A Dispatch from NYC Beer Week 2017

 

By James Reddicliffe

On Feb. 27, the famous pair behind Grimm Artisanal Ales, Joe and Lauren Grimm, was at the St. Gambrinus beer shop on Atlantic Avenue in downtown Brooklyn. While I did not meet the famed duo, I did sample some of their delicious beers.

 The Blackberry Orange Pop was a fantastic sour, with a cosmic color I have rarely seen on a beer. Being addicted to hops like I am, the real treat to me was the Lambo Doors, short for Lamborghini Doors, and equally expensive. It is a beautiful IPA and despite how much hype there was around this beer, it surpassed my expectations. It was bright, tropical and fruity with just the right amount of sweetness. Overall there were 10 Grimm beers on tap that you could get in 4-, 8- or 12-ounce pours. Most of the 8-ounce pours were either six or seven dollars a pop, which runs a little pricey for me.

It was a beautiful February night at St. Gambrinus, around 50 degrees, and the back patio was open. Inside, the shop was full, almost three people deep at the bar, all before 8 p.m. Despite the crowd I found some space to stand by the to-go beer section. Right before I left I heard an employee say, “It’s about to get crazy.” If Grimm keeps churning out incredible beers, I will definitely be back for this event next year.

 Liquid Gold. 

Liquid Gold. 

To cap off beer-week I headed to a neighborhood joint, Hops Hill, in Clinton Hill. This may have been an unofficial event but it was on a Sunday, walkable from my apartment, and featured some heavy-hitting beers. Not only were Grimm, Barrier and LIC Beer on tap but there were also cans from the beloved Alchemist Brewery in Vermont. Now, I understand this is Brooklyn blog, and it was NYC Beer Week, but some things in life a man can’t pass up. In my life, one of those things is Heady Topper. It was my first beer love and is a truly beautiful, balanced beer. I popped over and glanced at the outstanding tap list before declaring, “I think I’ll just have a Heady.” The bartender and fellow  customers laughed knowingly.  I grabbed a table, settled in and enjoyed a serene afternoon listening to A Tribe Called Quest and getting pleasantly buzzed. This crowd was smaller than the one at St. Gambrinus, maybe because it was a Sunday or maybe because it is a little farther from the subway. Regardless, make sure to hit this one.

I highly encourage you all to get out there during Beer Week next year and try something new, or old, in the name of supporting great beer. Brewer’s Choice, I have my eye on you in 2018!