NYC Beer Week 2018 started off with a huge, sold out bash last Saturday night at the Brooklyn EXPO Center. With so many new and growing local breweries, it seemed like there was a never-ending list of must-try beers to sample. Add that to an amazing group of guest brewers from around NY State and from all over the country, and it almost seemed like there was too much to try … almost! While there was a ton of amazing beer, it was clear from the get go which ones local beernerds were clamoring to try.
Some of those in attendance spent the early-morning hours camped outside Brooklyn’s Other Half, waiting to get their hands on cans of LAX to JFK and LGA to LGB, both double dry-hopped triple IPA collaborations with southern California’s Monkish. While the Bash’s Beermenus.com page didn’t list the two beers ahead of time, those who hadn’t yet tried them made sure to lineup well in advance of the doors opening in the hope that the brews would make an appearance. As soon as the event began, people rushed Monkish’s and Other Half’s booths and were excited to find that their beernerd dreams had come true.
Other local breweries, like Finback (who helped host the festival and brewed the 2018 Opening Bash Beer), Greenpoint, Folksbier, KCBC, Killsboro, Sand City, LIC Beer Project, Grimm, Equilibrium, and many more, all drew a lot of interest throughout the night.
One of my personal favorites were the sour IPAs from Hudson Valley Brewery. I love what they’re doing by adding fruit and lactose to compliment their massively hopped sour IPAs. They’re innovating and mastering this unique style, creating perfectly balanced and refreshing tart fruit smoothie beers that I could drink all day long and never tire of.
Another favorite was Chicago’s Pipeworks Brewery, who brought a special Bourbon Barrel-aged version of their Coffee Break Abduction Imperial Stout. It was dangerously smooth at 13-percent ABV, with huge roasty coffee, and delicious vanilla, toffee, and bourbon notes. I’ve gotten to try a lot of their stouts from the bottles distributed to NYC, but I haven’t yet tried many of their barrel-aged beers and this one blew me away.
Some other highlights from out–of-town guests included fruit forward sourbeers from world-class brewers, like Veil, Aslin, J. Wakefield, Trillium, and Casa Agria, as well as some delicious hoppy beers from Alvarado Street Brewery, RAR, Proclamation, Mumford, and Hoof Hearted.
If you missed out this year, I would highly recommend making it out next time around. Cheers and enjoy the rest of NYC Beer Week!