There are a lot of weeks in winter. Presidents Week, Restaurant Week, New York Fashion Week, all those other weeks in between that are vaguely cold and unimportant. But there is one week, above all, that lifts our spirits every February, and that is NYC Beer Week. The 10-day celebration of New York beer is kicking off this Friday across the boroughs, and we’ve sifted through to find you the best free and cheap events happening in Brooklyn.
The 7th Annual NYC Beer Week begins Friday, February 20 and ends Sunday, March 1—yes, that’s right, the precious week is so epic, it miraculously lasts for ten days instead of seven—and though it includes a lots of events that we can’t afford (the Opening Bash on Feb. 21, Brewers Choice on Feb. 24 and the Closing Beer and Brass Brunch on March 1, to name a few) but there are also lots of free events to enjoy throughout the extended week. Pro tip: bring your Beer Books!
Feb. 20, 2015 – Opening Tap
Beer Street Beer Week Kickoff
At Beer Street (413 Graham Ave., East Williamsburg), kicking off on Friday, the treasure chest of a beer bar will be featuring NYC-brewed beauts on all ten tap lines so you’ll never run out of local beers to taste. As an added bonus, they’ll be pouring a special cask made custom for the event by Finback Brewery, so get here on Friday if you can.
NYC Six Pack at Full Circle Bar
Full Circle Bar (318 Grand St., Williamsburg) birthplace of Brewskee-Ball, is opting for a Beer Week special to get you and your friends out of your winter holes. For the duration of the week, you can get six NYC beers—Sixpoint’s Crispin, Resin, Bengali Tiger and Sweet Action, Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Lager, and Bronx Brewery’s Bronx Pale Ale—for a total of $25. That’s six NYC pints for 25 bucks. Totally worth it. If you’re going it alone, pace yourself with a hotdog or two.
Beer Week Specials at Happyfun Hideaway
Happyfun Hideaway (1211 Myrtle Ave., Bushwick) loves a good excuse to celebrate, so they’ll be offering two specials all the way through Beer Week: $1 off local beers like Brooklyn Lager and Sixpoint Crispin, and $10 for a Smuttynose Porter and grilled cheese. The deal’s too good for us to complain that Smuttynose is from New Hampshire, and anyway, we love Smuttynose.
Finback Brewery Tap Takeover at Northern Bell
Northern Bell (612 Metropolitan Ave., East Williamsburg) is killing it with events all week, kicking things off on Friday, Feb. 20 with a small tap takeover and meet-and-greet with Finback Brewery, the brewers from Queens making waves with their sours, seasonals and most recently, a barrel aged stout brewed with coffee and chocolate. If you can’t make it here on Friday, keep an eye out for more events Sunday, Monday and Thursday.
Opening Tap Ceremony at Dirck the Norseman
There’s lots to celebrate this week at Dirck the Norseman (7 North 15th St. at Franklin, Greenpoint), where a new Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. brew concocted on the premises will be released each day for the entirety of Beer Week.
For Opening Tap, they’ll be introducing the Runner Porter, Greenpoint Beer & Ale’s cask conditioned porter brewed with brettanomyces claussenii yeast.
Opening Tap at Glorietta Baldy
Glorietta Baldy (502 Franklin Ave., Bed-Stuy) is participating in Opening Tap pouring Bushwick neighbors, Braven Brewing’s White IPA, which just tapped for the first time across local bars last month.
NYC Beer Showcase at The Adirondack
It’s all New York, all the time at The Adirondack (1241 Prospect Ave., Windsor Terrace) which plans to feature NYC beers on all 12 tap lines throughout the week. Co-owner Paul Hamill said it to Brokelyn best: “there are so many breweries right here in the five boroughs now, and [NYC Beer Week] gives us a chance to showcase as many of them as we can.” Exact beers and prices aren’t listed yet—check back throughout the week find out if anything special is on its way.
Feb. 21, 2015
Brett to the Bone! at Brouwerij Lane
Starting on Saturday and continuing until Feb. 28, Brouwerij Lane (78 Greenpoint Ave., Greenpoint) is boasting “Brett to the Bone!,” seven nights of $4 half pours of seven of “the best damn Brett beers made in New York,” in collaboration with Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co., Other Half Brewing, Threes Brewing, Barrier Brewing Co., SingleCut Beersmiths and Transmitter Brewing.
For those wondering who Brett is, brettanomyces is an au natural, unpredictable ale yeast that’s been making quite the comeback in craft brewing recently. Because of its rogue style and funky finish, you’ll find this behind most of the beers you may have tried that are sour, farmhouse ales, and basically any beer that’s smelled kinda like horses and made your mouth pucker. Not to worry, though—it takes practice and skill to brew a good Brett-fermented brew, and these guys know what they’re doing.
Meet the Distillers and Brewers at Dirck the Norseman
From 6pm-8pm Saturday, Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. will be serving 5 oz flights of their Kentucky Common and Runner Porter in their normal and Van Brunt Malt Whiskey barrel aged versions, along with a shot of Van Brunt Malt Whiskey from Red Hook’s Van Brunt Stillhouse. Makers of both boozy beverages will be present to watch you drool over their collaborative barrel aged creations.
Feb. 22, 2015
Sixpoint Special Reserves and Swag at Northern Bell
Sixpoint is heading up to Northern Bell on Sunday with two special reserve kegs, as well as their Hi-Res 10% ABV. Also on tap is the possibility of Sixpoint crew buying beers and handing out Sixpoint swag, so get there early to get the goods.
Local Beer & Sammy Day at Covenhoven
At the young and illustrious Covenhoven (730 Classon Ave, Crown Heights), bottle shop, taproom and beer garden that introduced itself to Brooklyn one year ago and has been loyal to local brews ever since, Sunday is Local Beer & Sammy Day. The double-whammy of delicious, presented in collaboration with the Beerded Ladies, will include a $12 pairing menu featuring four local brews from Finback, Other Half, SingleCut and Grimm with a selection of locally sourced sandwiches and an artisanal cheese plate, dually celebrating Beer Week and the shop’s new cheese and sandwich program. Sandwich and beer pairings start at 1pm, stick around to chat with the brewers from 3pm to 5pm.
Feb. 23, 2015
Radiant Pig Wing Eating Contest at Northern Bell
Like we said, Northern Bell is kicking butt at Beer Week this year, and you’d be remiss to miss out. On Monday, the Beer Week-loving southern-style bar and restaurant will be bringing in Radiant Pig Craft Beers—for a wing eating contest.
Admission is $10 and includes a pint of Radiant Pig Junior IPA or Gangster Duck American Red Ale. Head brewer, Rob Pihl will be on hand to answer questions, eat wings and drink beer with you, so between that and the rumored giveaways, you probably shouldn’t miss this.
Feb. 25, 2015
NY: the New Breed at Glorietta Baldy
On Wednesday in Bed-Stuy, Glorietta Baldy will be boozing and shmoozing with the makers of 12 New York State and New York City brews, including Gun Hill, Other Half, Threes, War Flag, Grimm, Braven, Third Rail, Transmitter, Finback, Peekskill and Naked Flock. Pricing isn’t assigned for each beer, but there’s no cover and the costs will be low, hovering around $5 for 12oz and 8oz pours of some really special beers.
The event will showcase the new breed of craft brewers who have resuscitated the brewing industry in New York over the past two years. Get out and show some support for the guys and gals that have put New York’s beer scene back on the map! More details will be provided on Beer Menus and Facebook throughout the week.
Feb. 26, 2015
Coffee [Beer] and Doughnuts at the Gate
On Thursday at The Gate (321 5th Ave., Park Slope), you can celebrate three wonderful things in one mouth: coffee, beer and doughnuts. At this coffee beer and doughnut pairing event, New York java-infused brews and cellared coffee beers from the Gate’s legendary cellar will be poured with pastries aplenty. New York brews on tap include the Ithaca Java Power and Southern Tier Mokah 2010.
Non-New York brews in the sweet brewy mix include the incredibly intriguing Beanery Coffee IPA and Beanery Coffee Milk Stout—the first kegs of Vermont’s Beanery Brewing to hit NYC—along with the Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Porter 2011, and Lagunitas’ High West Bbl Aged Coffee Imperial Stout. Trays of delicious confectionary rings will be set out to pair with your brewtastic beverages for a very reasonable $6-$7 per pint.
Braven Brewery and Plinko at Northern Bell
On Thursday, Braven Brewing will be at Northern Bell to hang out, talk gypsy brewing and possibly play their proprietary Plinko Board of Death with you.
Other Half Total Tap Takeover at Covenhoven
At 6pm, Covenhoven will showcase the best of Other Half in a monstrous tap takeover celebrating 16 hoppy accomplishments from the Gowanus brewers. All of the Hop’deded crew will be there to bask in the glory of All Green Everything in this Stupid Wild lineup of Other Half IPA–get the full list here.
Feb. 28, 2015
Motley Brew Two Ways at Dirck the Norseman
Next up at Dirck the Norseman is the release of their Motley Brew, a saison brewed with New York-grown grains last April. At the time, the crafty brewers split the saison into separate oak barrels to ferment, each receiving a different strain of brettanomyces yeast. Come see what the funk is about.
March 1, 2015
Closing Party Celebration at Dirck the Norseman
For the week’s final eve, Dirck will have all of their NYC Beer Week releases on tap. The finale is free and open to the public, but you can secure your spot on Eventbrite if you’re afraid you’ll wuss out or need a tangible reminder to celebrate Beer Week 2015’s official end.
For up-to-the minute NYC Beer Week announcements and exclamations, follow @BeerAffair on Twitter. Have an event to add? Send an email to BeerAffair[at]gmail[dot]com, or put it in the comments.