WHAT: It Takes Two: Homebrew, Cheese and Charcuterie in the Historic Crown Finish Caves
WHEN: Saturday, December 1, 1 pm.
WHERE: Crown Finish Caves (925 Bergen Street, Crown Heights, Brooklyn)
TICKETS: $60. They go on sale Friday, October 26, at 12 p.m. (I hate charging this much for tickets, but this event is really, really expensive to run. And we only have 70 tickets.)
There's no better place to explore the intersection of dairy and drinking than Crown Finish Caves. Here in Crown Heights, an 1850s brewery's subterranean tunnels--where cool lagers once aged 30 feet beneath the streets--has been transformed into a cheese-aging wonderland.
For our annual underground event--one of the rare chances to visit Crown Finish Caves--we're going to sample three cheeses: the unpasteurized Barnburner smoked cheddar, Alpine-style Tubby fashioned from raw cow's milk and Bufarolo, a washed-rind cheese made from water buffalo milk.
Each cheese will be assigned to two homebrewers (six sets in total, see below), who will each brew a beer designed to be its perfect pairing. Mix and match, which pair best? Moreover, we'll be serving welcome pilsners and lagers from Five Boroughs Brewing, as well as sausages that a master charcuterie maker fermented just for you. Also: there will be sourdough bread!
The brewers, bakers, sausage makers and Crown Finish Caves affineurs (translation: the folks that skillfully age the cheese) will be on hand to answer all questions. Your host is me!
It's a warm welcome to the holiday season, set in the coolest location in town. Space is limited to 70 tickets. The experience: not to be repeated. Because that would be boring.
Paired With Tubby:
Roman Goyenko: The software engineer's interest in fermentation started with his mother, who ran a bread factory's lab, and his father, who made wine and fermented sauerkraut. Roman started brewing two years ago, his hobby fast turning into addiction. Roman has placed first in several homebrewing competitions, and his favorite styles are European lagers and hoppy beers.
Kat Watt and David Taylor: Kat and David started homebrewing in 2012, when they impulsively bought a Brooklyn Brew Shop kit from Whole Foods. Years later, they're still excited to experiment, whether it's brewing a new style, attempting a new process or adding different hops or fruit to a recipe. Along the way they’ve had failed experiments, flooded kitchens and delicious successes. When not brewing, Kat plays with cats professionally and David argues with computers.
Paired With Washed Bufarolo:
Randall Leazer: Despite his wholesome Midwest upbringing, Randall chose to run away to the big city to become a commercial photographer. During a sojourn in London, he stumbled upon cask ale and some heavy casseroles! After learning that beer doesn’t have to be pale yellow and exploding out of a silver can, he sought out flavorful exception, in turn learning to homebrew in 2012. Most of his closet experiments have been mixed-fermentation Belgian styles.
Pia Sen and Russell Smith: Pia and Russell started brewing in 2012 and are mostly focused on brewing classic styles, sometimes with a twist (an unexpected favorite is a blonde ale based on the flavors of Indian ice cream). Russell got interested in brewing, in part, thanks to the wide selection of craft and rare brews at dearly departed neighborhood gem, Eagle Provisions. Pia got interested in it as a way to explore the mysteries of fermentation and take the creativity of cooking in a new direction. A class at Brooklyn Homebrew was one of their earliest dates.
Paired With Smoked Cheddar:
Scott Aufderheide: Scott started brewing in his college-dorm closet in 2012. His beers weren't great, but the parties thrown with homebrew were a hit. After a brief hiatus, he picked up brewing again when he moved to NYC in 2016. Scott loves learning more about all the intricacies of fermentation, testing different techniques and combining flavors to make an awesome drink. While he does love a good beer, Scott's primary homebrew focus is mead. P.S. Scott works as a software developer at a visual effects studio, creating imagery for commercials, TV shows, and movies. The combination of creative and technical challenges are also what drew him to homebrewing.
Sheri Lyn: Sheri became interested in craft beer while traveling in Europe in 2007. Tasting the local brews was a great way to engage with a new culture and develop a palate for different styles. Sheri went to Australia in 2010 to pursue a Masters degree in environmental management and international development, a subject otherwise known as "drinking beer with Australians." While in Australia, Sheri volunteered at a family-run brewery and hop farm, and has a passion for brewing using locally grown ingredients whenever possible. Sheri started homebrewing in 2011 and draws inspiration from global ingredients like fruit and spices found at Brooklyn's diverse markets. In 2015, Sheri cofounded the Brewminaries homebrew club, which is now the largest homebrewing club in New York City. The Brewminaries help each member brew better beer through group brews and experiments. Sheri loves how beer brings people from all cultures and backgrounds together!