Blog: Smart-Up Brooklyn
Have you ever had a cocktail with Hella Bitter’s mixed in? Or sipped a beer from Lost Tribes while noshing on sausage from Jack’s Gourmet? Well, if not it’s time to do so. Besides our recommendation, each of these businesses have one important factor in common. They are all start-ups trying to make it in the highly competitive New York City scene. On Thursday evening, Kurrenci.com hosted, “Smart-Up Brooklyn: a celebration of the Brooklyn start-up renaissance” a night where members of NY’s tech community as well as local entrepreneurs gathered at the DUMBO Loft in Brooklyn for a night of music, food, drinks and plenty of fun. The cherry on top of the night was that all proceeds will be donated to local Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The LocalBozo.com crew (a start-up as well) made our way to the large Brooklyn space by the river to bring you coverage on these exciting businesses. Some we already knew, others we found out about for the first time.
Our hosts, “Kurrenci.com” was started by a group of passionate people who believe in the transformative power of virtual currency, and partners with merchants all over the web to provide it’s users an innovative way to shop, gift, donate or game using their unique cash model. The Kurrenci team was in full force walking the room throughout the evening, chatting with guests and spreading around their good name while promoting others as well. The first stop our crew hit was for some spirits, of course! And what a better place to start then at our old favorites, “Hella Bitter.” “Hella” is a small-batch cocktail biters company founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We grabbed extremely tasty Beefeater 24 cocktails infused with their trademark citrus bitters, which I personally think is the best citrus bitters on the market today. The guys use a serious amount of fruit to make each batch and it shows.
After downing a few delicious yet, potent cocktails it was time to grab some food. The smell of sausages filled the air, carrying us to the table hosting, “Jack’s Gourmet.” “Jack’s” is a producer of authentic handcrafted kosher deli meats and sausages. What makes them truly special is that their products are Gluten-Free, have no filler or by-products. This rang true upon tasting. We opted for their Bratwurst and standard sausage variety which were both savory with just the right amount of salt. They even had a huge bar of veggies and pickles to top off each sandwich just right. The food festivities continued at, “Sushi Spot” where a crack team of chefs rolled a plethora of scrumptious kosher sushi that seemed to have no end!
As we moved through the room the crowd grew larger, really allowing people to network and meet some of these exciting start-ups. The DJ helped the mingling process along by ripping through a selection of current pop, and rock. More drinks were in order, and the second spirits start-up really blew us away. “Lost Tribes Beverage“, resurrects ancient brews from Lost Tribes and legends. The company is a little of a year old, and seriously has their act together. To say their team was pumped up would be an understatement. Each member was out front spouting the good word of the sudsy product. The two brews they brought with them was a, “Light” with the flavor of a solid lager with a bold and “Shikra” which is their version of a pale ale. For the adventurous drinker the, “Tribe” crew brought along a honey style wine that packed a real punch.
Other fantastic notable mentions where,”Reachably” a service that allows you to reach people by interests, styles and taste. And, “STAGEIT” a online concert venue where performers can broadcast live. The evening was not only a total success, but extremely eye opening. Meet ups cocktail events such as this marry what New Yorker’s love about this city: food, drink, and commerce. Small businesses only grow when you get involved. So, participate!
- Jay Rubin