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The Brooklyn Brewery Best of 2017 List

got drogon fire

What can be said about 2017 that hasn’t already been said about stubbing your toe and falling down a flight of stairs in the middle of the night? It was painful, full of unpleasant surprises, made us feel insecure in our own homes, and generally could have been totally skipped. But, much like those evening mishaps, parts of 2017 were at least amusing, if not outright good.

We polled our Brooklyn Brewery staff about their favorite parts of the year. More than 25 responded, and most of them even read the directions this time. It’s the perfect long read to sneak in while you pretend to work before the holidays. Who knows, you might even stumble across an album or movie you’d missed before. Then, let’s toss this year in the burn pile.

And now, we present The Brooklyn Brewery Best of 2017 List:

tim sparklers

Reverend Tim Rozmus
Copywriter & Digital Coordinator/Bar Manager & Tour Guide/Guy Carrying Stuff/Going first because he compiled this
Best Album: DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar and Nightbringers by The Black Dahlia Murder. Kendrick was also the best concert I saw this year.
Best Movie: Get Out.
Best TV Show: Stranger Things 2 for this year, but Netflix’s back catalog of Lucha Underground ended up being a surprise addiction.
Best Book: From Here To Eternity by Caitlin Doughty (come for the beautiful cover, stay for the detailed but humorous examination of death and funerary practices) and Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn too: A Book by Jomny Sun (come feel feelings)
Best Song: Two Minutes To Late Night and Royal Thunder covering “Wrecking Ball.”
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: The Botnik Studios Harry Potter predictive text chapter, and SB Nation’s What Football Will Look Like In The Future
Best Trend to Leave Behind: Avoiding consequences.
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Sand City Brewing Company for cranking out top notch beer in my hometown and Alaskan Brewing Company Icy Bay IPA for providing a much-needed hop fix in the great north.
Best Cocktail: 700 Songs at The Shanty.
Best Meal: A Joe’s of the Village slice and a beef patty, two Brooklyn Summer Ales, about a gallon of water, and a valuable lesson about moving apartments in the middle of the summer.

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Dom Cassone
Accountant/Model/Yung Investor
Best Album: DAMN., Kendrick Lamar
Best Movie: The Big Sick
Best TV Show: Veep
Best Song: Man’s Not Hot” by Big Shaq
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: The re-emergence of the “hang loose” hand gesture
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Tweeting
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Trillium Tiny Chicken
Best Cocktail: Vodka and Sprite (note: this is a multi-year winner)
Best Meal: Lilia’s Sheep’s Milk Cheese Filled Angolotti, Saffron, Dried Tomato, Honey

jeremy mercer

Jeremy Mercer
Sales & Marketing Rep, Dallas
Best Album: Villains by Queens of the Stone Age
Best Movie: Logan
Best TV Show: Stranger Things 2
Best Book: Vacationland by John Hodgman
Best Song: “HUMBLE.,” Kendrick Lamar
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: “I am neither hip nor with it.”
Best Trend To Leave Behind: All of them?
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Ska Mexican Logger
Best Cocktail: Negroni

jon reyes

Jon Reyes (above, right, making us jealous on purpose)
Front desk/Guy With Answers And/Or Keys
Best AlbumConcrete and GoldThe Foo Fighters
Best Movie: It. Turned out to be a pretty worthwhile remake.
Best TV Show: The Leftovers
Best Song: Redbone” Childish Gambino
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: The Stranger Things takeover of Hollywood
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Migos
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: ID Brewery Black Jack Stout
Best Cocktail: A nice, cold Jameson and ginger ale
Best Meal: Setagaya Brooklyn, Curry Tsukemen (cold ramen noodles with warm curry broth)

philip shelton

Philip Shelton (above, left)
Assistant Operations Manager/Tour Guide/Coach
Best Album: Ctrl by SZA
Best Movie: Logan
Best TV Show: Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later
Best Song: Slide” by Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean, Migos
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: Comedy Bang! Bang! 500th Episode
Best Meal: Oasis, Shish Taouk sandwich with Hummus and a side of Falafel

chris messina

Chris Messina (above, about to scare the bajeezus out of his child)
Best Album: Voids, Minus The Bear
Best Movie: Star Wars; The Last Jedi (Editor’s note: he hasn’t seen the movie yet, but he’s calling it early.)
Best TV Show: The Deuce
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: No Script, Marshawn Lynch’s new show
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Von Trapp Helles
Best Cocktail: Interboro Gin & Tonic
Best Meal: Scotch Egg at the Burke Publick House

Brooklyn Brewery LondonMash Day Four (Teaser Set) (1022 of 42) web

Miss Gabe Barry (above, holding court)
Beer Education & Community Ambassador
Best Album: DAMN., Kendrick Lamar
Best Movie: Despicable Me 3
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Lena Dunham
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Transmitter L1 Pilsner
Best Pancake: Sourdough Apple Pancake from Reynard
What Miss Gabe Really Thought About 2017:  “It was the f***ing worst.”

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Andrew Cohen (above, breaking it down in the blue pajamas. Did we mention our holiday party was Camp-themed?)
Events Coordinator
Best Album: The Courtneys II by The Courtneys
Best Movie: Good Time
Best TV Show: Master of None Season 2
Best Book: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Best Song: “HUMBLE.,” Kendrick Lamar
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: HQ.
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Fidget spinners? Are fidget spinners still a thing?
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Three Floyds Brewing Gumballhead
Best Cocktail: Despacito at Basik
Best Meal: Little Serow, Washington, DC

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Ben Plotkin (above, right, not even flexing a little bit)
Sales & Marketing Representative, Philly Area
Best Album: A Deeper Understanding by The War On Drugs
Best Movie: Get Out
Best TV Show: Stranger Things 
Best Book: Empire of Blue Water by Stephan Talty
Best Song: Tossing Tears” by Twin Peaks
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: Salt Bae
Best Trend To Leave Behind: New England IPAs
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Evil Genius Trust The Process
Best Cocktail: Fibonacci In Autumn at Friday Saturday Sunday
Best Meal: Omakase at Royal Sushi & Izakaya

Miles and Jess in Cambodia - Tuk Tuk Ride

Miles Moser (above, left, in Cambodia)
Southeast Regional Manager/Guitar
Best Album: A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs
Best Movie: Blade Runner 2049
Best TV Show: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: Stranger Things
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Mumble rapping
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Captain Lawrence Effortless Session IPA
Best Meal: Royal Sushi & Izakaya, Philadelphia

jordan huber

Jordan Huber
Sales & Marketing Rep, Chicagoland
Best Album: From The Fires by Greta Van Fleet
Best Movie: Wonder Woman
Best TV Show: Mindhunter
Best Song: Redbone” by Childish Gambino
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: Beyonce’s baby announcement
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Fidget spinners and Despacito
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Half Acre Tuna
Best Cocktail: A Lonely Island Lost In A Foggy Sea at Lost Lake, Chicago IL
Best Meal: Soup dumplings at Hing Kee, Chinatown, Chicago

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Lauren Ford (above, slinging surprise cocktails) 
Public Programming Manager
Best Album: What Now by Sylvan Esso and Resistance Radio: The Man In The High Castle Album
Best Movie: Get Out or Lady Bird
Best TV Show: The Americans
Best Song: Radio” by Sylvan Esso
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: The outing and subsequent removal of serial misogynists and sexual predators
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Fur pom poms on anything, and crop tops
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Firestone Walker Bretta Rose
Best Cocktail: Little Bit Country at PDT

chris pena

Chris Pena (above, definitely not stuck)
Events Producer
Best Album: Pink Xmas Tree by Jagged Jaw
Best TV Show: Master of None
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: “I don’t hear about kale anymore.”
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Fidget spinners
Best Cocktail: Boulevardier
Best Meal: Zahav, Philadelphia, PA

ebony creech

Ebony Creech
Sales & Marketing Rep, Houston
Best Album: Haunted by Khemmis
Best Movie: Justice League
Best TV Show: Bob’s Burgers
Best Book: “The Man in the High Castle” by Philip K. Dick
Best Song: The Shooting Star” by Gojira
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: K-pop
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Rompers for men
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon
Best Cocktail: Old Fashioned
Best Meal: Lemon pepper salmon

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Sam Itzkovitz (above, coaching)
Brand Marketing Manager
Best Album: Dear Evan Hansen Original Cast Recording
Best Movie: “Does The Godfather count if I watched it for the first time this year?” (Note: Sure, but we’re all going to sigh a lot and make a big deal out of it.)
Best TV Show: Stranger Things 2
Best Book: “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty
Best Song: Versace On The Floor” by Bruno Mars
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: Matcha everything
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Baby gender reveals
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Marz Brewing Jungle Boogie
Best Cocktail: Gin Martini at Clover Club
Best Meal: Sushi Ya during a trip to Tokyo

mike sunshine

Mike “Sunshine” Steinschneider (above, Photoshopped)
Packaging Manager/Righteous Dude
Best Album: The Desaturating Seven by Primus
Best TV Show: South Park
Best Book: The Craft Beer Revolution by Steve Hindy
Best Song: The Trek” by Primus
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: Fidget spinners
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Fidget spinners
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Pipeworks Brewing Company Blood of a Unicorn
Best Cocktail: Sazerac
Best Meal: Beer School with Brewmaster Garrett Oliver

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Patrick Paulick (above, embracing his alter ego as Rowdy Roddy Piper)
Regional Manager (New England)
Best Movie: Get Out was easily my favorite, but then I saw The Disaster Artist last week and it’s awesome. I pick both, you can’t make me choose, I won’t.” (Note: We didn’t.)
Best TV Show: The President Show; it’s a shining ray of sunshine in the dreary world of current US politics.
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: The outing of sexual predators
Best Trend To Leave Behind: New England IPAs
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: 21st Amendment Blood Orange Brew Free or Die
Best Cocktail: Laphroaig Cairdeas, neat. Luckily, I have a bottle at home!
Best Meal: Pemaquid Lobster Co-Op

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Ben Mang (above, literally looking like a snack)
Field Marketing Manager (East Division)
Best Album: saintmotelevision by Saint Motel
Best Movie: “Movies should stop being made. They all suck.” (Note: Ben answered these questions before lunch, so he was a little hangry.)
Best TV Show: Bob’s Burgers
Best Book: Uline’s fall/winter catalog
Best Song: Give It Up” by KC and the Sunshine Band (Note: this song came out in 1982.)
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: HQ
Best Trend To Leave Behind: HQ
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: 21st Amendment Fireside Chat
Best Cocktail: Negroni

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Haben Berhe (above, bottom right, team on his back)
Brand Ambassador Program Manager
Best Album: You’ll Understand EP by Ross from Friends
Best Movie: Get Out
Best TV Show: Gomorrah S3
Best Song: Lens” by Frank Ocean
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Memes
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Dugges Tropic Thunder
Best Cocktail: Penicillin
Best Meal: Haben’s tofu wok with egg, black rice and fried selected onions

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Travis Lancaster
Best Album: “I’m stuck between Pile’s A Hairshirt of Purpose,’ White Reaper’s ‘The World’s Best American Band,’ and our own Hayes Peebles’ Ghosts EP. Could probably have listened to these three albums for the whole year and be totally okay with the way things have turned out.”
Best Movie: The Big Sick
Best TV Show: “Struggling to get “The Leftovers” final season out of my head. Heavy stuff, beautiful soundtrack.”
Best Song: “‘Home‘ by Hayes Peebles, because it reminds us all there’s nothing better than twangy guitar bends and rolling drumbeats…oh yeah, and home.”
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: “Definitely punching Nazis. Hope that one sticks around for a while.”
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: “Every so often as a brewer you come across a beer you wish you had brewed. This year that beer is Transmitter Brewing’s PH4 Raspberry Sour.”
Best Meal: “I recently got to eat at St. Anselm for the first time and I’m pretty sure their Butcher’s Steak changed my life.”

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Alireza Shamsparto (above, middle, yes it’s the same picture again and it’s still funny)
Swedish Brand Ambassador
Best Album: DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
Best Movie: Get Out
Best Song: Bad and Boujee” by Migos
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Any sort of hashtag challenges
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Brekeriet Sour and Salt
Best Cocktail: I guess it was the year of the Negroni?

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Joe Soriero (above, focused)
Export Manager Asia/Pacific
Best Album: Sleep Well Beast by The National
Best Movie: “Watched the original Wall Street with Charlie Sheen on a plane and it was great.” (Note: this movie came out in 1987.)
Best TV Show: Stranger Things 2, Parts Unknown, and The Deuce
Best Book: Red Notice
Best Song: Fire” by Justice and “Shout At The Devil” by Motley Crue (Note: These songs came out in 2016 and 1983, respectively. We’re not sure Joe is living in 2017)
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: Forklift memes
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Flight jackets
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: 21st Amendment El Sully, Balter XPA, and Brasserie de la Senne Taras Boulba

pedro escobar

Pedro Escobar (above, somehow not getting kicked out of a wedding)
Maintenance Engineer/Tecnico Rudo
Best Album: The World’s Best American Band by White Reaper. “It’s so fun, it rips, and it makes you feel good.”
Best Movie: Get Out. “Never has a movie made me say ‘YO that’s what I’ve been saying this whole time’ so many times.”
Best TV Show: New Voltron on Netflix.
Best Book: Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn too: A Book by Jomny Sun. “Mainly because it’s the only book I read all year, and it’s basically a picture book that made me cry on the train.”
Best Song: DNA.” by Kendrick Lamar. “Gets you hyped and angry, which is good when you need to go hit stuff with a hammer at work.” (Note: this falls under Pedro’s job description. Most of the time.)
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: Punching Nazis. Let’s keep that one rolling.
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Political news.
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Funkwerks Saison. “Only beer I’ve had all year that made me say ‘wow’ out loud.”
Best Cocktail: “I drank from two bottles of tequila at once at a party.”
Best Meal: “On a rainy day I went to my local Columbian joint (shout out to Tropic Pollo) to have a Bandeja Paisa after a double shift at work and I was born anew in a frenzy of rice, beans, maduros, and the meats. Every meat. Never a more satisfying meal.”

miro bellini

Miro Bellini (above, pensive, human)
Australian Brand Ambassador
Best Album: Lethal Chops by Sadiva
Best Movie: Dunkirk
Best TV Show: Mindhunter
Best Book: Devastation of Baal by Guy Haley
Best Song: “People Say” by Wu-Tang Clan ft. Redman
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: Punching Nazis, just like Indiana Jones
Best Trend To Leave Behind: The avalanche of celebrity deaths in 2016
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Little Bang Naked Objector
Best Cocktail: Old Fashioned
Best Meal: Toasted sandwich

maraghy polaroid

Mike Maraghy
Regional Manager (Midwest)/Self-proclaimed man who lives under a rock
Best Movie: Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a NY Fixer
Best TV Show: Sneaky Pete
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: Reality TV star turns president
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Fake news
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Allagash Coolship Red

tommi locatelli

Tommi Locatelli (above, left, cheesing)
Italian Brand Ambassador
Best Album: Emperor of Sand by Mastodon
Best Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Best Song: Roots Remain” by Mastodon
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: War Brewery Zelda
Best Cocktail: Gin & Tonic with Malfy Gin and 1724 Tonic
Best Meal: Vitello Tonnato da Trippa Milano

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Joe Thompson
Assistant Operations Manager
Best Album: A Black Mile To The Surface by Manchester Orchestra; Pure Comedy by Father John Misty; DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar; Sleep Well Beast by The National; and Aromanticism by Moses Sumney
Best Movie: Finding Frances,” the 2-hour season finale for Nathan For You. “It’s unreal.” Get Out.
Best TV Show: The Leftovers, this year and every year until I die. And Legion, it took me four episodes to realize I was waching Cousin Matthew, seen here moments before his hilarious death.”
Best Song: “Midnight” by Jesse Ware (also the best and most embarrassingly-performed future karaoke song)
Best Pop Culture Phenomenon: “I still say ‘suh dude,’ sorry everyone”
Best Trend To Leave Behind: Rick and Morty fans yelling at service industry workers about cartoon sauce
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Gun Hill Brewing Co. Derby Winner, which was weird and wonderful
Best Meal: Everything at Farm Country Kitchen in Riverhead, Long Island, and everything at Taco Bell.

greg donheiser

Greg Donheiser (above, left)
Man of Data/Systems Specialist/Link from The Matrix, but with sales data
Best Movie: “I fell asleep for ten minutes of Blade Runner 2049, but I’d still say it was my favorite movie I saw in theatres.”
Best Song: “‘Shake Your Coconuts‘ to open the Bakers Dozen. Honorable mention– Strawberry Letter 23 on strawberry donut night!” (Note: If you don’t know much about the band Phish, this answer will make absolutely no sense.)
Best Non-Brooklyn Beer: Alchemist Broken Spoke. Perfect springtime beer– bright, easy-drinking, and Amarillo hopped.
Best Meal: Chicken fingers at Stout before several nights of the Bakers Dozen. (Note: it’s Phish again.)

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