Barrier Brewing

A Toast to Long Island


This post originally appeared on Craft Beer New York.

After a long, well-lubricated holiday weekend, the last thing I need is another beer in my belly. I should stick to water, with a cleansing salad thrown in for fun. But common sense has never been my strong suit. Tonight, I'll no doubt find myself with a beer in hand. After all, it's the charitable thing to do.

Today marks the release of Surge Protector IPA, which was brewed to benefit the food bank Long Island Cares and Barrier Brewing. Though the Oceanside brewery is now back up and running after getting socked by Sandy, the bill for repairs topped more than $100,000. To help defray the costs, Long Island's best brewers gathered at Blue Point in December to brew a collaborative beer.

Representatives from Greenport Harbor, Blue Point, Blind Bat, Long Ireland, Spider Bite, Port JeffGreat South Bay and Barrier all bandied about ideas for the brew, settling on an easy-drinking IPA that checks in at a quaffable 5 percent ABV. Each brewery donated ingredients for what became a 30-barrel batch of Surge Protector.

While most of the beer is earmarked for bars and bottle shops on Long Island, a small amount of Surge Protector will wash up in New York City. Look for the IPA at Brooklyn's 61 Local and Alewife Queens, as well as the Bronx Alehouse and the Hell's Kitchen location of Pony Bar.

Don't feel guilty for having a second, or even a third pint. After all, drinking is merely the charitable thing to do.

P.S. Check out this video detailing the process of brewing and bottling Surge Protector.

Rebuilding Barrier Brewing

image012 One of my favorite breweries in New York is Barrier, which Sixpoint vets Evan Klein and Craig Frymark have built up from a one-barrel nanobrewery to a five-barrel brewhouse with an eye on spreading their inventive, hop-forward ales across New York City and the region.

Well, that was the case until Sandy socked Barrier. Its name proved scant protection. Water rushed into the brewery, knocking equipment asunder and coldly, quickly destroying everything. This blow hit doubly hard, mainly because Barrier had just moved into its larger, newer—and more expensive—space four months earlier. The damage was to the tune of $100,000, a tough nut to scrape up for a couple brewers barely scraping by.

But the New York brewing community does not allow disaster to knock down its brothers and sisters. What Barrier needs to do is sell beer on the double, which is where Brewery Ommegang comes into the story. The Belgian-focused brewery has opened up its brew kettles to the crew from Barrier.

"Ommegang is a brewery we’ve always been inspired by and have admired and to actually be here on the ground making a beer with them is a really exciting thing," said Barrier's Frymark.

The crew designed Barrier Relief Ale, a Belgian-style IPA that Ommegang will cook up. There will be around 400 kegs, which will be sold under the Ommegang label with the proceeds directly benefiting Barrier. The beer should be hitting tap lines shortly after the New Year. Hopefully, Barrier we'll be back in business before then.

"We're rebuilding. We've reordered all of the equipment that we need to be operational again," explained Barrier's Klein. "The goal is to be up and running before the year is out."

And we'll drink to that.

P.S. Also of note: Ommegang will soon release a Game of Thrones–inspired beers.

Brewed Awakening NYC Book Release!

Oh, yes. It's time to celebrate.

Come join drinkers and thinkers at the City Reliquary as they proudly host my book-release party for Brewed Awakening. To celebrate, we’ve enlisted expert homebrewers Fritz Fernow and Dan Pizzillo to craft one-of-a-kind ales for the party. In addition, Rich Buceta will debut suds from his forthcoming SingleCut Beersmiths (get a taste before he launches next year!), and Barrier Brewing will have a rare beer on tap too. Want more? Your entrance enters you into a raffle to win beers from Brooklyn Brewery.

Since mankind can’t live on beer alone (oh, how we wish we could!), we’ll also be serving up hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Frankies 457, as well as goodies sizzled on the grill. Come thirsty. Come hungry. Leave with a full belly and a book. I will sign it. Heck, I’ll sign anything. Anything.

Details: WHEN: Tuesday, November 1, 7pm–10pm WHERE: The City Reliquary (370 Metropolitan Avenue, near Havemeyer Street). It's a few blocks off the L at Lorimer Street. TICKETS: $10 for unlimited food and beer; $25 for unlimited food, beer and a book. If you purchased a book online, feel free to bring it for me to sign.

Small Wonders

This week on the Daily Meal, I dive deep into one of my favorite trends in craft brewing, nanobreweries. Basically, these are pint-size breweries that typically craft less than three barrels of beer at a time—that is, about kegs. But when it comes to great beer, size isn’t everything. But when it comes to great beer, size isn’t everything. In Long Island, Barrier Brewing turns out the bitter, full-bodied Ruthless Rye IPA. In Hillsboro, Oregon, Ambacht Ales doses its beers with Pacific Northwest honey, which adds an alluring sweetness. These are big, delicious beers from small, small breweries.

For the full rundown, head over to the Daily Meal. Curious? Drink it up!