And so ends our 25th year. And after all the lessons learned, and beers drank, we reflect on how Brooklyn has become culture.
Brooklyn and art, like Sonny and Cher, or celery and peanut butter, they will always be more delicious together. As the Manhattan art scene pushed its way into the boroughs Brooklyn’s embrace of cheaper rents and bigger spaces gave rise to a culture of anti-heros and fine graffiti that would take the art world by storm. When we started making beer in Brooklyn it was to evoke a time when manufacturing plants and industry filled these streets. These days manufacturing is coming back slowly but surely to Brooklyn but I would argue that production never stopped, it simply changed from steel to culture.
For our Silver Anniversary we went back to our original Lager recipe and bottled a refermented double bock version to commemorate. Throughout the years, some of the friends we’ve made have risen to artistic fame. We could think of no better way to celebrate our 25th anniversary than to partner with Fred Tomaselli, Roxy Paine, Joe Amrhein and Elizabeth Crawford, all of whom agreed to contribute art to grace the labels of a Silver Anniversary Lager.
There’s no telling what the next 25 years will bring, though with the inspiration of the borough we love and the continuous innovation of the beer we make. I’m sure there will be plenty to reflect on and celebrate.
Well it’s finally here, our favorite show about a meth chemist’s last season. But who knew through all of this that the true artisan would be Hank Schrader?
The man is bottling his own beer, (in episode “Breakage” S02E05) even though it turns out to be overcarbonated,
and even offering up his own homebrew as a prize in local fundraisers (in episode “ABQ” S02E13).
Sure Gabe could brew his own coffee but our man Hank has a two tap system!
What could the Scraderbrau be? A Munich Helles? A Czech Pilsner? Maybe an American IPA? There have been plenty of tribute beers to Breaking Bad. Hank himself even had a slogan contest, that it seems people are still entering four years later. We know it’s “brewed to silky perfection” but it would seem to me the Schraderbrau needs a better description. So comment below and the best recipe or beer style befitting our anti-anti-hero will get a gift package courtesy of us here at Brooklyn Bloggery.
Yes, the votes are in, and CNN is calling it. Yes, we have confirmed, there is a clear winner. With 95% of the counties reporting, we can now with confidence tell you the results. The winner of the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN song contest, who will be flown to Sweden to join us for our three day celebration of beer, food, and music, in Stockholm. The music video that took the contest, and our hearts, is…
Mash Boston reaffirmed my love for bodies of water. This sounds strange but bays, oceans, tributaries and the beauty they encompass set a perfect backdrop for our week of events. My past Boston culinary experiences were limited to super carnitas burritos at Anna’s Taqueria when I would visit an old girlfriend during college. Things have changed quite dramatically over the last ten years, and great restaurants are popping up all over offering interesting riffs on traditional New England cuisine along with many other styles of food. I had one of the best clam chowders of my life at Island Creek oyster bar, New England of course, none of that tomato malarkey.
I was able to gain a new respect, and perspective on aquaculture and the vital role it plays in New England life. The Atlantic Ocean, its tributaries, and the many rivers that lead into it have long been a source of sustenance, income and leisure, for New Englanders, playing a vital role in the areas evolution. Much of our week was focused on maritime activity or its byproducts. A small detour from our seafood centric meals was our Local Two Ways dinner at Poe’s Tip Tap Room with Chef Brian Poe, and many happy hour events at Stoddard’s Pub. If you think I am busy you should check out Brian Poe, juggling three restaurants with the expert skill and precision of a veteran circus clown (the talented ones that hurl multiple flaming bowling pins effortlessly, while telling jokes). Brian and I prepared antelope tips and kangaroo tartar with a pistachio and yuzu gremolata. I don’t know about you, but I have never eaten, let alone prepared kangaroo in my life, needless to say it was a night to remember, and as I hop from city to city it is a flavor I will hold onto and savor.
We were back to the sea the next morning as we headed out of Boston towards Duxbury bay, home of Island Creek Oyster Co. We arrived nursing hangovers that would make a college student proud, and were met with the sweet salty air of the ocean and Chris Sherman the Vice President of ICO, and one of the most knowledgeable, well spoken, and downright enjoyable people I have met in a while. Our trip began in the hatchery where oysters are bred, reared and transferred to holding tanks below the docks where they spend their first six months of life. The algae lab is the most essential part of this process. Multiple strains of algae (oyster feed) are grown in tanks and tubes of various sizes and pumped into the tanks that house these growing prehistoric creatures. We boarded a small boat and headed out to the oyster beds that dot the bay, protected by a large half moon strip known as Duxbury Beach, and boarded the floating house where oysters are sorted into three different grades. The passion and expertise of these rugged oyster farmers, and savvy business men, have made these oysters a coveted mainstay at Thomas Keller’s Per Se, French Laundry, and many other fine dining institutions across the couomtry.
Lowell’s Boat house, the oldest active boat house in the country was the setting for our Slow Supper dinner with Chef Marc Sheehan of Brasstacks (a local pop up restaurant concept). Marc honed his skills at Blue Hill, under Dan Barber before taking over some of Boston’s best kitchens. I was thrilled to put out plates that mirrored the flowing history of the Merrimack River and work with such a young and talented chef whose historically relevant and technical approach to cooking left our guest begging for more. Quahog bread and Black Ops pretzels where paired with Silver Anniversary Lager, and the boisterous conversation and glass clinking echoed far across the river just feet from the long wooden planked communal table constructed for our dinner by master boat maker and teacher Graham McKay of Lowell’s boat shop.
Our week culminated in a cyclical manner with our Togather event featuring Erin Byers Murray, author of Shucked, Chris Sherman, and Graham McKay discussing the waters that have shaped their lives, careers, and outlooks. My sea legs felt much sturdier after absorbing bits of their passionate conversation that flowed effortlessly like the Merrimack, or the tides of Duxbury Bay. All hands from our week of adventures were on deck for this memorable event. Sipping Brooklyn Summer Ales, and slurping oysters felt more like an outing with old friends then a literary reception. Boston I can’t wait to set sail for your waters next year. Ahoy Mattie’s!
Steve Hindy in an adept and efficient interview that hits all the high points talks to Anthony Currie of Reuters’ “The Exchange.” It would seem our neighbors across the pond don’t have too high an opinion of Lagers. We hope that Brooklyn Lager in England is proof that a good flavorful Lager should be dark, very dark, indeed.