This marks the fifth year in a row that July has been declared Good Beer Month in New York City. As the craft beer movement has exploded in the city, Good Beer Month and the Good Beer Seal aim to identify the best places to get craft beer, and produce events that celebrate it. This year’s featured events included beer dinners, panel discussions, and the first annual New York State Food and Beer Expo. Here are some highlights from this year’s Good Beer Month.
Good Beer Seal Expands to Jersey City and Long Island
Each year since its inception, more bars have been awarded the Good Beer Seal. A Good Beer Seal Bar is independently owned, has a unique sense of place, offers at least 80 percent craft domestic/special imported beers, and is active in the beer community. Last year the Seal expanded to all five boroughs, this year it expanded further, to Jersey City and Long Island.
Announced at Wednesday’s Good Beer event held by Edible, the new Good Beer Seal bars are:
Alewife, in Queens
Queens Kickshaw, in Queens
Pony Bar, Upper East Side, in Manhattan
Proletariat, in Manhattan
The Owl Farm, in Brooklyn
Barcade, in Jersey City
Pint, in Jersey City
Black Sheep Ale House, on Long Island
Tap and Barrel, on Long Island
TJ Finley’s, on Long Island
Jimmy Carbone, founder of Good Beer Month and the Good Beer Seal, holding a Proclamation from the Mayor declaring July as Good Beer Month.
Carbone and NYC-based beer writer Josh M. Bernstein standing with some of the newest Good Beer Seal recipients.
The crowd at 82 Mercer during Edible’s Good Beer event.
The New York State Food and Beer Expo
This year saw the first annual New York State Food and Beer Expo as part of Good Beer Month, held at Williamsburg’s East River State Park. The event featured beers by some of the state’s best breweries and honored David Katleski, founder and owner of Empire Brewing Company and president of the New York State Brewers Association.
The scene at the New York State Craft Beer Expo.
Dan Hitchcock (right), founder and brewmaster of Rushing Duck Brewing Company, with Nikki Cavanaugh, head of sales and marketing. Rushing Duck is located in Chester, NY.
Jimmy Carbone and Jon Bloostein, owner of NYC’s Heartland Brewery, tasting Rushing Duck’s beer.
Chris Basso, Newburgh Brewing Company brewmaster, pouring his Cream Ale.
Assemblyman Joe Lentol awarding David Katleski with a beer stein, recognizing his contribution to New York State beer. Katleski drank out of that stein, like a boss.
Queens Craft Breweries
The Greene Space held a Craft Beer Jam for Good Beer Month, featuring three events, one of which was a panel discussion about craft breweries in Queens.
In the space of a year, four new brewers opened up in Queens, all committed to brewing beer in the borough and contributing to the local economy: Rockaway Brewing Company, SingleCut Beersmiths, Bridge and Tunnel Brewery and Big Alice Brewing. (The Queens Lager from Queens Brewery – which launched this year – is contract brewed elsewhere.) Brewers from these breweries chatted about how they all started homebrewing first, and make the best of limited resources and small spaces. Rich Castagna, brewer of Bridge and Tunnel Brewery, brews out of his garage!
From left to right: Beer Journalist Chris Schonberger, Rockaway Brewing Company co-founder Ethan Long, Big Alice Brewing Brewer Robby Crafton, SingleCut Beersmiths Brewer Brian Dwyer, Rich Castagna, and Jimmy Carbone.
Queens-based band the Great Apes performed after the panel.