Sunday October 5th was the first annual Brooklyn Local Craft Beer Festival. The event promised to celebrate local craft beer from New York. The event was held in the amply spaced 420 Carrol Street which I assume is where food trucks go to sleep. The large outdoor venue gave plenty of wiggle room for attendees, the large picnic tables gave us many places to sit and reflect on the beers we were tasting. I had a lot of fun. I really want to make that clear. I did have some issues with the event that I will explain later. This was the first year for this event. I look forward to the 2nd year which will most likely have more breweries and more food. There were 12 featured breweries and each breweries offered two beers. I will briefly go through the beers I tried and my initial thoughts.
1.Rockaway Brewing Company: Rocktoberfest(5.6% ABV)- I was both excited and disappointed to see that Rockway replaced the planned ESB with their current seasonal offering. I have had the ESB before and I have grown quite fond of it but I was also curious to try their Rocktoberfest. I’ve never been too big on Oktoberfest beers but I did find myself enjoying this one. It wasn’t too bitter. I regret not going back for seconds and thus I feel my review is incomplete but I still give it 4 out of 5.
2.Lithology Brewing: Lafayette Farmhouse( 6% ABV)- First time having any beer from this brewery. I don't typically gravitate to the Farmhouse(also known as Saison) style beers. I dont know why though, they are usually really good. This one was no exception. It was very easy to drink and was a bit on the sweet side. A good beer to start or end the event with. I gave this 4 out of 5.
3.Flagship Brewing Company: Roggenfest( 6.5% ABV)-This brewery is located in the faraway land known of Staten Island. I am curious to try more of their beer but I wasn’t too impressed by their offerings. This particular beer was enjoyable, it had a great body and started out bitter and ends sweet. Again, this isn’t my preferred style, I would love to see their take on a IIPA or a brown ale. I give this beer a 3.5 out of 5.
4.Coney Island Brewing Company: Freaktoberfest( 6.2% ABV)- I love this beer. I have a possibly unhealthy obsession with it. I get it all the time when I see it on tap and I was thrilled to see it at the event. I like coffee in my beer. I’m sure some people will have a problem with this beer. It’s not something I would drink a 6-pack of but its great beer to have in a flight or a pint. The beer just feels like Fall to me. This was the only pumpkin beer I spotted that day. I give this beer a straight 5 out of 5.
5.Spider Bite Beer Company: Boris The Spider( 10% ABV)- First things first, how about that name! I was very excited to try this beer. It had the highest alcohol compared to the other offerings and I’ve been a stout hunt lately. I found myself hating this beer at first. I was shocked because I love stouts and I love beers with high alcohol. It was rather astringent at first. Yea, it was strong and bitter and smooth but it was lacking that extra bit of love. So I took a break. I slowed it down. Take a sip, let it sit, drink slowly, this beer grows on you. I found myself loving it once I reached the bottom on the glass. I give this beer a 4 out of 5.
6.Broken Bow Brewery: Red Ale (5% ABV)- This beer was about as exciting as its name. It lacks a certain wow factor. Those were my first thoughts, then I reminded myself that beer isn't about gimmicks. This is a well balanced beer in terms of mouth feel and taste. I give this beer a 4 out of 5.
7.Gunhill Brewing Company: Nelson’s Oatmeal (5.8% ABV)-Creamy. But I’m sure you would have guessed that on your own. This was my preferred stout that day. I like oatmeal stouts. They are hearty and they play with your tongue in a strictly platonic level. I give this beer a 5 out of 5.
8.Barrier Brewing Company: Evil Giant (6.4% ABV)-Tastes of a season long passed. I nice basic IPA, the hops were refreshing and it felt like I was cheating on Fall. These guys make a really solid beer and I hate myself for not getting around to their Rembrandt porter. I give this beer a 4.5 out of 5.
9.Yonkers Brewing Company: Smoked Marzen (5.3 ABV)-A smoked beer! What fun! Smoked beers are fun. I wouldn’t drink a lot in one sitting but I do like them as a novelty. They usually end up tasting like cooked ham. This beer kept the hamminess to a delightful medium. The subtle touch won out and I was thoroughly impressed. This beer gets a 4 out of 5.
10.Radiant Pig: Junior IPA (5% ABV)-Light, low alcohol but still full of flavor. The color made me think of a farmhouse ale but this sucker is all IPA. If this is the junior, I hope they make a senior IPA too. I give this beer a 5 out of 5.
11.Third Rail Beer: Field 2 (6.1% ABV)-Another farmhouse ale! Pours cloudy, Fruity and sweet. Has a great body to it. I give this beer a 5 out of 5.
12.Flagship Brewing Company: American Mild (4.5% ABV)-In terms of texture and taste this beer is more like a stout. There isn’t much to say about this beer. It wasn’t holy shit amazing but it wasn’t oh my god gross either. The low alcohol also kills any further interest I would have had in this beer. There are better dark beers out there but I do suggest you try this on your own. I haven’t written this one off yet, I feel a more focused drinking session may be required. I give this beer a 3.5 out of 5 until further notice.
13.Lithology Brewing: Lithology Brown Ale (5.1% ABV)- These guys should really put Brown in quotation marks. This sucker is dark, like black ale dark. The beer tastes surprisingly light. The dark malts seem to have gone straight to body rather than bittering the beer. I give this beer a 5 out of 5.
Returning to the event itself: Lots of beer not a lot of food. For some stupid reason I thought the food was included with the cost of the ticket. It wasn’t. Okay, fine, I can buy food, but there wasn’t enough options. I do hope that more vendors sign up for year two. 6 hours of unlimited beer is a fantastic idea but it gets tough when the food is lacking. The bakery dishes were a true delight. Although, I do wish Carpe Donut offered more than just one type.Made of Beer Bakery, who use the spent grains from Lithology Brewing, did have a larger selection of pastries. This is only the first year and I’m sure more vendors and more breweries will be involved in the future. The event existed to celebrate local beer and in that regard, I believe it was a success. I was able to try beer from parts of NY that i’m likely to never visit in person.
Maybe be my friend on Untappd. You’ll see beers that I’ve had and you can suggest beers for me to try.