On October 5th 2014, the Five Borough Beer Corp will be hosting the 1st annual Brooklyn Local Craft Beer Festival. Naturally, the event will be held in Brooklyn NY(420 Carroll St. Brooklyn, NY 11215 to be exact) but the beers will come from all over NYC. The event promises to be a great opportunity for craft beer lovers to sample beers from the smaller breweries. A list of the breweries being featured can be found here. Archibald Rowan, president of the Five Borough Beer Corp was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding the upcoming event.
EDG: This will be the first annual Brooklyn Local Craft Beer Festival. With NYC having so many breweries, why do you feel an event such as this isn't already the standard?
ARCH: Honestly, I think it’s just easier to look up a list of the “top 10 craft breweries” or something of the sort, call up the big names with large events budgets, and promote your festival with all major players on the line up. It’s a good business plan and it works.
That said, what we are doing is a lot more interesting and exciting, we want to direct the focus to the local guys.
EDG: What can you tell us about your history regarding NYC and the beer scene?
ARCH: I have always been interested in beer. Not just drinking it, but how it’s made, the ingredients, the whole thing. I liked going to breweries to see the source. As I was exploring the New York City beer scene more and more, I kept being astounded. Not with just how good, unique, and cool these beers and breweries were, but with how many of them existed. I couldn't believe that all these great breweries were right beneath our noses and so many people had no idea. I felt there was a bridge that needed to be built.
EDG: The food vendors have yet to be listed. Can you reveal some names or perhaps hint as to what we can expect?
EDG: Why have you chosen one long session rather than the typical double session that most festivals have?
ARCH: This is definitely one of the main differences in our festival, and it is something about which I was pretty passionate. When you have those short sessions, I think everyone is running around trying to taste everything, speeding through the process. And in the end you don’t even remember what you tasted. we wanted everyone to not only have time to enjoy the beer and chat with the brewer, but also to eat, hangout, and just have a good time before the weather really gets cold.
EDG: What is your favorite beer style?
ARCH: I couldn't possibly pick. I am a big believer that depending on the situation, place,season, food (or lack thereof,) there is a different beer to fit the bill.
EDG: What do you feel separates craft beer in NYC from craft beer elsewhere in the US?
ARCH: This is a tough one; because it obviously can’t be pinned on any individual thing. It’s all of it- the amount and variety of people and industry, the creative energy, the size of the city. You can do anything and everything. And whatever it is you are doing, there are so many people doing it, that it pushes you to get interesting or get lost in the crowd.
EDG: What is something that you DON'T like about the craft beer industry?
ARCH: This is inevitable, but I guess the inaccessibility. I can go into any bar in america (well almost) and drink a bud. But if I read about a cool brewery and its only serving out of one location in Long Island City- then I have to find a way to make that work. On the other hand, that’s what makes this all so fun.
EDG: In short, why should potential attendees choose this event rather than the many other beer events?
ARCH: Don’t get me wrong, all beer festivals should be a great opportunity to try a lot of beers. The Brooklyn Local Craft Beer Festival will be more than that, though. We won’t be rush-sampling a bunch of the big names which you are all likely already familiar with. We will be leisurely learning about really small, frequently unavailable brews, from local breweries that you can actually visit on your own time. Plus there will be delicious food, and more.
EDG: It may be too early, but have you begun thinking about the 2nd annual Brooklyn Local Craft Beer Festival?
ARCH: Let me put it this way: we started thinking about the 2nd Festival before we even set the official date for this one. We want this to become a yearly event that brings the community together, and that has gone into the planning from the beginning.
As usual, it’s best to Like/Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates. I’m personally thrilled at the idea of one long session. If you read my coverage of the NYC Craft Beer Festival, you’d recall that the short sessions was a major pet peeve. Tickets are still on sale for the low low price of $47.50 and can be purchased here.