of work has taught me there’s more to Brooklyn than Williamsburg, but Manhattan—specifically the East Village and Lower East Side–remains my HBO (home beer office, get it?). This neighborhood will survive all the rest, and there’s enough bars in every direction to make any man feel like a king. To be continued.