Blog: Farm and Beer Expo at Brooklyn Brewery
Aside from concocting some of the finest tasting local ales, the space at Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Brewery also hosts a bevy of different events, from the instructional to the digestible. Tuesday night, in conjunction with the Brooklyn Brew Shop, The Good Beer Seal, and Jimmy’s No. 43, the event space at the Brewery was the setting for a Farm & Beer Expo. The evening was a benefit for Ornery Farm, located in the Catskills, that suffered from the devastating effects of last year’s Hurricane Irene. While the cause is a noble one, attendees were treated to a fun and educational evening of all you can taste samplings.
With the event kicking off at 7pm, we arrived famished from a long day and made a mad dash for the food. To our immediate right sat the team from Coach Farm with their selection of three distinct cheeses- an unbelievably creamy fresh goat cheese, an aged pyramid with green peppercorn, and a triple cream. Each paired exceptionally well with some rosemary infused, salted La Panzanella crackers and proved a delicious starter for the evening. Host Jimmy’s No. 43 cooked up some tasty kale toast topped with anchovies, a drizzle of vinaigrette, and a mild cheddar, as well as a barbecued lamb shoulder quesadilla and a side of tasty pickled cauliflower. Aside from the cold temperature of the quesadilla, both dishes proved to compliment the selections of beer just fine.
Speaking of beer pairings, few things mesh better with a pint of frothy suds than pork and wings, and both would be on hand on this night. The East Village Meat Market brought along huge platters of roast pork, beer sausage, and mounds of sliced rye bread for a make your own sandwich station. The delicious Ukranian mustard sitting nearby proved to be a necessary component of our savory sandwiches. On the wing side, fellow Manhattan site DNAInfo was cooking up a barbecue jerk and more traditional style Buffalo wing, to the longest line of people inside. The saucy wings may have left a hand print on our beer cups, but the meat didn’t stand a chance of remaining on that bone.
Although the advertised beer samples were to be seven ounces, you often find that the vendors at these events are willing to give out a heavier handed pour. Such was the case at many of the ten distributors on hand at the Expo. Some of our favorites were Kelso of Brooklyn’s tasty ‘IPA,’ which we favored over their far smokier ‘Rauchbier Lager,’ Tundra Brewery’s ‘Red’ and ‘Ma-Pale’ (maple infused) ales, and even in a mild January, Peak Organic Brewing Company’s ‘Winter Session Ale.’ Host Brooklyn Brewery was also slinging up some of their own house brews like their ‘Blast,’ ‘Brown Ale,’ ‘AMA Blonda,’ and their ‘Mary & Maple Porter,’ along with their traditional ‘Lager.’
Once we were satiated from the tasty food samples and had a good buzz going from some hearty pours, we stopped by some of the informational tables on hand. Selling home brew kits was The Brooklyn Brew Shop along with their Beer Making Book to help home brewers along the way. Also, The Civilization of Beer offered up blind beer tastings as well as raffles for seats for their Cicerone beer sommelier program prep course. Before making our exit, we made sure to stop by the Village Voice table as our guest entered to win tickets to this year’s Village Voice Choice Eats event, an incredible food tasting festival if you remember our coverage from last year.
Food Karma/Jimmy’s No. 43 proprietor Jimmy Carbone has had a hand in planning some of the most eventful local food events over the past year. And the Farm & Beer Expo, albeit on a relatively smaller scale continued his standard of excellence. An affordable ticket grants tremendous tastes of local fare and different craft beers, the opportunity to meet and network with like minded New Yorkers, and raise money for a worthy cause all at once. Make sure to stay plugged in to all of the forthcoming events (and there are a ton!) being put on at Brooklyn Brewery and by Food Karma Projects so that you can experience the events you only read about, for yourself.
- Jane Van Arsdale