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Beer the music: Brews and bands collide at Sunset Park’s OctFest • Brooklyn Paper

Beer the music: Brews and bands collide at Sunset Park’s OctFest

Full of soul: Former James Brown impersonator turned original soul singer Charles Bradley will perform at OctFest in Sunset Park on Sept. 9.
Associated Press / Ron Harris

Call it rhythm and brews!

A gigantic music and beer festival will soon splash down in Sunset Park, bringing six bands and more than 40 breweries to the Brooklyn Hanger on Sept. 9. One of those breweries will have very short trip — Five Boroughs Brewing Company will schlep its barrels just six blocks to join the Octfest celebration. The brewery’s co-founder said he and his colleagues are thrilled to have a nearby event that combines two of their favorite things.

“We were very excited to hear that a craft beer and music fest was being held right in our backyard,” said Blake Tomnitz. “Live music and fresh craft beer are about as good a pairing as we can think of — as natural as peanut butter and jelly!”

Octfest, sponsored by music site Pitchfork and its beer culture spin-off October, will take up two floors of the 13,000-square foot space, with suds on the ground floor and bands above. Pitchfork planners drew inspiration from their annual summer music festival in Chicago, selecting a diverse array of both bands and brewers, said one organizer.

“We kind of wanted to blend different genres and different brewers, kind of as we do at Pitchfork Festival as well,” said Pitchfork’s Seth Dodson.

The musical lineup will include indie-rock outfit Guided by Voices, country band the Sadies, and Built to Spill, along with Okkervil River, Kilo Kish, and the Pains of Being Pure at heart.

In addition to Five Boroughs Brewing, which will serve tastes of its Pilsner, India Pale Ale, Gose, and Hoppy Lager brews, other Brooklyn breweries at the fest include Braven, Sixpoint, and Threes Brewing.

Brooklyn, with its emerging craft brewing scene, is a natural fit for the first OctFest, said one organizer.

“Brooklyn was kind of late to the craft beer scene in terms of actual breweries, but in the last few years they’ve just been sprouting up everywhere,” said Adam Krefman. “At OctFest, I’d say it’s a mix of very approachable, straight-down-the-middle beers and a lot of other breweries that are going to be a lot more experimental.”

Some of the those “approachable” beers include Budweiser and Narragansett, which will be pouring alongside British brewer Cloudwater, German-based Radeberger, and American indie brands including Lord Hobo Brewing Company and Oskar Blues.

Visitors to the eight-hour festival will be able to soak up the unlimited samples of beer with hearty food from Bulldog Burgery and mozzarella sticks from Brooklyn’s Big Mozz.

OctFest at the Brooklyn Hangar (2 52nd St. at First Avenue in Sunset Park, www.octfest.co). Sept. 9, 1–9 pm. $60 ($100 for two).

Story updated: Charles Bradley has cancelled due to illness, and has been replaced in the lineup by the band Built to Spill.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Brew brothers: Five Boroughs Brewing co-founders Kevin O’Donnell and Blake Tomnitz will be among the local vendors serving up their brews at OctFest on Sept. 9.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

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