It’s an exciting time for craft beer in New York City. In the past few years, over a dozen breweries have opened, and there are a bunch more in the works. So it’s fitting that this coming Beer Week, Urban Oyster is launching a NYC Brewery Tour by bus, the first of its kind in the city.
“New York is due to have a proper bus tour of breweries,” says David Naczycz, founder of Urban Oyster, a neighborhood tour company that offers a handful of beer tours. “We probably would have launched this tour sooner had there been more breweries to visit.” The tours will be given by Naczycz and his other beer guides: Brian Hoffman, Alex Pappas, Meredith Heil and Luara Lee.
While each tour will be different, for now they will begin at Paulaner Brauhaus in Manhattan. A German brewpub opened by Paulaner brewery, tourgoers will have the opportunity to taste some authentic German brews and have lunch. Sausage, pretzels, and spaetzle, to name a few food options.
“It’s a good place to start the tour for our affinity for beer history,” notes Naczycz. It’s located on the Bowery in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a neighborhood once dotted by German beer halls. “We’re starting at the beginning.”
From there tourgoers will pile into a van and travel to an outer borough. “We’ll try and visit a large brewery by craft standards. Greenpoint, Sixpoint, Brooklyn, SingleCut: guys that are making more than a few barrels,” Naczycz explained. “And then we’ll try to go to a small brewery like Big Alice or Rockaway.”
After hitting two breweries in the outer boroughs, the van will drive back to Manhattan and end at 508 GastroBrewery in Tribeca. Each tour will feature four breweries, and while the first and last will remain the same at the beginning, Naczycz hopes to change it up a bit, maybe visit Chelsea or La Birreria at Eataly.
At each stop on the tour attendees will have the opportunity to meet and talk to the people behind the businesses, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process. During the driving portion, tour guides will talk about tasting beer, beer history, and brewing. “We’ll also be talking about the ancient history of beer up until the craft beer boom and what’s happened since, and why New York’s lagged behind, touching on some of the issues with opening up a brewery in New York.”
Public tours, which cost $105, will take place every Saturday. The price includes not only the four-hour tour, but also the beer and food. Urban Oyster will also offer private tours, on any day of the week, for a minimum of eight people, maximum of 23.
“We’ve spoken with all the breweries, and what we’re going to try and do is visit them all, even the ones that don’t have tours or visiting hours like Greenpoint and Sixpoint. We’re also going to go during times when breweries wouldn’t be open,” Naczycz says. “Eventually we’ll be moving outside the city, going to New Jersey, Long Island, and Upstate.”
The inaugural tour will take place on February 22 during NYC Beer Week. Any tour tickets purchased during Beer week – February 21 through March 2 – are 20 percent off with the code BEERWEEK2014. As long as tickets are purchased during beer week, the discount will apply to any bus tour. So if you’re thinking about going on one in the spring, now’s a great time to get tickets.
“We hope the tour will get the word out about how brewing is blowing up in New York, and getting more people drinking local beer,” Naczycz says. “What we’re all about is local. At the end of the day the beer I want to drink is the beer made closet to where I am.”
Any copy of “Beer Lover’s New York,” purchased from us at any of our Beer Week events through March 2 will include a raffle ticket. The winner of a drawing on March 2 will receive two tickets to the Urban Oyster NYC Brewery Tour.
This post is sponsored by Urban Oyster.