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Nearest and beer-est: Local beer fest gets bigger than ever

Craft king: Kelso Beer Company owner Kelly Taylor will host the Blocktoberfest beer tasting in Bushwick on Oct. 22.
Brooklyn Paper
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There are some new kids on the Block!

This year’s Blocktoberfest beer tasting event, happening on Oct. 22 in Bushwick, will be the biggest yet, with 26 New York City breweries offering samples of suds at the annual fest. One of the brewmasters at the borough’s newest beer maker, the Kings County Brewers Collective, said he is looking forward to pouring — and to drinking — beer at the event.

“We’re all really looking forward to getting to sample of the newest brews from our friends in the industry,” said Zack Kinney. “Some of the best beer in the country is being brewed right here in the city, but it’s pretty rare that we’re all together in one place.”

The event, sponsored by the New York City Brewers Guild, moved from its usual Clinton Hill space so it could fit all the beer barons, according the guild president.

“It’s going to be in a slightly larger location, with more beers than ever,” said Kelly Taylor, who is also co-founder of Kelso Beer Company. “We kind of outgrew the old one, basically.”

The day will feature food trucks and a performance from music group the Home Brew-sicians — but the focus is on the beer and those who make it, said Taylor. Brewmasters will bust out some special concoctions for the festival, including Kelso’s 10-year anniversary India Pale Lager, a sour coffee beer from the Brewers Collective, and something called “Goat Mutorcs” from SixPoint.

The fest features eight Brooklyn breweries, but Kelso is no longer among that number — the beer company recently closed its Clinton Hill brewing facility, and is now hunting for space in the Bronx.

“Brooklyn started getting a little nutty, price-wise,” said Taylor.

But just because his company said Kel-so long to Brooklyn does not mean the borough’s beer scene is slowing down, said Taylor, but it is changing.

“I think what it means, in general, is a lot more breweries are going to be opening primarily as taprooms,” he predicted.

Places that sell beer directly to customers can afford the retail rents that most spots in Brooklyn require, said Taylor. Recent Brooklyn breweries with tap rooms include Threes Brewing, Strong Rope brewery, and Kings County Brewers Collective.

Blocktoberfest at the Well (272 Meserole St. between Bushwick and Morgan avenues in Bushwick, www.thewellbrooklyn.com). Oct. 22, 12:30–5:30 pm. $10–$37 ($10–$30 in advance).

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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