A vortex, of course, is a thing that whirls. The dictionary says that a vortex is “A place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that surrounds it” or “Any activity, situation, or way of life regarded as irresistibly engulfing.”
In 1914 a group of British writers and artists published “Blast”, the literary arm of the new futurist art movement called Vorticism. The Vorticists “Blasted” the things they despised in the modern world (conformity and mildness) and “Blessed” the things they celebrated (such as mariners battling an implacable sea).
In 1993, Oliver Twist opened in Stockholm. Opposing an implacable sea of conformity and mildness, Jorgen Hasselquist, Justin St. Clair Maitland and Tomas Ek soon joined OT and started up their own vortex. They resisted an implacable sea of beer boredom. They looked to draw towards themselves all beers, all things, and all people they wanted to hang out with. And the beers came, and the people came, and the music came, and to this day you’ll find them there, happily and noisily flying around the cultural core that is OT.
What then from Oliver Twist’s American cousins on the momentous occasion of OT’s 20th year? Brooklyn Brewery offers tribute, admiration and fellowship in a glass. Vortex IPA* is as strong as Jugge’s opinions, as warming as the staff’s welcome, and as brightly flavorful as OT itself. Vortex IPA Blasts blandness, yet Blesses drinkability.
It celebrates American hop ebullience, Brooklyn attitude, and Swedish cool. British caramel malts lend richness and depth, while a blend of American hops give the beer a mineral backbone and explosive aromatics (with a special guest appearance by our pal Sir East Kent Golding as “The English Aristocrat”).
Vortex IPA is mighty tasty. It probably even gives you fresher breath and whiter teeth, but we can’t prove that part. Nor can we support the claim that it concentrates the mind on life’s better aspects. However, we can guarantee that if you drink Vortex at OT and allow just a little bit of Brooklyn into your heart, you will laugh more than the average person. You may even become irresistibly engulfing.
A Vortex? Well, it’s a thing that Twists, of course. Come to OT, raise a glass, and put your own spin on things.
[*Vortex IPA is only available at Oliver Twist in Stockholm]
The brightest day of the year here at Brooklyn Brewery just got brighter, with an unprecedented league of staff and friends from across great waters participating in the third annual Eric Ottaway Shirt Day (see 2012 and 2011).
But at the end of the day, there can only be one winner: Brooklyn Brewery House Chef Andrew Gerson, pictured below hand held high by Eric Ottaway himself. And a very special First Annual Runner Up Award goes to Australia’s own Phillip Chehade from Palais Imports, shown under the brazen beauty of Chef Andrew.
[Text by Nichon Glerum]
[Photos by Nichon Glerum and Maria Teresa Salvati]
On a cold but sunny Saturday, Slideluck London celebrated its fifth show by throwing a smashing Slideluck event for the grand finale of FORMAT Festival, in Derby’s charming old Chocolate Factory.
Between 6 and 7pm the 200+ (international) guests arrived by car, train, and the special Slideluck London coach. All were welcomed with Format chocolates, Brooklyn Brewery beers and – as more guests arrived- an ever growing number of delicious potluck dishes on the buffet. All indulged themselves on velvety smooth carrot cupcakes, colorful salads, broccoli pies and much much more. Mothersmilk was also on the menu, although only for one very special little guest!! Zac, born only days before the event, is the beautiful newborn of featured artist Fjona Hill.
Then, the guests sat down to watch the slideshows as curated by Monica Allende, photo editor of The Sunday Times Magazine and founder of the pioneering photography section, Spectrum.
Brooklyn Beers kept everyone’s throats chilled, hot water bottles warmed peoples hands, and an overwhelming display of visuals and audio was overflowing the audience.
In the break people could play and have their picture taken in Kitty Walkers industrial cardboard city photobooth.
After part two Director Maria Teresa Salvati announced the winner of the Blurb award, selected by her and Louise Clements, artistic director of Quad and Format festival. Alfonso Almendros is the lucky Slideluck artist that will go home with a £350 Blurb Gift Card!
Then she announced the artists that would be featured in Spectrum, as selected by Monica Allende. Monica was originally going to pick one, but, overwhelmed by the outstanding works, decided to give 7 photographers the chance to shine at this amazing platform. They are: Fan Shisan, Alfonso Almendros, Rafael Arocha, Alexander Aksakov, Arantxa Cedillo, Jean-Marc Caimi & Valentina Piccinni and Bryan Schutmaat.
After the slideshows and a little break, it was time to taste the sound of The Developer: a unique multi-artist residency responding to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site at John Smedley, especially created for FORMAT13.
As icing on the Slideluck-cake, a raffle was held, in which lucky winners took home prizes not only from sponsors such as Viewbook and Gup magazine, but also 7 beautiful prints kindly donated by participating artists.
All in all, the evening offered a relaxed vibe, with the guests mingling to discuss love, life, art and the universe. Slideluck London was a great succes, thanks to all that were part of it!
A massive thanks to the director Maria Teresa Salvati; the super-efficient and creative producer Nichon Glerum; Pedro Lopez Paz, who helped with all the technical aspects of this edition and was a super hero in organising the coach from London; and Kitty Walker who jumped in to support the whole team wherever needed and who designed built the wonderful cardboard industrial city used for the photo booth. Also, this night would not have been possible without the help of the amazing team of Format: Louise Clements, Federica Chiocchetti, Michael Sargeant, Sebah Chaudhry, Jill Carruthers and all their fantastic volunteers that helped us out. We thank our partners and sponsors Viewbook, GUP magazine, Blurb, Feature Shoot, Format Festival & Quad, Develop Photo, Lily Vanilli, Duckrabbit, and of course Brooklyn Brewery.
Once in a while, quite infrequently, it gets cold and windy in Barcelona…. March 14th was one of those rare days, so the Slideluck and Pati Llimona teams had to take some quick decissions: moving the Slideluck slideshow, and subsequent dinner, from the 15th century patio to the main hall in the Civic Center building.
The shifting of a few signs and the collaboration of our attendees allowed us to start almost on time, and those few minutes of waiting passed rapidly while viewing Gustavo Germano’s touching Ausencias exhibition in Pati Llimona’s lobby.
Once everybody made it to the main hall, we realized that we had a full room… Approximately 100 persons attended the Slideluck, making it the most successful event in the last few years in Barcelona!
The audience enjoyed the 15 pieces that were projected in the slideshow and we moved on to have dinner in the main hall. We enjoyed all the different delicacies that the public brought: pizza, profiteroles, “tortilla de patatas”, and four different types of pasta salad. Pasta salad is probably the staple of any Slideluck potluck!
The stars of the night were, as usual, the bottles of Brooklyn Lager and Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin Ale that were graciously donated by Brooklyn Brewery, with the collaboration of Crusat, their distributor in Barcelona.
With the delicious food, the beer and the photographs from our friends in “Piel de Foto” that were being exhibited in the foyer, the hours passed rapidly. It was already midnight when the last guests left Pati Llimona.
All in all, it was a good night of photography, food, drinks, and conversations with friends, just as one would expect at a Slideluck…
Brewmaster Oliver hopped the pond last week and reported a chilly yet awesome time was had at the #BrooklynFeast edition of Street Feast at Thames House Car Park. Eight food trucks cooked up the grub, Brooklyn supplied its beer with love, and a house packed with jackets, scarves and hats filled itself with flavor. Check out what others had to say and see below:
Guess what? We’re building an 8,000 barrel brewery. In Stockholm, Sweden. Influenced by both American and Swedish brewing traditions, the brewery is a partnership between Brooklyn, D. Carnegie & Co. and Carlsberg Sweden.
“Historically, the Carnegie Brewery was known all over the world for its Carnegie Porter, a rich dark ale that epitomized the Baltic porter style,” says Brooklyn Brewery Co-founder & President Steve Hindy. “Brooklyn Brewmaster Garrett Oliver and his team will be working with Swedish brewers at New Carnegie to develop a new portfolio of New Carnegie craft beers, beers with a special Swedish accent.”
Remember student exchange programs? How about brewer exchange programs. Our new team of Swedish brewers will train here in Brooklyn and learn our deepest, darkest secrets, in turn Garrett and the Brooklyn team will take turns visiting Sweden to brew special Brooklyn offerings — like Brewmaster’s Reserve and Worshipful Company of Brewers releases — as well as developing some brand new beers by the end of 2013. To start, these offerings will only be available in Sweden.
The brewery will be built in the landmarked Luma Factory buildings in Hammarby Sjöstad, a residential and commercial complex that fronts on Stockholm harbor (pictured). The waterfront brewery will have brewing capacity for 8,000 barrels and include a public space with room for 100 visitors inside, and another 150 outside. Plans for local food vendors are also in the works.
If you’re wondering “why Stockholm?”… it begins with the mutual appreciation of beer, food, music, art and all around good culture shared by Brooklyn and Sweden (even leading some to ponder if Sweden is the new Brooklyn). Brooklyn Brewery has a long history with Sweden highlighted by the fun fact that Sweden is our largest export market and second biggest market overall (right behind NYC) thanks to our importer and partner in Stockholm brewery, Carlsberg Sweden. We used to distribute the seductively delicious Carnegie Porter in New York back in the day, and in 2011 we collaborated with Carlsberg to produce a bourbon barrel-aged version of this classic beer to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Carnegie Brewery. And let us not forget about the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN music festival we launched last year that sent over 15 Brooklyn bands to Stockholm and Malmö. You could say it was just meant to be.
[The brewery site anxiously awaits its fermentable fate.]
[A view made even better with a great beer in hand.]
[Cutting cane sugar in the fields of Brazilian cachaça producer Valle Verde]
I am recently back from a great whirlwind trip to Brazil, where there is a great brewing scene starting to really catch fire. And The Brewmaster’s Table has become “A Mesa Do Mestre Cervejeiro”, which is very cool!
WED NOV 7 After hearing the election results on the overnight flight, I flew into São Paulo. Our first stop was with chef Ronaldo Rossi for lunch, and then a beer at his cool little beer bar, Cervejoteca. After that, we had a beer dinner at the veteran beer bar Melograno with a team of Doemens-trained beer sommeliers.
THU NOV 8 I spoke in front of a few hundred people at Prazeres de Mesa (“Pleasures of the Table”), a large food conference in São Paulo.
A few minutes later, I was scarfing down some lunch with Alice Waters. USA was in the house!
Later in the evening, we had an event for 80 people at São Paulo’s usually-bustling huge Public Market. It was 7pm, and I’d never seen the market like this – it was closed, and we were the only people there. By the time we left, around 10:30pm, the market had woken up again, as people started to deliver vegetables and fruit in streams flowing out of the side streets. The dinner went until 1am at Rota do Acarajé, a specialist in acarajé, a very tasty dish from Bahia.
FRI NOV 9 We started with lunch and then a tasting at Aconchego Carioca with my friend Edu Pasarelli, one of the people who’s been most active over the years promoting the Brazilian beer culture. Then a quick flight to Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais to meet up with the Carneiro family from the brewery Wäls. After a raucous welcome at their bar/restaurant Serafina, it was time to go to bed and prepare for the next day’s master plan.
SAT NOV 10 We were up at 5am and drove out to the sugar cane fields of the high-end cachaça producer Valle Verde. I’d hatched a plan for one of our coolest collaborations yet – we’d brew a saison made with 15% sugar cane juice, which we’d crush directly into the kettle at the brewery. I called it Saison de Caipira. “Caipira” (from which the name of the drink caipirinha derives), means, broadly speaking, “country bumpkin”. It’s not often meant as a compliment, but it’s a badge that many people, including the Carneiros, wear with pride. We donned boots and shin-plates, and armed with old – but very sharp – machetes, we marched out into the rain to cut down some sugar cane. This sugar cane was special – it had a sugar content of more than 20%, as opposed to the usual 15% – and makes particularly good cachaça. We hope to get some of those same grassy flavors into our saison.
Cutting sugar cane isn’t as easy as it looks. The stalks have leaves all the way up them, and before cutting the stalk at its base, you have to get all the leaves off. One of the workers from the farm gracefully demonstrated the moves with his machete, a delicate motion like shaving with a straight razor. We weren’t nearly so neat, but after a while we got the hang of it. We piled the cane into the back of a pick-up and headed to the brewery.
The Brooklyn yeast had been sent ahead and was already rolling. We crushed hundreds of pounds of sugar cane, resulting in several hundred liters of a sweet dark green liquid called “garapa”, fresh sugar cane juice. We poured it directly to the kettle, and we were off and running.
In the evening, the royalty of the Brazilian brewing craft brewing world came to a party at Wäls, about 150 people – brewers, homebrewers, bloggers, friends, and a celebrity chef who turned out an amazing beer dinner, served with Wäls and Brooklyn beers. A great band playing. Miguel Carneiro and Ze Felipe Carneiro playing the saxophone, and very well. A paella about six feet across. A whole pig. A man loses count. YouTube says I sang “Hit The Road, Jack” – I deny everything. Somewhere along the evening, João Becker from brewery Colorado gave me a couple of pounds of tasty greenish sugar, another brewer gave me an alligator head, and I received five bottles of cachaça. Besides the machete that Valle Verde had given me, this was going to make for an interesting conversation at customs!
SUN NOV 11 This morning we were to return to Valle Verde by helicopter to see their alembic in action. We took off twice, but the weather wouldn’t let us get where were going. After a breathtaking helicopter flight over Belo Horizonte, we were off to a final big lunch with the Carneiro family. And then down to Bombinhas for a visit with friends, a few cigars, a shrimp and mussels odyssey in a small fishing village, and way too much cachaça.
A huge thanks to all our wonderful friends in Brazil — um abraço a todos!
The Independent reported earlier this week that not only Americans toast to the votes. Even though there’s no blue in our Lager label (insert Green Party joke here), we’re proud to have been a U.S. ambassador across the pond on election night.
The second annual Beer Experience took place last weekend in São Paulo, Brazil, featuring over 28 breweries, music, food… and love. There were three breweries that were the main sponsors of the event and Brooklyn Brewery was one of them — the others were local Brazilian craft breweries.
We figured the festival-goers would enjoy the beer, but were unaware that not unlike bare-skinned arrow-flinging cherubs, our temporary tattoos work certain wonders. At least some of the time, anyway…
UPDATE // NOV 14 Thanks to Beer Maniacs for this awesome video recap of Beer Experience:
Kiel Week is the largest sailing event in the world. It happens every year around the end of June in Kiel, Germany. Sailing is a big part of the festival but eating and drinking are also a very large part of the festival. For the first time this summer Brooklyn Brewery was able to be a part of the festivities. Our buddy John came to the Brooklyn Brewery and explained his eagerness to showcase NYC style hamburgers and good American beer at the festival in his burger stand and he thought Brooklyn Brewery was the best fit, so we decided to join in on the fun. Turns out Germans really like burgers and beer. It ended up being a huge success. There are now several hundred Germans who have a new respect for American beer because they tried Brooklyn Brewery beer at Kiel Week. They ended up selling about 4000 burgers and over 500 bottles of Brooklyn Brewery beers out of their little burger stand. Fingers crossed that I can make it out to the festival next year to try these infamous burgers and wash it down with a Brooklyn Lager.