Tuesdays in the summertime. Your favorite shows are either cancelled or on summer hiatus. Your favorite sports teams not named Mets or Yankees are in the offseason. Summer movies have been awful (Sorry, Rob Pattinson) and Broadway box office numbers are in the proverbial toilet. Your thirst for a new area experience, to this point, has not been quenched. It’s time to put down that bottle of water and grab an ice cold draft of frothy beer from Bierkraft in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Labeled as a gourmet grocery, Bierkraft looks more like a gourmet beer distributor as it’s narrow entranceway is shelved with literally hundreds of bottles of craft beers, imported and domestic, for take-out purchase. At the end of the walkway is a chalkboard featuring the 15 or so offerings of draft beers being poured that day for in store indulgence. The space also offers a small biergarden-esque seating area, lined with wooden benches and tables for hanging out inside and tasting, or for the gourmet cheeses and sandwiches available as well. Stocked with over 250 different cheeses and 100 different chocolates, the small boutique shop seeks to serve several niches. Perhaps most impressive are the delectable and freshly made sandwiches sold at the side counter. With house made meats and fresh ingredients, the enormous sandwiches ($10 ea.) are paired with Zapp’s Chips and can be either selected from a suggested menu or customized to your liking. The roast beef, paired with horseradish, and the turkey sandwiches were our favorites.
What drew LocalBozo.com to Bierkraft initially however, was the Tuesday Tastings. Every Tuesday evening at 7pm, Bierkraft provides five free beers to taste (in shot glasses), alternating between local brewers and staff members to lead the session. Seats are first come, first serve and are limited, so make sure to get there early. We were fortunate enough to taste two distinct beers from Japan and three Scandinavian beers, all while discussing the history of brewing in each region and discussing the flavors emitted from each beer. The room was packed, but the guests were friendly, as our guide answered any questions and was extremely informative. The beer tastings and the information are free, but you will be hard pressed not to leave Bierkraft with a growler of brew and a hearty sandwich.
- Jane Van Arsdale