Thursday night City Winery hosted a wide variety of breweries for Brewers’ Choice, one of the featured events of New York Craft Beer Week. Brewers were on hand pouring some of their best beers, which were paired with local, artisanal foods.
Garrett Oliver was the keynote speaker of the evening. “What you see around the room is a wonderful expression of what’s happened in craft beer,” he said. “What we have in American craft brewing is not a fad or a trend, it’s a return to normality… We once again have the most vibrant beer culture on the face of the earth.”
We started with what we thought was one of the best pairings of the evening, between Bierkraft and Barrier Brewing Co. Bierkraft brought a porchetta with gentleman’s relish on crostini (the relish was made of carrots, cilantro and crispy pig skin) and Barrier paired it with Frau Blucher, a German Style Rauch (smoked) Bier. The beer essentially tasted like a high quality bacon paired with the fatty porchetta and crunchy relish, simply great.
We also really enjoyed the Main Beer Company Peeper’s ale paired with the pickled eggs and beer chips from Nita Nita. In terms of just the beers we had a few stand outs. Brooklyn Brewery Brought a 2009 Sorachi Ace that held up well. We had a chance to talk to Garrett Oliver while at the Brooklyn Brewery table, and he told us that he likes how saisons age, and that while the Sorachi Ace doesn’t have as much brightness anymore, it still has the dryness and lemongrass flavor.
Dieu du Ciel really impressed us (and many others in attendance) with their Plum Shiso Sour Wheat, which had a great nose that was slightly sweet followed with a restrained sourness that finished cleanly on the palate. It was an extremely refreshing beer, one of the highlights of the night.
We also loved Leaf Pile by Greenport Harbor for its subtle spice and pumpkin flavors. It was restrained and slightly sweet.
Our favorite food item of the night was probably the Grana Padano cheese straws from Murray’s Cheese. So crunchy. So cheesy. So delicious.