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Faye Penn is the founder of Brokelyn and publisher of the Brooklyn and Queens Beer Books, the Brooklyn Cocktail Book and other stuff you ain't seen yet. She lives in Ditmas Park. Get at her at brokelyn@gmail.com

07/21/15 12:36pm
Gaia DeLoreto ditched the grind to open a store featuring only things made in Brooklyn.

Gaia DiLoreto ditched the grind to open a store featuring only things made in Brooklyn.

Quitting everything and opening your own small, charming shop that supports local business is a dream of both romcom protagonists and Brooklynites alike. Instead of just dreaming about it though, Gaia DiLoreto actually quit her job and did it, opening By Brooklyn, the only store in existence that sells goods made exclusively right here in Kings County. The original shop in Cobble Hill has been so successful that DiLorento was able to open a second store in Williamsburg this year. Since we have dreams of ditching the regular grind too, we asked DiLoreto the secrets to doing it. (more…)

07/18/15 10:47am

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Clodagh McGowan, a Queens reporter for NY1, did a great video this week on the Queens Beer Book. We can’t embed but please click on the picture of in-house beer expert Cat Wolinski to see our nifty little bar and brewery discovery guide in action. Then click on this to enjoy your own beer-fueled explorations:

07/14/15 8:51am

Market Skyview

Update: The signup is now closed. If you missed out on our Cyclones giveaway on Saturday night, fear not: everything-is-free-for-Brokelyn-readers weekend continues on Sunday at the Long Island City Flea & Food, where you get a pro bono beer as a welcome gift, just for being a loyal reader of one of the finest digital publications in all of Brooklynland.

Our friends at the LIC Flea wanted to show you guys around their market at Hunter’s Pointso they’re offering Brokelyn readers a brew on the house at the beer garden on Sunday, where the Queens Brewery will be doing a residency for the day.

But beer alone does not a market make: LIC Flea & Food also has a fine array of vendors including Dutch Kills Klotheing, which creates t-shirts and accessories focused on the history of Dutch Kills, the brisket and pulled-pork purveyors Butcher Bar and Fiza Fashion, which sells Indian jewelry and other shiny, summery things.

Fifa Fashion, an outpost of all things Indian and boho-chic.

Fifa Fashion, an outpost of all things Indian and boho-chic.

While you’re Fleaing, there’s plenty to do nearby: kayak for free courtesy of the LIC Community Boathouse , soak in some sun at Gantry Plaza State Park along the East River or visit PS1 or the Museum of the Moving Image. (On a less cultural, more personal note: LIC has a crazy paint ball / laser tag place where you can discharge your inner hellfire without your nice Brooklyn friends seeing what a militaristic animal you really are.)

The market is open from 10 to 6 and located at-25 46th Avenue in Long Island City. We’ll be there selling our first-ever, world-famous Queens Beer Books, so pop by and say hello. To claim your status as a Brokelyn reader and rightful deserver of free beer, give us your name and check in at the beer garden on Sunday. Cheers!

06/06/15 12:14am
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BEFORE: a romantic dinner for two.

Does a typical night consist of falling asleep in your kid’s bed after scraping the mac & cheese crust from the pot? Sneaking out after bedtime for an overdue Fairway shop and splurging on stinky cheese? Or the worst fate of all… going to a school concert?

I see your Pirate’s Booty and raise you mom jeans. But there’s new hope for us shut ins, and I’m here to tell you about it.  (more…)

Threes Brewing

Threes Brewing

Threes Brewing,
333 Douglass Street, Gowanus
(718) 522-2110


What it is: A new brewery, bar and event space with an eclectic entertainment lineup of music, poetry, food and beer talks and a Grateful Dead DJ night.

Why we love it: This joint is a looker — it has all of the good parts of what passes for Brooklyn design these days without succumbing to the clichés. If there’s an industrial vibe about the place, it’s because there’s an actual functioning brewery behind the scenes. Threes Brewing serves 10 house-made beers on tap, along with a bunch of favorites from “friends and heroes.” Four wine taps feature hard-to-find varietals.

What to order: You can’t go wrong with any of the house beers, but their newest Imperial Pale Ale, called Superf*ckingyawn, is probably the most fun to order. Threes features a rotating crew of food partners including Rucola, the Meat Hook and Dover / Battersby.

Regular tip: Ninth Street Espresso’s first Brooklyn location at Threes Brewing serves craft coffee every morning.

05/01/15 11:08am

The Castello Plan in Ditmas Park

The Castello Plan
1213 Cortelyou Rd. (at Argyle)
Ditmas Park

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What it is: The snazzy, woody bar and restaurant is a pillar of “the new Smith Street,” as Marty Markowitz has called Cortelyou Road.

Why we love it: Rustic but not pig-farmy, trend-conscious but not precious, Castello Plan is highbrow modern Brooklyn but not achingly so. Castello’s wide-ranging  menu has an adventurous side (gazpacho with white peach and seared squid) but doesn’t thumb its nose at updated classics (tagliatelle with tomato pesto and pecorino.) Bring a date, for sure, or old friends you want to catch up with while feeling like you’ve done well for yourselves. Uninformed people who ignorantly equate your fantasy of moving to gorgeous Ditmas Park with words like “finished,” “suburbia” and “Queens?”

What to order: All-you-can eat mussels on Monday nights ($11), oysters for $1 on Saturday afternoons, the charcuterie platter any time. Choose from 16 beers including seven European craft labels. The cocktail menu is divided into “Classic” and “Signature,” so you can opt for a Sazerac (founded in 1838 in New Orleans, as the menu annotates) first and then a “Kentucky Two-Timer” (bourbon, antica formula, mint tea, lavender, black pepper, toasted coriander). Meet somewhere in the middle with “Brooklyn Crossing” a classic dirty martini using pickles from the Pickle Guys.  At daily happy hours from 4 to 8, beer is $4 and cocktails and wine are $6. Also, brunch.

Regular tip: The name refers to Jacques Cortelyou’s first map of lower Manhattan. Delightful owners Ben Heemskerk and Mauri Weakley also own the richly curated Collyer Mansion home store on nearby Stratford Road and Lea, an Italo-terranean spot where Vox Pop used to be.

Enjoy 2-for-1 cocktails at the Castello Plan with our 2015 Cocktail Book, on sale now!

04/27/15 11:00am


899 Bergen St. (btw. Classon and Franklin),
Crown Heights

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram

What it is: A Brooklyn beer hall from the founders of Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg, with food from Asia Dog, Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, Pizza Moto and Ramen Burger. Featuring draft beers from Other Half, Barrier, Peekskill, along with cool bottles and cans from all over the world; Parlor Coffee, Dough donuts and a springy outdoor courtyard.

Why we love it: Sometimes you want to eat popcorn at your cozy little bar on the corner and sometimes you want to inhale the collective energy of a Brooklyn moment. At Berg’n, the borough’s real estate and industrial ambitions collide with its ramenburger culture to produce a post-modern food-and-drink court where you can hatch your own get-rich conquests. Or just drink beer and play Metallica pinball.

What to order: You can’t really go wrong with all the chow here, but Asia Dogs ($4.50 to $5.50) are a personal favorite. The Luke overfloweth with beef chili topped by Thai basil and pickled onions, and the Vinh is a mashup between a hotdog and a Banh Mi.

Regular tip: In a Village Voice interview last year with the founders, Eric Demby says that Smorgasburg vendors are subject to his partner  Jonathan Butler’s curious food whims: “Jonathan’s a picky eater — he doesn’t like pickles, tomatoes, mushrooms — so those people never get in,” Demby says.
04/20/15 1:00pm

Midwood Flats

Midwood Flats,
577 Flatbush at Midwood, Prospect Lefferts Gardens,
(718) 484-4466

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What it is: The wood, iron and Edison-bulb craft bar and gastropub that the neighborhood wanted. With its extensive beer and spirit lists paired with unabashedly hearty app-and-burger menu, Midwood Flats draws nightly crowds.

Why we love it: While there are a handful of great new bars in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, the neighborly but just-upscale-enough vibe here will draw you back again and again. Open less than a year, Midwood Flats feels like it’s been here forever.

What to order: Artichoke hearts, the catfish BLT or a lobster roll (in two versions: classic and nouveau) that recalls the best New England shacks. Did we mention the burgers?

Pro tip: It’s not actually in Midwood, or anywhere near it. Take the  Q to Parkside.

sycamore brooklyn

via Sycamore

1118 Cortelyou Rd. (between Stratford Rd & Westminster), Ditmas Park,

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What it is: Sycamore has been called the “coziest bar in Brooklyn,” and while we aren’t ready to throw Brokelyn’s editorial might behind that assertion, we’ll put it squarely in the running, with its bricky, whiskeyed, wool-sweatery feel, friendly bartenders and one’s tendency to get sucked in and never leave.

Why we love it: Sycamore is like a Catskills bar because it’s mostly locals during the week but Saturday nights it gets packed—and we mean that—with weekenders from parts unknown, ie, not Ditmas Park. In warm weather, the backyard is made for letting lost afternoons spill over into the wee hours. Plus, there’s a sweet flower shop named Stems in the front of the house—what other bar has that? Bring whiskey and craft beer lovers and everyone else. Hard to find anyone who doesn’t like this place. Lately, the bar has been beefing up the events: a monthly Star Sign Party on the ides of every month features tarot reading, drink specials and flower crowns from Stems. Sycamore also hosts a monthly Beer Club that spotlights a different brewery every month. A monthly Queer Party (Ditmas Park’s only!) called Q-Train features live performances on the lit-up bar (!)

What to order: Ask the bartender to choose a whiskey chaser for your beer. You won’t be disappointed.

Regular tip: Ditmas Parkers still talk about that time The National popped by and played an unannounced set because they live in the neighborhood and what else does The National do on Tuesday afternoons?