A Recap of NYC Brewers Choice Event

by Kyle W on September 23, 2011

The Brewer’s Choice Event at City Winery is the defining moment of NYC Craft Beer Week.  It is a veritable who’s who of the NY craft beer community and a chance to rub elbows with some of the region’s best brewers, publicans, bartenders, and food purveyors while sampling a fantastic variety of craft beer and food.  Here is a quick list of all the breweries represented:

Allagash , Barrier , Blue Point, Brooklyn, Captain Lawrence, Cross Roads, Dieu du Ciel, Empire, Goose Island, Greenport Harbor, Kelso, Maine Beer, Ommegang, Schmaltz, Sierra Nevada, Sixpoint, Smuttynose, Southampton, Two Brothers, Wandering Star, and White Birch.

And some of the food available:

Orwashers Bakery-handmade bread, Bierkraft-porchetta w/Gentleman’s relish on crostini, Cabot- selection of cheddars, Mile End-smoked brisket, Jimmy’s No. 43-specialty sides and port tacos, Ricks Picks- phat beets, smokra, classic sours and the people’s pickle, Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse- raw milk cheeses and wood fired breads, Piggery + Mother in Laws Kimchi-roasted whole ham leg with kimchi, Nita Nita, Betty Brooklyn-duck confit rillette, Murray’s Cheese, The Crooked Knife-Pulled Pork Sliders, Sigmund Pretzels, School House Kitchen, East Village Meat Market, Nordic Breads, Coach Farm Cheese, Aeros Oysters, and My Friends Mustard.

Basically it’s a free for all, once you get your tasting glass your free to sample all the different food and beer in any way you choose, talk to the brewers, and just enjoy the excellent space at City Winery.   At different points throughout the night I had the chance to talk to Rob Tod from Allagash about his Coolship beers and dining options in Portland, Maine, listen to Garrett Oliver as he discussed the White Birch Wild Oak Aged Imperial Stout with their brewer, and generally just talk beer with a ton of interesting people.

A few of my favorite food/beer pairings:

I found myself continuously filling up my glass with the White Birch Wild Oak Aged Imperial Stout and going to the Aeros oyster table and putting down 2 or 3 at a time.

The Brooklyn Sorachi Ace 2009 was excellent with the Coach Farm Fresh and Aged Goat Cheese.

The Piggery + Mother in Laws Kimchi roasted ham was fantastic with the Captain Lawrence St. Vincents Dubbel

The Sigmund Pretzels and whatever beer I had in hand at the time

My favorite beers:

The Cherry Saison from Kelso

The Berkshire Hills Saison from Wandering Star

The Plum Shiso Sour Wheat from Dieu du Ciel

The Imperial Stout from White Birch

Brooklyn 2009 Sorachi Ace

Maine Beer Peepers Ale

At the end of the evening Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery gave the keynote speech and summed up the spirit of the event quite nicely by saying to paraphrase “100 years ago NYC had the most interesting beer and food culture in the world. People brought their beer culture from all over the world and settled in NYC. At one time there were over 4,000 breweries, some making nothing but weiss beer, others making nothing but porters. Today we are here to reclaim and remember that beer culture and take it back. There are now 1800 breweries in the United States, we are about halfway there.”

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