One Man’s Search to Find the Best Beer in New York

Through his blog, Eat This NY, Brian Hoffman is on a quest to find the best beer in New York. An impressive goal, for sure. But he started his blog with even bigger aspirations.

“I came up with an idea for a food show that would combine a sitcom element with documentation of restaurants. Sort of like if you could imagine ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ meets the Food Network,” Hoffman said. He casually pitched it to a producer friend in LA, who told him it was a good idea, but that he would have to gain recognition first by starting small with a blog and producing his own clips.

“So I’ve been writing food and drink reviews on the blog for the last two years and have released six episodes of my self produced webseries.”

Hoffman writes about foods iconic to the city, such as pizza, pastrami, bagels and hot dogs, simultaneously on a search for the best of each in the city. But realizing that many don’t know how long of a history beer has in New York, he decided to branch out to the beverage. “Plus I really like drinking beer and was looking for an excuse to visit all the breweries in the metro area.”

In his quest to find the best beer in New York, Hoffman says, “I had to limit the beers to those produced 90 miles within the city – or are based in NYC, but brewed close by.” He rates each one. “As the weather warms up, I’ve been really taken by Brooklyn’s Sorachi Ace, Captain Lawrence’s Liquid Gold, and Kelso’s Pilsner,” he notes. “The local breweries are getting more and more prolific, which is so exciting.”

In conjunction with his beer blog series, Hoffman produced a beer-themed episode of his web series, titled “Something Borrowed, Something Brewed” (watch it below). It features Anderson Sant’Anna De Lima of 508 Gastrobrewery, Kelly Tayor of KelSo (Greenpoint Beer Works) and Garrett Oliver of the Brooklyn Brewery, showing “how they’re making great beer on different levels.”

Made in conjunction with NYC tour company Urban Oyster, the episode features Hoffman (who is the main tour guide for the company’s Food Cart and Truck Tours and also gives beer tours) training to give tours with co-founder David Naczycz. Humor ensues. At the end of the video, there’s a promo code offering 20% off all the beer tours.

Besides touring for Urban Oyster and his own blog (which, by the way, currently features Hoffman attempting to eat Time Out’s annual 100 Best Dishes list – for the third year in a row), he writes for Midtown Lunch, waits tables at Apiary, makes his own ice cream and is working on several screenplays. “And I try to find time to sleep when I can.”

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