Belated Thoughts on Beer Week

Well, readers, Beer Week came and went. And it was a pretty good time. Here are some of our thoughts about the best (read: drunkest) week of the year.

508 is here, y’all: Homebrewer (and saxophonist) Chris Cuzme took over brewing operations at 508 GastroBrewery in November. This beer week we got to taste 4 separate new 508 beers: Saxual Healing, Pompale, Hall Pass (below) and Szechuan Paradise Saison. All four were awesome. Cuzme was all over beer week, launching Saxual Healing and celebrating the inaugural use of his cask (dubbed Sir Cask-a-lot). We’re very much looking forward to see what else is going to come from Cuzme, and we think he’s one of the most exciting up-and-coming brewers in the city.

Nano and micro brewers abound: Rockaway Brewing Company beers were everywhere, as were those from SingleCut. City Island Beer Company in the Bronx launched its first beer, a pale ale, for Beer Week. And tiny Bridge and Tunnel Beer Company had a dedicated night at Jimmy’s No. 43. We’re happy to see all these small brewing businesses serve their beers, and even more are in the works. NYC is certianly on its way to becoming a beer destination.

Brewers Guild taking over: After four Beer Weeks with Josh Schnaffer and Chris Cuzme at the helm, this was the first under the direction of the NYC Brewers Guild (members pictured below). We had mixed feelings about the outcome. It’s a good feeling to have all these brewers in the city, for one, and also to see them coming together for a joint cause. The events we went to were pretty awesome. However, we were a little disappointed to not have a passport-type thing for this week. In previous years, we had used the passport as a guide to where the events were happening during the week, and didn’t even use any of the deals for the rest of the year. This year the Brewers Guild released an insert into the Village Voice with all the event listings. We didn’t have a chance to pick one up until halfway through the week, and it would have been much less convenient to carry around than the pocket-sized passport. We hope in future beer weeks there’s a small guide that can easily fit into a pocket or purse with all the events and participating bars.

At the closing party at Birreria, KelSo brewer (and VP of the Guild) Kelly Taylor said, “I’m optimistic for next year.” So are we! We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of NYC beer and watch it evolve.

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