NYC Summer Beers in Session
Lauren Grimm, pictured with ASN Editor Tony Forder, was a judge at the Mondial de la Biere festival in Montreal. Grimm Ales is hoping for a late July opening for their Brooklyn brewery.
by Cat Wolinski
As summer arrives, we turn our attention to the sessionable: the heat and humidity-friendly brews that can at once quench our thirst and excite our nostrils and palates. Breweries borough-wide are introducing and reintroducing an array of sessionable brews this season, from the juicy and hazy to clean, crisp and crazy.
NYC is still patiently awaiting the arrival of breweries that have been teasing taproom openings for several months now: Grimm Artisanal Ales in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Evil Twin Brewing in Ridgewood, Queens; Queens Brewery, also in Ridgewood; and Stillwater Artisanal Ales in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. No definitive dates were set at press time, but keep an eye out for those breweries as the weather warms up.
Also coming this summer, in August, is the first ever Women in Craft Beer Week, organized by Hop Culture, an online magazine and events company based in New York. The designated week, dubbed Beers With(out) Beards, will be hosted here Aug. 7-12. The week will culminate with a ticketed tasting festival at The Well in Bushwick, Brooklyn on Saturday, Aug. 11. The event will feature beers from women-owned breweries (and women brewers), as well as a forum discussion. Possible panelists include Ann Reilly of Five Boroughs Brewing; Mary Izett of Fuhmentaboudit! and Cuzett Libations; and yours truly, Cat Wolinski.
Five Boroughs has released the appropriately named Summer Ale, a 5% blonde ale that marries light sweetness with a dry finish. Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC) is taking a smoke break with its Helles Kitchen, a 4.5% smoked helles lager. The Bushwick brewery is also all about collaboration lately, with taproom offerings at press time including: G to the L session IPA, a collaboration with Park Slope bar, Greenwood Park; Tourist Trap cream ale brewed with Oyster Bay Brewing of Long Island; Operation IBIS, a pilsner brewed with Pure Project of San Diego; and Viking Tango, a rye IPA brewed with Amager Bryghus of Kastrup, Denmark. Look out for a second run of KCBC’s Morbid Hour schwarzbier brewed in collaboration with the Six Most Metal Breweries and Saint Vitus. KCBC also recently collaborated with Other Half Brewing. Those brews will be coming to a can release near you this summer.
Other Half recently released fresh batches of DDH Space Daydream Imperial Oat Cream IPA, DDH Green Power Imperial IPA, and DDH Ain’t Nothing Nice IPA; along with a Citra version of Double Cream Get the Honey, and Sudden Brainwaves Imperial Blueberry Honey Oat Cream IPA, a collaboration with Northern Monk of the U.K.
Folksbier Brauerei debuted new cans at the Folksbier tasting room, including Sif, a delightfully drinkable, dry hopped table beer inspired by Belgio-Franco farmhouse ales, fermented with a Norwegian yeast strain, and dry-hopped with New Zealand hop, Motueka; and Satsuma Mandarin Glow Up, one in the “Glow Up” series of fruited Berliner Weisse-style beers. This one’s conditioned with Japanese satsuma mandarin juice and zest.
Threes Brewing recently released Circus of Misdirection, a dry-hopped pilsner offering up notes of white tea, peaches, and herbal hop aroma, brewed in collaboration with Fair State Brewing Cooperative.
Fifth Hammer Brewing is off to a strong start in Long Island City. Its latest, Llama Drama, is a 7.2% hazy New England-style IPA double dry-hopped with Mosaic and Palisade hops.
LIC Beer Project has released Party Crasher, a 5.5% session IPA brewed with oats and double dry-hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Nugget hops. (It’s the little brother to Pile of Crowns DIPA.) LICBP also released Unicorn Apocalypse, an 8.5% imperial IPA brewed with a blend of two malted oat varieties, a new base malt, and a Vermont yeast.
Rockaway Brewing has released Observation IPA, a 5.5% crusher whose can art features Queens pride with an image depicting the World’s Fair observation towers. The LIC-based, multi-location brewery also dropped new Hawaiian Pizza IPA cans in April.
Finback Brewery released two new cans in May: Bright Field Kolsch, 5.4 percent ABV and dry-hopped with Blanc hops; and Split Second, a 5.4 percent ABV lager lightly dry hopped with Citra and Blanc.
Have you gotten your hands on Transmitter cans? W3 Hibiscus Orange Wit is one of the latest, featuring a beautiful pink color and bright citrus aromas and flavors.
The Bronx Brewery has been aggressively promoting its B-Tracks Series, a taproom-only series of beers crafted in partnership with Baldor Food. The latest, My Berry Own IPA, is a “Northeast IPA” brewed with Harry’s Berries strawberries – 120 lbs worth, to be exact. Look for the next in the B-Tracks Series at the Bronx Brewery taproom.
Kills Boro Brewing has started the Kills Boro Run Club. For those who like a reward for their runs (or to work for their beers), this club will involve monthly runs with a free pour after every meeting. It’ll also include discounts. The first run will take place on June 9. (For more information, email Trish at email@example.com).
Hailing from Heartland Brewery is the New York Historic Beer Series Vol. 4: Lion Brewery Heller Bock. This beer, the fourth in Heartland’s NYC tribute series, emulates an 1800s-era beer brewed by the Lion Brewery, which was the first American brewery to make pilsner, according to Heartland.
Speaking of historic brews, Piels Beer has returned to NYC. Peep the #pielsrevival hashtag or visit www.pielsbeer.com for more info.