Ladies and gentlemen, your favorite beer is now in bottle form.
The first beer launching from our brand new bottling line here in Williamsburg will be Brooklyn BLAST!, our decidedly robust IPA, that I contend to be the greatest beer, ever. Now available in take home 4-packs and gently yet fiercely rolling out to a store near you over the next month. Try to be patient. BLAST! will soon be yours.
Brooklyn BLAST! has been bouncing around our halls since its introduction as a Brewmaster’s Reserve in 2005. Our long running but not widely shouted answer to those palette obliterating West Coast IPAs, BLAST! is a balancing act of piney & fruity notes with a sturdy malt foundation.
All Mash Cities have a certain charm, but Chicago is the city I had the most trouble saying goodbye to. Diverse neighborhoods bleed into each other ripe with unique and delectable restaurants serving fall inspired dishes with a laid back feel. I haven’t experienced this concentration of incredible eating locales in any other city but the one I reside in. The array of talented chefs that grace this town are not doing anything incredibly different than other cities we have visited along the Mash, but they are doing it consistently, creatively and collaboratively across the board. The “Shi” is an artistic metropolis with a true neighborhood feel, offering as many cultural perspectives as The Bean (Cloud Gate) itself. Steel bridges connect this lakeside city and add as much character as the myriad restaurants we frequented.
Lake Michigan provides a gorgeous city backdrop, but it also creates the brisk winds and chilling temps that make Chicago one of the coldest cities in the country. I think the chefs there understand this better than others and truly value the short growing season, preserving the rich bounty for the cold months to come, and honoring the fresh ingredients in a simple, yet sophisticated manner. The network of chefs that I encountered was truly inspiring, and everyone seemed to know everyone creating a culinary community that spans many bridges.
Slow supper prep at Found restaurant reminded me of Chris Sheppard’s kitchen (at Underbelly, Houston), with more preserves and pickles then I could imagine. The walk in refrigerator boasts a rainbow of pickled produce that could have easily been an installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Packed Mason jars abounded like the preservation kitchen at Blackberry Farm, as captivating as the amphitheater and BP Bridge in Millennium Park, by architect and artist Frank Gehry. Nicole Pederson might be a pickle queen but she sure knows her way around rabbit rillettes, and presses a mean goat pate that tastes of barnyard and pistachio, a perfect accompaniment for one of our Ghost Bottles of Crochet Rouge Riesling. Combined with pickled sausage, fresh made mustard, and sweet but tangy plum butter. This course and many others demonstrated the typical style of many of the chefs we encountered, with a full understanding of local ingredients and a playful, yet traditional approach.
Small Bar’s rabbit pate, marmalade, and parsley salad also accented the nuances of Crochet Rouge Sauvignon Blanc, expertly prepared by Executive Chef Justin White. Ghost Bottles graced the tables at both of our meals, but Carnegie Special 175th Anniversary Porter was most appropriate in capturing the essence of our 1883 World Fair Slow Supper feast, and a perfect accompaniment to the dramatic reading by Paul Durica, author of Chicago by Day and Night, as well as the delectable poached pear and sponge cake it was served with.
Our week of Mash events melded perfectly with the intoxicating energy of Chicago, from its many farmers markets, artistic and thoughtfully designed green spaces, diverse neighborhoods, talented chefs, and impressive architecture. From Longman and Eagle, to Lula café, Nightwood, Fat Rice, Little Goat, there were more great restaurants then I could imagine, or find time to eat at. Whether sitting in a hole in the wall Mexican place on the east side, dining on Randolph street, or out in Evanston you can be sure that Chicago’s food scene will leave you satiated, smiling, and extremely impressed. I just hope your stay is longer than mine. I am in agreement with my cousin Ari, Chicago may be the greatest city in the country, at least four months out of the year. I hope your larders are packed for the remaining eight months. Stay warm Chicago, can’t wait to see you next year!
In 2003, Brooklyn Brewery started selling beer in Denmark. Ten years later, Scandinavia is home to Brooklyn’s fastest growing fanbase. The Brewery’s involvement in the North hasn’t been limited to just sales. Our Brewmaster Garrett Oliver has done beer dinners at Noma, AG and American Table. We’ve produced two Brooklyn music and arts festivals in Stockholm, brewed collaborations at various Scandinavian breweries, and are in the process of building the New Carnegie Brewery, a joint venture with Sweden’s oldest trademark, Carnegie.
Thusly, it made perfect sense to get involved in New York City’s first Scandinavian food festival, NORTH. NORTH’s inaugural programming of unique dinner parties, collaborations and classes is seriously impressive. We’re getting hungry just thinking about it. Here’s where you’ll find Brooklyn Brewery throughout NORTH:
New York Goes Oslo, Oct 3rd & 4th
Fredrik Berselius’s nordic influences shine at Aska, across the street from The Brewery. For this mean, Garrett is sending beers that reflects Aska’s nordic roots, but also its focus on local collaboration. The exquisite menu will include Nordic collaborations of our own, including Carnegie Special 175th Anniversary Porter and our Sinebrychoff project, Two Tree Porter. This dinner is Sold Out.
Master Classes in New Nordic Cuisine, Oct 5th & 6th
Taste Lounge is the social center of the International Culinary Center and with the Norwegian Seafood Council will be presenting classes in the heritage and preparation of New Nordic Cuisine from some of the most talented Scandinavian chefs in the world. Brooklyn Brewery is providing Oktoberfest and Lager for all the students and chefs working up their knowledgeable thirsts. For a list of full classes click here.
Lakes, Gnomes, boats, a City rivalry, large communal feasts, outrageous storms, winding rivers, and a castle, no this is not the next episode of Game of Thrones, but the Twin Cities Mash I speak of. Our week kicked off with a dinner hosted by Monica Walch of Dinner on The Farm, on the rooftop of Solera, overlooking scenic downtown Minneapolis, and ended with our Slow Supper dinner hosted by The Brooklyn Brewery team, Jamie Malone of Sea Change and Monica Walch at Soap Factory, cyclical or what?
Our whirlwind week continued at Happy Gnome (our Mash Headquarters) where beer and cheese abounded, and I had the opportunity to get to know some Twin City beer aficionados as well as sample some local brews. Besides being home to a slew of Craft Breweries, Twin Cities has a cutting edge restaurant scene that is borderline incestual, but incredibly delicious. All the young talent of the last 10 years seems to have worked together at one point or another as they trained under their predecessors, and are now operating (or own) the best kitchens in town. I had the chance to work with two of these rising stars who are running great teams, cooking exceptional food, and inspiring those who work alongside them (and me).
Our Local 2 Ways dinner with Landon Shoenfeld, Executive chef, and owner of Haute Dish was one of the best meals I have collaborated on. Each dish not only paired perfectly with the beers selected but had incredible nuances, flawless execution, and were true visual works of art. I have never been in a kitchen where so many chefs seemed genuinely happy to be there, engaged, knowledgeable and incredibly motivated to follow the lead of their Phish loving, easy going leader. Haute Dish was a night to remember, even if the high gravity of the beers consumed made it easy to forget.
Landon is not the only talented chef in town, Jamie Malone of Sea Change not only impressed me (a far easier task), but the folks at Food & Wine, earning herself a place on the list for top ten chefs of 2013 (insert applause here) Jamie may be leading a crazy jet setter life these days ( I can sympathize) but her humbleness, composure, good natured humor, incredible skill, dedication, and mischievous smile make her a great gal to work with and learn from. Slow Supper in a giant art space, langoustine crudo, Sweet bread tortellini, potato pave seared to look like drift wood, Ghost bottles abounding, and a room full of boisterous happy guests, throw in an installation from Nuit Blanche, Stephanie Jarrett (vintage day dreams), and you have one hell of a dynamic eating experience.
Two great meals, boat trips on the purifying waters of Lake Minnetonka, a specialized Found footage Fest, a king sized temperpedic mattress at Castle El Maraghy ( anything feels like a castle compared to my Brooklyn apartment), a stop at The Beer Dabbler to see my main man Joe Alton for all the copies of the Growler, the greatest lightning storm of my life, The sounds of Jonathan Toubin, and riding tandem on a tube with my favorite event producer in the whole wide world, yah you could say it was a great week, Ya-knoow?
We swayed into the Palmetto state on Monday and arrived in Schvitz city for a week of food, beer, brewery tours, and general merriment. My first stop off the plane was the cozy little bottle shop, Beer Exchange. I arrived to find Sarah of Goat.Sheep.Cow, Cheese Shop dolling out a Honey goat Gouda paired with Local 1, the perfect combination to begin my Charleston culinary adventure.
Charleston has always been recognized for its quiet historic streets, war relics, and Cannons and artillery pointed out to sea, symbolically protecting its peninsular coastline. The true soldiers here are the chefs, restaurateurs, and brewers who not only protect, but also foster a local food system with a valor that only a southern gentleman could muster. And believe me this is not an assumption, I tried a pretty significant cross section of the restaurants that make Charleston one of the most vibrant food capitals I have been to. Charleston has a particular balance of Southern inspired cuisine mixed with great fusion spots, crafting local ingredient forward menus with a southern sensibility like, Xiao Bao Biscuits,Two Boroughs Larder, Husk and the Butcher and Bee. If it sounds like I am listing places it is because I am, we ate our faces off trying to work through all the recommendations we received. Figs Italian inspired menu was a perfect meal from start to finish, and seven of us worked our way through the entire thing. Throw in Liberty Tap Room, Tattooed Moose, The Glass Onion and you have a serious food scene mixed with southern hospitality, great beer, and a true sense of community.
I had the opportunity to eat at all of the Places mentioned above but the real highlight of the week was cooking with Todd Garrigan at Craftsmen Kitchen and Tap Room. Todd and I created a menu inspired by his cuisine, and perfectly paired with our beers. Duck Ham, a Mallard riff on southern cured ham melded perfectly with the deep cherry flavors of Our Kriek (Ghost Bottle). Guests drank Sorachi Ace alongside seared Head on Shrimp and sautéed vegetables as a typical June Monsoon poured through town. As the rain pounded down its sound was lost amongst boisterous conversation, great food, and flowing beers.
Wednesday was a much anticipated Charleston brewery tour where we got a chance to visit local legends like Westbrook, Holy City, and the ones who started it all, Palmetto Brewery. After three hours of meandering around town in the sweltering heat before our tour started, I was ready for a cold beer. Our tour guide and drinking companion from Brews Cruise explained that Charleston had a rich brewing tradition, but the reemergence of breweries after prohibition was slow to take hold. They may have started late in the game but these brewers are not messing around, and If my Lost bag ever arrives I will have some delicious bottles to remember my new friends by. We ended the day at Holy City, sitting around the bar in a large open garage and patio equipped with darts, a pool table, corn hole, and a full view of the Brew House just feet away. If it sounds like all we did was eat and drink your wrong, we sweated too, which is kind of like exercise, so I don’t feel so bad about our culinary pursuits.
Brooklyn Brewery is taking its neighborhood on the road. Collaborating with friends old and new, the Brewery has bundled up some of its favorite events into The Brooklyn Brewery Mashas a benefit for Slow Food USA, rolling out in Boston July 9-14. Check back for a Boston Mash recap from Brooklyn Brewery House Chef Andrew Gerson (@BKLYNhouseChef).
Mash HQ Tue, July 9 – Fri, July 12, 5-7pm; Stoddards Food & Ale; 48 Temple Pl, Boston
Brooklyn beer specials, new and special offerings, giveaways and general info available on The Mash.
Lovin’ Spoonfuls Beer Dinner Tue, July 9, 7pm; Stoddards Food & Ale; 48 Temple Pl, Boston – $55
Four course passed small plate dinner, hosted by Brooklyn Rep & Bostonian, Patrick Paulick.
Local 2 Ways Wed, July 10, 7pm; Tip Tap Room; 138 Cambridge St, Boston – price TBA
Multi-course beer dinner celebrating local cuisine, interpreted 2 ways: by Chef Brian Poe of Tip Tap Room and Brooklyn Brewery House Chef Andrew Gerson.
Big Cheese vs. Big Cheese Thu, July 11, 5-7pm; Stoddards Food & Ale; 48 Temple Pl, Boston – $55
The head cheese mongers from both Formaggio locations will face off in a battle for your taste buds. Brooklyn House Chef Andrew Gerson will present 5 beers and the two cheese heads will present their preferred cheeses.
NY Night Train Soul Clap & Dance-Off with DJ Mr. Jonathan Toubin
Thu, July 11, 10pm; T.T. the Bear’s; 10 Brookline St, Cambridge, MA – $8
Compete for a trip to New York for the Dance-Off championship at Brooklyn Bowl and $100 cash prize after getting warmed up with the exquisite 1960s soul 45s of world famous Brooklyn DJ Jonathan Toubin. Must be 21 years of age to win. Opening the show will be our funny friends from Found Footage Festival, showing off their most hilarious and danceable found VHS clips.
Chaos Cooking Fri, July 12, 7pm – Free
A stalwart citizen opens their kitchen for a dinner party where all the guests are cooks. Each attendee brings the ingredients and everyone cooks together. Dishes are passed around, and there’s plenty of Brooklyn beer to enjoy. For location details, go to ChaosCooking.com.
Slow Supper with Brasstacks @ Lowell’s Boat Shop Sat, July 13, 6pm; Lowell’s Boat Shop; 459 Main Street, Amesbury – $100
Held in America’s oldest functioning boat shop, guests will feast on a meal prepared in collaboration between Brooklyn House Chef Andrew Gerson and Chef Mark Sheehan of the underground-supperclub-soon-to-be-restaurant Brasstacks. Projection installations from Brooklyn’s NBNY. All proceeds benefit Slow Food Boston.
Books & Beer: At Sea with Erin Byers Murray
Sunday, July 14, 6pm; Upstairs Gallery @ Eastern Standard, 528 Commonwealth Ave, Boston – $10 Togather and Brooklyn Brewery present a conversation and Q&A featuring two enterprising individuals with ties to the water: author Erin Byers Murray who worked at Island Creek Oysters for 18 months to learn the business of oysters, and Graham McKay of Lowell’s Boat Shop. Your ticket includes complimentary Brooklyn beer and a percentage of ticket sales will benefit Slow Food Boston.