Monday, October 18, 2010

New York City Craft Beer Week Part 1

Pat Fondiller, our man in the Big Apple has written a three-part account of his experience at New York City Craft Beer Week.  Craft Beer Weeks take place all over the country from hotspots like Philadelphia, San Francisco to areas where craft beer's profile isn't as wide, like Charlotte and St. Louis.  Area grocers, bars, restaurants, breweries and other food and drink centric entities band together to promote craft beer through various events from the commonly seen beer dinners and tastings to more creative events like s Beer Geek of the year contest.

These weeks are pretty intense for our sales reps (you'll be exhausted just reading this).  Pat did an amazing job scheduling, organizing and attending our events.  I'm sure his liver took a few days off afterwards as well.

Here's part 1:

Right off, a very special thank you to all the fans of Smuttynose Brewing Company who came out in support of the brewery at our many events for this year’s New York City Craft Beer Week. NYCCBW ran from September 24th through October 3rd and was the most successful week by far for the organizer’s Josh Schafner and Chris Cuzme. The duo worked out a new format this year, pairing breweries with specific bars and restaurants throughout New York City. They also picked up a few formidable partners in Great, The Brooklyn Brewery and NYC’s Zagat Guide who provided support and made it a great week for all.

Freaktoberfest, Brooklyn’s notorious craft beer, music and burlesque freak show, now in its third year provided the kick-off. Hosted by Jeremy Cowan and Matt Polachek from Shmaltz Brewing Company, Mikey Palms from Southpaw, Ben Granger from Bierkraft and Smuttynose’s own Pat Fondiller, the Festival provided just the punch that NYCCBW needed to get off to a roaring start. This year’s venue, The Rock Shop, the Bowery Ballroom’s latest music spot, provided the perfect setting. The festival featured about 45 breweries and musical performances by bands most of which had one member or more working in the craft beer industry. Downstairs in the club, the opening act WORKOUT! had two members whose “day jobs” are in sales for local distributor S.K.I. and they were followed up by solo act Al Duvall, one of the original members of the Craft Brewers Guild. The third act, Lambic Jones, featured drummer Steve Moses (Alice Donut), jazzer Percy Jones on bass and Ale Street News’ Paul Sullivan on guitar. The trio laid down a blistering set that really blew the roof off the joint. Headliners, Captain Ahab and the Sea Cracken, the only act sans beer folk, were the perfect finishers with their nautical themed surf punk extravaganza.

Upstairs the venue featured an outdoor rooftop deck and held the majority of the beer as well as the performances that Freaktoberfest has become known for. The performance, hosted by Donny Vomit - MC of the World Famous Coney Island Side Show was highlighted by Mr. Vomit penetrating his nose with 30 penny nails and a power drill, then introducing the fabulous burlesque performers Ravi the Scorpion Mystic, Remy Vicious, Legs Malone and Nasty Canasta.

The festival, which has become the official launch party for Shmatlz’ Freaktoberfest, a blood red lager and the party’s namesake, also featured many other specialty brews. The debut of Smuttynose Vunderbar Pils, Lagunitas Fusion III and Victory Village topped the charts of what was a rather fantastic list of fine craft beers.

Part 2:  Things aget really busy when the DoBrO comes to town....

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