This Friday marks the beginning of the first-ever Queens Beer Week (QBW). With six breweries making beer in the borough – all of which have opened up in the past two years – and a burgeoning bar scene, Queens is at the forefront of craft beer growth in New York City. The event was put together by Dan Bronson of Astoria’s Crescent and Vine, with help from beer consigliere Tommy Ortega, manager at Sunswick 35/35, also in Astoria.
“The inspiration for QBW started from a meeting of a few beer bars in Queens, namely Crescent and Vine, Sunswick, and Queens Kickshaw,” Bronson says. “When trying to figure out what we were all doing for [NYC Beer Week], we decided that with all the great breweries and bars in Queens, it was probably time for a week of our own.”
“The inspiration to me was how Queens was always overlooked as a beer destination compared to Manhattan and Brooklyn,” says Ortega. “It’s transformed dramatically and for the better in the 11 years that I’ve been a part of it. We – the Queens beer scene – want to showcase what we have to offer.”
Beginning April 18, QBW will feature events through April 27, showcasing Queens beer and bars.
“Even though Queens has more breweries than any borough, most people still think of Queens as that sleepy borough where commuters go to sleep. That couldn’t be any further from the truth,” notes Bronson. “Queens is home to an incredibly vibrant bar and restaurant community, and the proud home to one of the most diverse culinary scenes in the world. We really wanted this week to be about the local establishments that keep the community going.”
You can view a full list of events here. There are some pretty great ones we think you shouldn’t miss. They are:
April 18: What’s Betta Than Bretta? from 7 to 11 p.m. at Crescent and Vine. A first taste of beers from Transmitter Brewing, the newest brewery in Queens. The brewers will be on hand with flights available. So far, the tap list includes F1 Farmhouse Brett Golden Ale, S2 Saison Noir, S1 Mahogany Saison and Q1 Belgian Quad. Pay-as-you-go.
April 19: Queens Beer Week Kick-off, Taste of Queens from 7 to 11 p.m. at Singlecut Beersmiths. You have the opportunity to meet all the Queens brewers who will be on hand with samples of their beers. Taste the official QBW beer, “Queen of Tarts,” brewed by Barrier Brewing Company (not in Queens, but close) which is launching at the event. Enjoy music by The Nitelights, learn how to homebrew and purchase a starter kit from Astoria Beer and Brew. Pay-as-you-go.
April 21: Taste the Rainbow pt.2 from 7 to 11 p.m. at Sunswick 35/35. A Barrier Brewing Company tap takeover. The tap list includes Beech Street Wheat, Queen of Tarts QBW Ale, Dunegrass Double IPA, Simple California Common, Oblong Dark Strong Rye Ale, Cairn Scotch Ale, and Jamaica Me Coconuts Coconut Export Stout on Nitro.
April 22: The Grand 30th Ave. Beer Crawl from 6 p.m. on. A night of brewery events, special deals, and pairings on Astoria’s 30th Avenue. Bars include Vesta Trattoria and Wine Bar, Katch, Sweet Afton, The Shady Lady, Dominie’s, William Hallet, MexiBBQ, Front Toward Enemy, Blackbird’s and Max Bratwurst und Bier.
April 23: In the Glass, On the Plate with Finback and Bridge and Tunnel from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Rest-au-Rant. Join the brewers from Finback and Bridge and Tunnel as they talk guests through their beers and share a new menu prepared using their beers. Space is limited, pay-as-you-go.
April 25: Five Boro Craft Beer Fest from 7 to 11 p.m. at Studio Square. A four hour, 33 brewery tasting event featuring beers from all over New York State and the country. Tickets are $85 and can be purchased here.
April 26: Queens Open House/ Finback Taproom Grand Opening from 4 to 8 p.m. at Finback Brewery. Joining the Finback crew will be Transmitter Brewing, Rockaway Brewing, Big Alice, among others. For the event, Finback will be offering $4 pints and five pints for$20. There’s no cost, but tickets will be required. Check here for more information.
April 27: Queens Beer Week Closing Ceremonies from noon to 5 p.m. at Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. Bohemian will be premiering a new house beer made by Singlecut Beersmiths, as well as other Queens brews. Pay-as-you-go.
“The brewing scene here is very unique, and Queens has really been on board supporting niche brewers. We’re home to arguably the country’s only kombucha-ale producer – Beyond Kombucha – a 100 percent wild yeast brewery – Transmitter – a CSA brewery – Big Alice,” says Bronson. “It’s a borough that’s always been marching to its own beat and happy about it, and QBW is proud to follow in that tradition. The most we can ask, is that other New Yorkers use this week as a good reason to cross the river and see what Queens is all about. We promise, you won’t regret the trip.”