Today we joyously introduce the first release in a series of videos produced by our friends at Transient Pictures exploring the people and stories that make Brooklyn Brewery. As 2013 marks our 25th year of making beer, there’s no better person to kick things off than Brooklyn co-founder & president, Steve Hindy.
Most craft brewers had a life before beer. Steve Hindy covered wars and assassinations for The AP in the Middle East. Along the way, he met American diplomats in bone-dry Islamic countries whose only source of beer was home-brewing. War correspondents are a resourceful lot, and Steve brought that resourcefulness to starting a brewery in Brooklyn.
Lots of people ask us, “How do I become a brewer”? There’s no simple answer, but a really great place to start is by making your own beer. In fact, a large majority of professionals started out as homebrewers.
Along with Harpoon Brewery and Backlash Beer Co., the folks from Bostonia stopped by Brooklyn Brewery recently to talk with Brewmaster/BU Alum Garrett Oliver about his craft and how he went from college kid to pro brewer. Turns out all these beer careers have roots in homebrewing (and vice versa if you’re a science professor). But don’t worry, you don’t have to have studied at Boston University to make beer. In fact, if brewing in your abode sounds fun but you’re sans paraphernalia, we got you covered.
On Bloomberg TV’s “Taking Stock“, host Pimm Fox had “halal” on the brain when it came to guessing who his mystery guest was last week. To be fair, one of the clues was: “Islamic laws were the catalyst for my guest to learn his or her craft.” Watch the full clip here.
There Will Be Black builds a hoppy dark tower on a foundation of solid British pale and crystal malts, constructs a midsection of American and German black malts and then sends a spire of New Zealand hops vaulting into the low-hanging clouds. Sharp and snappy, full-bodied but dry, There Will Be Black has a core of black bread and dark chocolate, wrapped in a bright coat of orangey, minty hops. This beer knows the night. This beer will be awesome with your burger, revelatory with your chicken molé, and intends to marry your lamb vindaloo. We think you’ll approve.
Malts and Grains: British pale, lager, crystal and chocolate malt, American black barley, German black malt Hops: American Willamette, New Zealand Pacific Gem, Motueka Yeast: Our House Ale Yeast OG: 17.2° Plato ABV: 7.5%
Availability: November-January Format: 15.5 gal kegs; 5.2 gal kegs
Check in with the following venues for There Will Be Black availability:
KENT ALE HOUSE
51 KENT AVENUE
191 5TH AVENUE
3 RICHARDSON STREET
PETERS WATERFRONT ALE HOUSE
155 ATLANTIC AVENUE
AMSTERDAM ALE HOUSE
340 AMSTERDAM AVENUE
Big thanks to our friends at Transient Pictures for brilliantly bringing the Fiat Lux “Brewmaster’s Notes” to film:
Fiat Lux is available August-October 2012, draft only.
When we decided to call our latest Brewmaster’s Reserve beer Brooklyn “Fiat Lux” (“Let There Be Light”), we weren’t trying to get all god-like on you. What we’re really saying is “let there be summer”. Let there be beaches, let there be blankets laid out on grass, let there be beer gardens, let there be barbecues, let there be outdoor concerts, let there be good beer everywhere, great people to drink it with, and time to enjoy it. Yeah, we thought you’d be down with that too.
What are we drinking this summer? Combining Canadian and American malts with a large proportion of un-malted white winter wheat, Fiat Lux starts with a Belgian witbier inspiration. A blend of Pacific Northwest hops, a little lime peel and a dash of Indian coriander brings a bright blast of citrusy aromatic sunshine, while German Perle hops supply a nice big zap of refreshing bitterness.
Brooklyn Fiat Lux is great with everything you’re cooking and eating this summer (it’s not that great with beef stew… but you’re not eating beef stew) from barbecue to burgers, from crawfish to salmon. And it’s mighty nice with goat cheese. Have a great summer, folks. And yes, we admit it – we really do love walking into places, declaring “Fiat Lux!” and making it so.
Malts:Canadian and American two-row malts, American Madsen un-malted white winter wheat Additions:Lime peel, Indian coriander Hops:Cascade, Chinook, Columbus, Centennial, Perle Yeast:Levure Belgique Alcohol by Volume:6.1% Availability:August-October Format:15.5 gal kegs; 5.2 gal kegs
And continued thanks to our friend Eric Schwortz for the photo evidence of the Fiat Lux preview party at The Ides (the bucolic Wythe Hotel rooftop bar) and official release party at The Brewery (more photos to come!):
UPDATE // AUG 2 And the winner of the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN Song Contest is… Teen Commandments with the song “No Burning Headlight”! They’ll be flying to Sweden for the first all-Brooklyn music festival. On August 28th, right before the big show, Teen Commandments will play the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN Send Off show at the Rock Shop right here in Brooklyn.
A big, huge bear hug goes out to all the contestants and their amazing songs and vision, and to all the thousands of fans and friends who voted.
This morning we had the pleasure of informing Teen Commandments, aka Brett Moses and Nick LaGrasta of their success. Guess what? They’re psyched! Here’s a brief and badly transcribed interview with the pair of Williamsburg songwriters:
Brooklyn Brewery: Congratulations. Where do you live? Brett Moses: Nick and I live in Williamsburg near Kent and North 5th. We’re at one of the few remaining artist’s lofts in the area. BB: We took to your song right when it came in. How’d you hear about the contest? BM: We saw a poster at Manhattan Inn (across from the Nassau G stop, naturally). Nick LaGrasta: It was the first thing I saw when we went into the bar and we immediately started talking about the contest. BM: We hadn’t even ordered a drink yet. NL: Yeah, and we stood there for a while talking about whether or not we should do the contest. BB: So you could say that the contest actually prevented you from buying a Brooklyn beer. This promotional contest actually hurt our sales. BM: Well Brooklyn beer fueled much of the song writing process so I’d wager that your sales actually rose, slightly. BB: Oh, good. So speaking of your song writing process, how did you come to write “No Burning Headlight”? BM: Nick and I co-wrote the song– I am singing and Nick produced much of the track. BB: Most of the songs we received were all about the G but your lyrics treaded a little lighter on the subject. BM: Right, it’s not as on-the-nose as some. We wanted to capture a feeling and a moment that feels true about our lives and the area. You know, we went to some party in Greenpoint and we’re waiting to go home. Met someone at the party who’s along for the ride. Burning headlight is the train. Anyway, we recorded the song using Ableton Live and mixed it in Logic Pro. There’s also some cabasa, clave, and shaker just for fun. BB: So you’ve won a trip to Stockholm to take in our very first all-Brooklyn music festival at Debaser. Have you ever been to Sweden before? Both: No. BB: What’s your favorite Swedish band? NL: I’ve always liked Jens Lekman. BM: Is Meshuggah Swedish? They’re good. BB: Don’t know. BM: What about that electronic band, The Knife? Are they Swedish? BB: Yes, they are. BM: That’s my answer, The Knife. BB: What bands on the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN lineup are you most excited for? NL: We were psyched to see who was playing. I’ve been listening to the new Twin Sister album a lot over the last two weeks and just realized they were on the bill so that’ll be cool. BM: I’ve always been a fan of The Hold Steady. And I’ve really been into the new DIIV album. BB: Well thanks again for your effort. We were blown away by all the submissions and are excited that you guys took home the prize. BM: We could not be more grateful to our friends and families and really want to make the most of this. We hope people will keep an ear out for Teen Commandments. We’ll be playing shows in Brooklyn. This is a new project for us and we really thank Brooklyn Brewery for allowing us to reach so many people right off the bat.
If ever the sluggish G gets you down, or you find yourself inspired by the tenacity of that “green-eyed girl”… or you just want to listen to some good songs, here is the entire Top 10 for your listening pleasure:
UPDATE // JULY 25 At the end of August we’re exporting over a dozen of Brooklyn’s top bands to Sweden, as well as one lucky unsigned New York songwriter who’ll be flown to Stockholm and put up at the Story Hotel to enjoy the festival, on us. To ensure this mammoth prize is well rewarded, we asked you to write a song about Brooklyn’s storied G train. And boy, did you deliver. So much so that we couldn’t just decide on 5 entries as was originally intended, and had to double it to 10. But only one songwriter can get on that plane, and we need your help to choose the winner. So whatever it is you’re doing and get yourself over to Facebook (you’re probably already there) and vote for your favorite song*. And tell your friends, family, coworkers and general acquaintances to vote, too. And maybe drink a Brooklyn Lager while you’re at it.
In addition to going to Sweden to enjoy the show, the winning songwriter will perform alongside a handful of the bands on the festival roster at the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN Send Off at the Rock Shop on August 28.
Brooklyn Brewery GM/COO Eric Ottaway (pictured above being interviewed for the video below) spent two days in the air to travel across the globe to the Australian continent. And well worth the jet lag it surely was, Eric reports:
I spent a week in May down in Melbourne, Australia at Good Beer Week, and came back fully inspired. The craft beer scene in Melbourne is really booming, with lots of creative ingredients being used, and great food being paired with beer. Melbourne reminds me a lot Austin, TX, with a funky music scene, new creative restaurants, a growing craft beer presence. Just goes to show that this craft beer renaissance that started here in the U.S. is really spreading worldwide, and shows no signs of letting up. Quite the opposite, in fact!
One of the events was a Brooklyn Brewery Party at the Great Northern Hotel, where Brooklyn-fan Ryan Lester captured some great footage of Eric talking about and drinking our beer (he’s great at both):