Breweries in the Boroughs May 23, 2015 The Flight Plan By: Vince Pecoraro If your Memorial Day weekend takes you out East, get adventurous and check out some of these craft spots in the Boroughs of New York. While the west coast has led the craft beer boom, residents of the Big Apple haven’t been far behind. Four years ago there were only six beer makers in the city, and now there are 23 breweries that produce suds across the city. The city isn’t the only place in New York seeing an overwhelming growth in the industry, the entire state save a 59% growth in craft beers between 2013 and 2014 alone. Production is up to almost a million barrels a year, about 300,000 of the number California produced last year. In honor of the recent boom, we’ll give you a brief glimpse at the offerings of some of the city’s most renowned breweries, old and new. Brooklyn Brewery The Brooklyn Brewery has led the craft beer revolution in the city, springing up in 1988 and growing exponentially ever since. Brewmaster Garrett Oliver has been with the brewery since 1994, and has become internationally renowned for not only his brewing finesse, but also his ability to pair food with his brews and for being the editor of The Oxford Companion to Beer. The brewery is located in Williamsburg and is open to the public from Friday through Sunday for tastings and tours. A number of beers on tap aren’t ones you can find in stores, and tasting tokens are 5 for $20. (Not bad!) They also host private parties and tours Monday through Thursday, and would be worth considering for your next birthday or office party. Bronx Brewery Not far from Manhattan and overlooking Rikers Island is the newly established Bronx Brewery in Port Morris. While they’ve only been around since 2013, the brewery has become a staple in the area and sign of economic revival in addition to being the first brewery to open up in the Bronx since the 1960s. Head brewer Damian Brown is a fresh face in the beer world, but his line of signature pale ales have already caused quite a stir in the industry. They’re open to the public Wednesday through Friday at 3 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at noon, with closing hours varying based on events. Tours are available every day they are open and they just added in an outdoor beer garden so you can enjoy your suds outdoors in the summertime. While the brewery doesn’t offer any food at their location, they don’t mind if you order a pizza and will even give you some tips about good takeout places nearby. Be sure to order a glass if you attend a game at Yankee Stadium, where the brewery has their finest ales on tap! Finback Brewery Founded in 2011 in Ridgewood, Queens, Finback started as a local brewery that distributed only through kegs and growlers. They quickly gained a reputation for creating some of the most unique brews found in the craft beer world, using ingredients never before used in brewing and utilizing creative names for their brews, like “Lazy Ax,” an imperial chocolate stout, or “Buddy System,” a smooth double IPA. Some of the varieties may even be called unorthodox, like their “Double Sess(ion),” which is made from ginger and Szechuan peppercorns, or “Fort Tildenist,” which utilizes green tea and basil for a fresh, unique taste. Their tasting room has 12 taps and is open Thursday through Sunday. Sixpoint Brewery Originally in a garage in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the brainchild of owner and brew master Shane Welsh moved into an old filing cabinet factory after getting the investment needed from friend and Manhattan native Andrew Bronstein. Since starting up the team has made hundreds of different beers, with rotating and seasonal varieties constantly changing. Their core beers include Sweet Action Ale, Bengali IPA, The Crisp Pils, and Resin Double IPA. Tours are temporarily on hiatus while the brewery renovates its facility, but its brews can be found throughout eastern New York. EvilTwin Brewery Started as a gypsy brewery, or one that does not have its own equipment and specializes in one-off brews by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, the brewery found a home in 2010, with its headquarters split between Copenhagen, Denmark and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Started in 2008, the brewery follows in the footsteps of Jeppe’s brother, Mikkeler, who travels the world collaborating with breweries to make unique, one-off brews. While the Williamsburg operation is smaller than that of the gypsy brewer, it produces some renowned beers, including Bikini Beer, a light American IPA, and Turkish Delight, a brown ale. There isn’t much of a brewery to visit, but you can find a wide variety of the brewery’s offering at restaurants, bars, and beverage centers around the city. There are dozens of other breweries located in and around the five boroughs, enough to spend a whole week visiting. Next time you’re in the Big Apple, whether it’s for a few hours or a few days, be sure to stop by and try the latest that the city that never sleeps has to offer!