Brooklyn Bloggery

Dinner Party Prep: Get to Know Brooklyn Grange

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Brooklyn Brewery’s Dinner Party is a collaborative dinner series with rare beer pairings held at Humboldt & Jackson, dedicated to spotlighting local producers. This month, we team up with Brooklyn Grange.

“People come to visit Brooklyn Grange for a variety of reasons,” says Ben Flanner, president and head farmer at Brooklyn Grange.  Among them, visitors come to learn “about city planning, water management, green development, healthy eating, and of course, farming.” And definitely to enjoy the view,as well.

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So what is Brooklyn Grange? A marvel of urban engineering, for one thing. Two roofs in Long Island City and the Brooklyn Navy Yard hold the world’s largest rooftop soil farms which grow 50,000lbs of organic produce per year. Currently in season, and making an appearance at Dinner Party No. 2 are heirloom tomatoes, Red Belle and French Breakfast radishes, shishito peppers, fairytale eggplants, and a whole lot more.

The Grange is also, as Flanner says, “an inspiration, training ground, and a sort of incubator for hundreds of young farmers […].  We launched regular workshops this season, and have taken our teaching to a greater level. ” It’s their commitment to raising awareness of sustainable local food (plus some amazing ground cherries) that made Chef Andrew Gerson want to partner with Brooklyn Grange and Flanner for Dinner Party No. 2.

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Both Flanner and Chef Gerson find inspiration outside of their communities. Chef Gerson spends much of the year on the road with The Mash, collaborating with local chefs and artisans, but always comes home to Brooklyn full of new ideas. “Nearly every place I travel, I go to visit farms,” says Flanner, ”and I always come away with some observations about different ways of doing things.  As a farmer you are constantly aggregating all of these observations in your mind, and then drawing on them.” Flanner’s spirit of collaboration surely strikes a chord with Chef Gerson, who recently told Greenpoint News that “I am constantly learning and becoming a better chef by working with others. It is amazing to make so many friends and lasting relationships in the food world, but most importantly I feel that collaboration leads to better and more interesting food and beer pairings.”

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But what makes a good dinner party for the man with a farm on his roof? Great ingredients, of course, and good company. “It’s always a pleasure to sit down next to a few fun and outgoing people, learn something new from them, and maybe even become friends.It’s quite like traveling.” We have a feeling there will be plenty of both, plus some very rare Brooklyn beer, this coming Thursday. Feast your eyes on the menu below, then get your tickets and join us and Brooklyn Grange’s, Alia Ornstein for Dinner Party No. 2 on August 7th.

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Tickets are available for Dinner Party No. 2 here. Keep your eyes on the blog, or follow us on Twitter for information about Dinner Party No. 3 on September 24th, celebrating Garrett Oliver’s 20th anniversary as our Brewmaster.

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