Blog: Brooklyn Pour 2012
The early days of October used to be all about getting a jump start on finding the best costumes and carving pumpkins. In an almost about face, the kick start of this fall harvest month is now all about heading to Brooklyn and sipping on pumpkin ales, and that’s a positive change if you ask us. It’s “The Village Voice’s 2nd Annual Brooklyn Pour,” a two session craft beer lovers paradise all housed in the historic Skylight One Hanson (Williamsburg Bank) building. The LocalBozo.com brew crew made our way to the Fort Greene event during the thick of the first session, taking place during the Saturday afternoon hours.
Popular Japanese brewery “Asahi” had a table situated right by the entrance making it a better place as any to kick off our tasting. As big fans of Japanese food, Asahi is consistently our go to ale when eating raw fish. First, we tried the “Superdry” which is their popular light variety. The beer is crisp and virtually drinkable with any food beyond sushi. But since “Brooklyn Pour” is all about trying new brews we opted to also try the Asahi “Black.” The ale is quite dark with hints of chocolate and caramel. In keeping with the heavy beer motif we made our next stop to New York City’s own “508 Brewery.” Here we did back to back dark beer tastings of the “Montezuma Imperial Stout” and “Saison” respectively. The “Montezuma” had deep roasted coffee notes to it which literally has enough kick to replace my morning java, while the “Saison” had a playful counterbalance of citrus with a peppery finish. These heavier, complex style beers truly set the tone for a day of sudsy exploration.
Even though the Saturday weather was unseasonably warm, it was definitely fall inside Skylight One Hanson. Our favorite fall style beer was just a few booths away being poured by NYC brewpub chain, the “Heartland Brewery.” Their “Smiling Pumpkin Ale” is both a perfect example of this highly sought after fall ale, but at the same time it acts as a pair of training wheels for first time drinkers. Let me explain. Many pumpkin flavored beers tend to be extremely rich and very heavy. Heartland’s version gives you the exact pumpkin and warm fall notes you are looking for, while retaining a light drinkable beer that you can actually have more than one of in a session. After a refill, we headed to the back of the house to meet the nearly one hundred percent bearded men of “Private Tap” (pictured). These funny and friendly guys are working everyday to rally communities around great beer and food together in fun social settings. Their table top kegs were filled with heavy yet crisp small batch brews that were the perfect conversation starter, easily backing up their socially dynamic business model.
After setting a great beer base it was certainly time to reward ourselves with some food. Now, when drinking beer of any type it’s important to choose a food that lives within that same world. We could only think of one that fit the mold on this afternoon: “Chili Dogs.” Thankfully the folks at the West Village’s “Lucky 777 Chili” were in the food court area selling perfectly cooked dogs topped with their signature chili. Each overloaded bite was filled with aromas of their savory meat and sauce combination- a true “Pour” winner. The food court area was located just outside of the building in a fenced off area, allowing event goers the chance to grab some air and take a short break from the hustle and bustle inside.
The completely sold out “Brooklyn Pour” crowd was literally one of the friendliest and well mannered groups we have had the pleasure to attend and drink with throughout the day. A ton of praise needs to go to everyone involved for knowing exactly how to keep people smiling and safety buzzed, all without any long lines that tend to rile people up. The LocalBozo crew decided to end our stay during session one with a local brewery that embodies both the city, and the fun and spirit of the Halloween season. We’re taking of course about “Shmaltz Brewing Company” and their immensely popular “Coney Island Craft Lagers” line. Coney Island may have been known for freaks and human oddities in the past but absolutely nothing was freaky about their delicious Pilsner, timely named “Freaktoberfest!” These beers paired with their lively staff, and each and every awesome brewer we stopped at sent us out into the crisp Brooklyn afternoon with an ear to ear smile so big, it could be a Halloween mask.
- Jay Rubin