Walking down Grand Street past Bushwick Avenue amidst trucking supply shops and duct work fabricators, I almost missed Interboro Spirits and Ale’s new tasting room (942 Grand St.), which just opened a few weeks ago. It’s a raw, industrial space—formerly a manufacturer of naval anchors, and later a wood flooring workshop—that somehow feels warm and inviting, like a little oasis in the midst of all the warehouses. And the approachable vibe is thanks to the friendly folks at the helm.
As budding journalists, something that we are finding out at a very rapid rate is that there is really a fine line that you have to walk when going to a beer event. This past weekend we were given the privilege of covering the annual Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Fest, presented in its 6th year by the Village Voice. In similar fashion to the last article we wrote for our ever tolerant friends at Greenpointers, we underestimated the inherent conflict that would arise from trying to maintain our journalistic integrity while also sampling every beer vendor in attendance. So before we continue to how deep we got into the fest, let’s give you some raw stats about the event.
Brooklyn Pour focuses on highlighting small craft breweries and unique imported beers. All told, there were 58 different breweries in attendance from all over the country serving up over 125 craft brews. There seemed to be a focus on the Northeast, the reason for which is because we make the best beer (Step off, centuries old breweries from Germany.)
Boring info out of the way, let’s get to the breakdown of our experience at the expo. What follows is a timeline of our decent into trying to take on the biggest craft beer festival in the Northeast, and failing miserably. Continue reading
Many Greenpoint beer afficianados these days do not drink cans or bottles of beer. In places like Beer Street (413 Graham Avenue), One Stop Beer Shop (134 Kingsland Avenue) and Brouwerij Lane (78 Greenpoint Avenue), drinkers quaff growlers of beer, but the growler is nothing new in Greenpoint. It has a long local history.
There is no clear idea of where the term growler comes from. A growler has been defined as:
Growler: A pitcher or other vessel for beer, 1885, American English, of uncertain origin; apparently an agent noun from growl (v.)
In early days the expression “work the growler” meant go on a spree. An article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in the 1880s describing the gang-infested Greenpoint area between Ash and Eagle Streets known as Dangertown (gotta love the name) reported that the local gangs robbed people to get money for the sole purpose of “working the growler.” Continue reading
It’s that lovely time of year when it stops being deathmetal-hot, but it’s still warm enough to enjoy a cold glass of rose or white wine and some delicious oysters as a pre-dinner aperitif. Here’s where we found the best oyster happy hours in Greenpoint! Shuck ’em up! Continue reading
Take it from us: there really is no way to prepare your body for the consumption of alcohol at ten o’clock in the morning. No amount of crack-of-dawn jogging, smoothie making or transcendent meditation will make it any easier to knock back even one sip of a strong brew before your breakfast has begun to digest. We don’t know how we didn’t expect this, showing up to photograph the first-ever canning run at Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co. The process, led by Iron Heart Canning was mind blowing enough even without the pre-lunch intoxication.
Far from the beginning of this brewery’s story, this canning is but an exciting new chapter in their long history making and importing wonderful beer. Owner Ed Raven has been in the business of great suds since the 1980s. Not long after getting his start with the Brooklyn Brewery, he began his own importing company, RavenBrands, and opened the Brouwerij Lane beer shop on Greenpoint Avenue in the early 2000s. After Raven opened Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co. in 2014, the beer shop began to serve as a pseudo-training ground for young hopefuls who want to work at the brewery–honing their palettes and familiarizing themselves with beers from all over the world. Continue reading
Novelist Stephanie Danler’s favorite depiction of food in literature comes from the Seamus Heaney poem “Oysters,” which begins:
Our shells clacked on the plates.
My tongue was a filling estuary,
My palate hung with starlight:
As I tasted the salty Pleiades
Orion dipped his foot into the water.
Danler mentioned the poem in a panel discussion on food in literature titled “Food and Fiction,” one of the events at this year’s Food Book Fair, which was held at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg on May 1st and 2nd.
Danler, who wrote Sweetbitter, was joined on the panel by Jessica Tom, author of the novel Food Whore, and Helen Ellis, whose collection of humorous short stories American Housewife came out earlier this year. Cathy Erway, host of “Eat Your Words” on the Heritage Radio Network and author of The Food of Taiwan and The Art of Eating In, was the moderator.
The sensory richness of the Seamus Heaney poem that Danler cited—“my palate hung with starlight”—set a fitting tone for the Food Book Fair, which felt like a celebration of all that is beautiful in food writing and publishing. Continue reading
Greenpoint Beer & Ale (formerly Dirck The Norseman) is celebrating their new design, branding and renaming this Sunday from 1-3pm. If you’re stopping by there, you might as well swing by our Spring market down the street, where they’ll be pouring more of their awesome beer.
Owner Ed Raven has three decades of experience in the craft beer market, and is also the mind behind Brouwerij Lane. Which, if you’re a beer fan in the neighborhood and for some crazy reason you haven’t been there, you need kick your butt out the door and go pick up a growler RIGHT NOW. Greenpoint Beer & Ale’s re-name came about because they wanted to really make it clear that the focus was on the beer. “We wanted to make it easier for people to find us. Look up ‘Greenpoint Beer’ and you know exactly who we are and what we are,” says Raven.
GBA’s rebranding is part of a new look created by their in-house graphic designer Joshua Whitehead. New menus, outdoor signage, t-shirts, glassware, stickers and more will be on display.
Here are some of the neighborhood spots offering St. Patrick’s Day specials on Thursday, March 17th.
Bakeri (105 Freeman St)
Stout cake will be one of the specials at Bakeri. Check out this beautiful one from around this time last year!
My mother is born-and-raised solid country stock from County Westmeath, Ireland. She remembers St. Patrick’s Day celebrations as chiefly religious, with the country going to mass with freshly-picked clovers pinned to buttonholes to honor their patron saint. Then there would be a shared family meal with special-occasion ingredients like beef or lamb, usually presented in roasts or stews.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (or whether you want to avoid all related shenanigans entirely), this traditional Irish dish is straight-forward, nourishing, rich, and perfect for spooning out among any group of friends and family (though with all due respect to my grandmother and her preferred method of just dumping everything in a big pot and leaving it, I’ve added and tweaked some steps to improve texture and flavor).
Recipe after the jump!
Greenpoint (and pretty much all of NYC) will be experiencing record breaking temps of almost 70 degrees over the next two days. It’s March, people. Are you ready to strip off those coats? Here are some of our favorite outdoor spots in Greenpoint where you can soak up some of that good ol’ Vitamin E.
Lobster Joint – 1073 Manhattan Ave.
Open from noon every day, they’ve got a lovely New Englandy open air beer garden in the back of their seafood restaurant. Grub on a lobster roll and chill out with a beer.
More hotspots after the jump… Continue reading