You may have seen Floyd’s Beer Cheese, but did you know the team behind the cheese is the same team that runs Union Hall, The Bell House and Floyd? Kevin Avanzato, Jim Carden and Andy Templar are now launching a beer cracker as a compliment to the cheese. BeerUnion caught up with Avanzato, who answered a few or our questions:
What was the inspiration behind Floyd’s Beer Cheese?
Beer Cheese is fairly ubiquitous in Kentucky, but virtually unknown in the North East. When we opened our first bar “Floyd” in Brooklyn, my partners Jim Carden and Andy Templar (native Kentuckians) wanted to offer their home-style version as a snack in its natural habitat…as legend has it and as you can imagine beer cheese was invented as a bar snack.
Where are you sourcing the grain for your crackers?
When we speak of the grain, we’re talking about the flours used in each variety. We use whole Rye, Wheat, and Barley flours. These grains are similar to the grains that brewers use to make your favorite beer. But then we enhance those flavors with complimentary ingredients like, well, beer for one, hops, honey, barley malt syrup, and aromatic seeds that all evoke brew house aromas. Hence the name Brewer’s Grain Beer Crackers…it’s kind of a sum of all parts cracker and the ingredients all play off each other.
How did you formulate the recipes for the crackers?
I started out by going to one of my favorite local breweries. Barrier Brewing Co. in Oceanside Queens. I was able to walk away with some spent grain, still warm from the mash tun. There is nothing like the smell and flavor of freshly cooked grain. I dried it out, ground it into a flour and made a simple home-made spent grain cracker. That’s how it began. From there I was able to get a sense of what we wanted to create. I then started to play around with ingredients that would get me a similar result. I’m not a baker tho, so we hired a professional baker to help us formulate the cracker we are about to put on the market, based on all of the research and trials and time in my kitchen at home.
What are the challenges of launching the Floyd’s brand at the same time as maintaining your bars and event spaces?
There is simply not enough time in the day. We’ve learned to surround ourselves with talented people (staff) who we trust to help us operate and maintain our spaces so we can focus on future projects and businesses. It’s doesn’t always work, and we often have to drop one thing for another, but that is just the ebb and flow of running any business. You sometimes just have to pick up and go where you are needed the most, and hope that it is not detrimental to the rest.
Check out the Floyd Brewer’s Grain Beer Crackers Kickstarter page here.
Images courtesy of Floyd Eats.