Something big is brewing in Williamsburg.
New York City Beer Week, the annual celebration of all things sudsy in the city, is crossing the East River for one of its signature events this year, with the “NYC Brewer’s Choice” night taking place at the Wythe Hotel on Feb. 26.
Brooklyn’s brewing industry is in the midst of a boom, said the event’s organizers — at least four new breweries have opened in the past year, with several more set to launch soon. So the borough is an ideal place to host the craft beer spectacular.
“There have not been this many new Brooklyn breweries since Prohibition,” said event co-founder Jimmy Carbone, a Manhattan restaurateur who also hosts a weekly radio show about beer. “I think the vibe is right, since there are so many that are opening.”
The fourth iteration of the tasting event, which allows beer geeks to meet brewers in person and sample some of their favorite brews, will this year feature only New York state breweries. Representing the Borough of Kings will be stalwarts Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint, as well as fledgling fermenters Grimm Artisanal of Gowanus and Other Half of Carroll Gardens — both of which launched late last year. At 27 breweries and counting, the roster is flush with enough saisons, smoked ales, porters, and everything in beer-tween to make any liquor-loving Brooklynite’s head spin, said Carbone.
“People who are living in Brooklyn are into what we are doing,” he said. “There is a lot going on.”
To help soak up some of the suds, the event will also boast morsels from Brooklyn eateries, including Landhaus, Mile End, and Reynard, plus bites from further afield, such as Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse from rural New Jersey, which produces raw milk cheeses and wood-fired breads.
One local brewmaster agreed that borough is an up-and-coming beer haven fit for such an event, but said that there is some work to go before we will be seeing our own Brooklyn Beer Week.
“We are growing, but it is a long way to go in terms of having a big local brewing scene,” said Other Half Brewing Company owner Samuel Richardson, who will be pouring two India Pale Ales and an imperial stout on the night. “We are on an upward trajectory.”
“NYC Brewer’s Choice” at the Wythe Hotel [80 Wythe Ave. near N. 11th Street in Williamsburg, (718) 460–8000, www.wythehotel.com]. Feb. 26 from 6 pm. $65.