From February 22 to March 3, Beer Week will return to NYC, and will celebrate all things craft beer, with parties, tap takeovers, beer dinners and plenty of other events (some awesome ones are listed below).
Josh Schnaffer and Chris Cuzme started Craft Beer Week in New York City in 2008. At the time, it was a series of neighborhood bar crawls. In the years since, Beer Week has evolved to include special events and parties. Last year saw the launch of the New York City Brewers Guild, which then took over the leadership of Beer Week.
” Josh and Chris started beer week as an experiment, as a way to celebrate craft beer in New York City,” said Shmaltz Breweing Company owner Jeremy Cowan. “This year we started a very special organization called the New York City Brewers Guild… [almost] all the active brewers in New York City are in this non-profit organization that is intended specifically to celebrate great craft beer.” This is the first Beer Week under the Guild.
“You’re here. We’re here. Maybe a few people on the streets of NYC are going to be calling it Beer Week in a month. So I think that’s a success,” said Cowan (pictured below with The Bronx Brewery’s Sean McCain and Chris Gallant).
“Beer is a remarkable beverage, it covers all sections of humanity,” said KelSo and Heartland Brewery brewer Kelly Taylor at a press preview for Beer Week last night. “The whole point is to promote this remarkable beverage.”
Mark Szmaida, brewer at Chelsea Brewing Company (below right), reflected on the beer culture in the city when he started as opposed to now. “I’ve been with Chelsea since 1997, it was a whole different territory then. New York was not a beer town, a lot of breweries went out of business, a lot of breweries weren’t supported,” he recalled. “It’s completely turned around now, we have a whole lot less people coming into the brewery looking for Coors Light.”
“Inebriation is not a destination point, it’s a perk for those with good taste,” said 508 GastroBrewery brewer Chris Cuzme (below). So keep that in mind from February 22 to March 3.
The Birreria team.
Rockaway Brewing Company brewers.
The week is centered around three signature events: the Opening Night Bash on Friday, February 22 at Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO, NYC Brewers Choice on Wednesday, February 27 at City Winery, and a closing party at La Birreria at Eataly on Sunday March 3. If you have to choose just one one of these events to attend (though we think you should go to all three) we recommend Brewers Choice. For a $60 ticket you get some of the best local and regional beers (served by their brewers) paired with local food producers.
Some of the most tempting events are beer dinners, and there will be a lot of them. So far we are pretty excited about what has been announced:
Applewood and Kelso Beer Co., Tuesday February 26: Pretty much everything about this five to six course beer pairing dinner will be local. The restaurant owners are so focused on local farms that they actually bought a farm in the Hudson Valley and the beer from Kelso is about as close as it can get.
Murray’s Cheese Bar Beer Dinner, Sunday February 3, $75: Garret Oliver, the Brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery and the guy who literally wrote the book on pairing beer with food, will lead diners through a five course beer pairing menu with Murray’s cheese expert Aaron Foster.
Throughout the week there are tap takeovers, brewery nights, and more from local bars. Here are some highlights:
Rare and Barrel Aged NY State Breweries at the Bronx Ale House – February 23
7th Annual Williamsburg Cask Festival at d.b.a Brooklyn – February 23 to 26
2nd Annual aPORKalypse at Alewife NYC – March 2, $40
Jimmy’s Homebrew Jamboree at Jimmy’s No. 43 – March 2, $35