As Brooklyn is now home to several well-known breweries, such as Sixpoint and Brooklyn Brewery, where better to hold the event?! The amazing Skylight One Hanson event space, located inside the world-famous former Williamsburg Savings Bank, was the setting for the festival.
The festival offered up 2 floors (3 if you had a VIP pass) of beer, cider and choice liquor & wine. The outdoor area included local food trucks from NYC Original Pizza, Gorilla Cheese and Phil’s Steaks. The Brooklyn Pour featured not just excellent drink samplings, but also various forms of entertainment, social media and music.
Patrons were treated to group ‘selfies’ taken in the Bosco video booth, generous swag including t-shirts, mini-drink cups, sunglasses, pretzel necklaces, fake beards and mustaches, koozies and coasters, hipster hats, and an impressive selection of pleasure condoms (sponsored by Lifebeat – www.lifebeat.org – supporting HIV/AIDS awareness/prevention).
The bottom floor of “The BK Pour Game Area” (sponsored by Dave & Busters) featured more swag and games, varying from air hockey, “pop-a-shot” basketball, BK pour Insta-Bingo, (craft) beer pong, hack-a-sack and Cornhole flipping.
The VIP floor was small, but featured the best view of the day. VIP’ers were treated to a Whole Foods Market “swag bag” of various goodies, my favorite being the “bottle mustache.” Also featured were complimentary snacks from SCRATCHbread, Ovelia Psistaria and Paulaner Brauhaus.
So, now for the beer!
While I could go on and list all 125+ breweries featured, I (sadly!) did not have the ability to consume every single one of them. Here’s a list of what I thought were the highlights of the afternoon.
Ommegang – “Scythe & Sickle”
While I was praying to the Gods of the North, unfortunately they did not have the new Game of Thrones-inspired beer, Valar Morghulis, on tap. It will only be sold, as previously, in bottles. I was able to sample Scythe & Sickle, an-amber ale with a malt flavor to it. Not too strong – and carried great flavor with a nice aftertaste.
Sixpoint – “Sensi Harvest”
Sixpoint revealed their new seasonal beer, Sensi Harvest. It is a milder version of their Resin brand, however still featured that signature Sixpoint richness.
Brooklyn Brewery – “½ Ale”
½ Ale is a new addition to the Brooklyn line – a red-labeled beer (which I first mistook for their Brooklyn Blast) – less intense and smoother – like a light beer.
Lagunitas – “Nighttime”
Lagunitas Brewing Company sported a stout named “Nighttime” that was surprisingly good and not too rich.
Known for their assortment of ginger beers, Crabbie’s gave us new ideas about how to use their products with tequila, vodka, and bourbon to create different flavors. Their table display featured different recipes for “Dark & Stormies,” which are usually made with rum.
I made it a point to try all the seasonal beers, specifically, Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Ales. My top pick of the day was Heartland Brewery’s “Smiling Pumpkin Ale.” It has a small, but not over the top kick, smells great, and goes down smooth. It made me wish I had a growler on hand to take some home!
Here are a few other excellent seasonal offerings:
- Blue Point Brewing Company – Oktoberfest
- Coney Island Brewing Company – Freakoberfest
- Finback Brewery – I Pumpkin A
- Victory Brewing Company – Feistbier
- Shipyard Brewing Company – Pumpkinhead Ale
Also, here are my favorite breweries and their beers:
- Sixpoint – Resin
- Empire – IPA
- Ithaca – Flower Power
- Victory – Feistbier/Golden Monkey
- Original Sin – Elderberry Lime cider
- Bluepoint – Oktoberfest
Overall, this was a very well run event. I gained a lot of beer knowledge, and had a lot of fun! Although the price of admission is slightly high (between $55-$85), this is a worthwhile event for anyone who loves craft beer. Highly recommended!
If you’re thinking about attending next year, here are a few things to know:
- There is no re-entry – once you’re out you’re out.
- Bring cash for food trucks (or)
- Eat before the event (you want to taste all the beers, right?).
- Pace yourself.
- Read the handbook for a list of all the swag, games and entertainment.
- Have a planned way to get home (the subway location was excellent).
- Be safe and have fun!
With Wit and Charm!
– Kevin M