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!
WHAT: It Takes Two: Homebrew, Cheese and Charcuterie in the Historic Crown Finish Caves
Over the past few decades Japan has developed a formidable craft beer scene, but before that, Japanese brewers spent centuries perfecting the brewing of sake. Today, American beer brewers have started to turn to Japan for inspiration, drawing on traditional sake brewing techniques and creating unique new hybrid beverages. At this talk, Joshua M. Bernstein, beer journalist and author of Homebrew World: Discover the Secrets of the World's Leading Homebrewers, traces how Japanese sake techniques and producers are influencing today's beer trends. Moderated by Akiko Katayama, food writer and host & producer of “JAPAN EATS!”.
WHAT: Carroll Gardens Homebrew Tour
WHEN: Saturday, October 20, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Homebrewers' homes in Brooklyn.
COST: $35. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 14, at 12 p.m.
Today, we’re touring three set-ups in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. You’ll start by meeting Brett Vanderbrook, who has been brewing beer since 2010, focusing on German tradition and cranking out tasty beers with just four simple ingredients—no lactose-laced milkshake IPAs at this stop. He loves the transformative nature of fermentation, savoring the subtle—and not-so-subtle—shifts as wort becomes beer.
Next, we’ll say hey to Nick Meyer. He started homebrewing 15 years ago in San Francisco before moving to New York City, his hobby accompanied by a wife and two kids. Today, they all happily coexist in Brooklyn, and Meyer has dedicated brewing space outfitted with handcrafted plumbing contraptions. They help Meyer, a professional chef and partner in Greenwich Village shop Some Good Beer, brew everything from Belgian-style tripels to funky wonders, lagers and pinpoint British-style pints.
Lastly, we’ll visit Adam Petherbridge and Jacob Ide. Former roommates, the friends found a perfect way to spend way too much time together--brewing beer. Over the last year, the friends have rapidly transitioned from extract to all-grain brewing, a compact brew kit to a room’s worth of gear. It’s incredible how much one can do in a Brooklyn apartment (or two). Adam loves to brew all kinds of beer, but if he had his druthers he’d be making spontaneous and wild beers on a farm somewhere, and Jacob would probably have a barrel-aged stout program.
Want more? You got it! We’ll end across the street from Folksbier to keep the shenanigans going.
Your guide will be Sheri Lyn. And she is awesome.
Rosé wine has ridden a pink steamroller across the drinking landscape, becoming a poster child for breezy good times – no matter the season. This panel partners brewers and cider makers, breaking down why they’re inspired by wine’s hottest style and how they’re using fruits, flowers and souring bacteria to put personal spins on rosé’s cultish brand of fruity refreshment.
For Feast Portland, I'm moderating the Tickled Pink panel featuring an all-star cast including Thomas Bleigh (Square Mile Cider, Portland), Chad Yakobson (Crooked Stave, Denver), Trevor Rogers (de Garde Brewing, Tillamook) and Ryan Burk (Angry Orchard, NYC).
Tickets are still available, should you care to come and drink your body weight in rosé-inspired beer and cider.
Tonight, I'll be down in San Diego. Join me for a beer—or four—and an exciting talk on homebrewing and the future of beer. This conversation with Josh will also include a panel of homebrew experts including award-winning homebrewer Nick Corona and White Labs Inc. R&D technician Benjamin Aldrich.
Tickets: click here!
To celebrate the release of Homebrew World, we're going to run a really fun tour that'll take us into the homes of homebrewers who have made the professional leap.
We'll start the tour at Svend Lindbaek's home, meeting the man behind the Hudson Valley's Svendale Brewing. He'll be opening a tasting room in Brooklyn this year, and this will be one of your earliest chances to try some of his pilsners, stouts ands IPAs.
From there, we'll walk over to Jason Sahler's apartment. Jason was on some of my earliest homebrew tours, and he's now the brains behind Strong Rope Brewery. After drinking beers at his house, we'll walk over to our final stop, Strong Rope, where you'll get another pint of beer—and a copy of Homebrew World.
Join me at Queens' spanking-new Fifth Hammer for my book-release party for Homebrew World. It'll be free to attend, though we'll have crazy deals. $25 will get you my book (a $25 value!), a pint of special collaboration beer and access to the homebrew lounge, where seven of my favorite brewers will have made ferments just for you to drink and drink and drink. Each book purchase gets two folks access to the lounge. And we may also have massive foam fingers. Because: why not.
New Yorkers like to be first. The first to eat at a restaurant. The first to see a band. The first to drink a beer. Tonight, at an old warehouse in seafaring Red Hook, not too terribly far from the water, youll get a chance to try beer from some of the latest and soon to be greatest breweries to enter the local market.
To start, Brooklyn's Folksbier and Threes will be on hand, as well as Suarez Family Brewery, to roll out the welcome mat with their pinpoint lagers and IPAs. Then, you'll be treated to some of the city's first tastes from a trio of breweries.
We'll meet the fine folks of Fair State, Minneapolis finest purveyor of pale ales, pilsners and more. Then, you'll drink the top beers from Fox Farm, a Connecticut brewery making waves for their unfiltered pilsner, robust porter and flavor-charged hazy IPAs. Lastly, well toast to Torch & Crown, a new entrant to New York City's beer scene helmed by a veteran from New Jersey's cultish Kane.
Additionally, Folksbier will sling their killer tacos (for carnivores and vegetarians alike) served on Tortilleria Nixtamal's top-notch corn tortillas. (Food purchases will be additional.)
The price? A pittance to cover the cost of the kegs and ice. The point is to make new beer friends, the kind that will be steady drinking companions in New York City tonight and for all future nights to come.
Oh hey, have you ever wanted to drink New York City's best beers and ask me any and every question your heart could desire? Lucky you, I'll be at Brookfield Place tonight judging the final event of their Best Brews of New York City event series. Who will be the winner? Everyone! Because: alcohol.
WHAT: Kensington and Ditmas Park Homebrew Tour
WHEN: Saturday, March 3, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Kensington and Ditmas Park, Brooklyn (address
TICKETS: $35. They'll be available Friday, February 2, at 12 p.m.
Despite New York's gnat-size apartments, NYC homebrewers refuse to let space limitations detract them from their mission: crafting some of the city's tastiest beer. On this tour, you'll venture inside the homes of three of Brooklyn's finest amateur brewers, who will display their set-ups, discuss their craft and, most importantly, open up their stash of superlative beer.
Today's walking tour will take us to Ditmas Park and Kensington, where we'll pop into a trio of homebrewers' homes. Homebrewing maestro Sheri Lyn will be your host, escorting you to the homes of...
Carrie started brewing in 2014 with her former roommate, based on a shared interest in cooking and drinking. Over the years, she started brewing more often and experimenting with more styles/flavors, leaning toward saisons with fruit. Carrie likes to make beers inspired by the people, places, and things she loves (like a Mother's Day IPA for her hop-head mom, or a beer inspired by Ulysses S. Grant's favorite party drink). Brewing in a small space is a fun challenge (aside from the cleanup) and has forced her to be creative in brewing as well as equipment storage. Carrie thinks one of the best parts of homebrewing is sharing beer with friends who don't brew and having them look at you like you're a literal wizard.
Pia Sen and Russell Smith
The twosome started brewing in 2012 and focus on classic styles with a twistan 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 the dearly departed Eagle Provisions. Pia's interest was piqued by the opportunity to explore fermentation and take the creativity of cooking in a new direction. Bigger batches are brewed in a 10 gallon mash tun and kettle, smaller batches using the "brew in a bag" method. Fun fact: One of their earliest dates was a Brooklyn Homebrew class.
George and Rachel Zeiss
George and Rachel have brewed at their homebrewery, "7A," since 2014. The 7A system slowly grew from 1-gallon batches in a 5-gallon pot with mostly brew in a bag to using a 10-gallon kettle and cooler mash tun system. Rachel is the current president of the Brewminaries Homebrew Club, and George and Rachel have been members since 2015. Starting with kits, they made their way to crafting their own recipes. No style or flavors are off limits--that's the point of homebrewing! They love to play with old favorites like their Chocolate Chipotle Stout and add, say, coffee beans or a pungent dry-hop to their kölsch. When George and Rachel aren't sharing their beers with friends and family, they love to participate in every possible homebrew charity event! Beer names tend to be puns on their favorite pop-culture references, because who doesn't love good wordplay!?
WHAT: Life’s a Beach: A beach-themed bash starring Rockaway Beach's favorite beers and food
WHEN: Saturday, January 27, 12 p.m.
WHERE: Rockaway Brewing (46-01 5th St., Long Island City)
COST: Free! (Except for the beers and food that you’ll so want to buy.)
January might be the least wonderful time of the year. After all the holidays have gone away, we’re stuck with cold days of endless grey, dreaming of warmer times and a return to the beach.
Summer is a long way off, but today we’re going to bring the best of Rockaway Beach to Rockaway Brewing. The sun-starved crew will cook special batches of summery IPAs like Muscle Beach (With a Sweater), as well as tapping Tacoway Beach to cook up its famously crunchy fish tacos.
Better still, we’ll have photo booths set up and DJs spinning sweet, summery tunes. Come dressed your finest tropical shirts, nose painted white with a streak of zinc, while watching surfing movies unspool in the wall. We’ll have…prizes? Sure, we’ll have prizes for the finest costume.
For one wintry day, at least, life will be a beach.
Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! This weekend, I’m partnering with Brooklyn’s @threesbrewing for our fourth edition of Can Jam, featuring some of the country’s most cultish canned beer. As always, the fun starts at noon, the event is free to attend and cans will just be $6 apiece. We’re not releasing the full list till later this week, but rest assured we’ll have rarities galore. Also: do I dare bring another beer bong? Only one way to find out!
Get Fresh: Unfiltered IPAs and Just-Canned Beers at KCBC