You know what’s awesome about NYC? All the boroughs have at least one brew club, and some have more! Most clubs have a monthly meeting where they discuss upcoming homebrew events and contests, vote on experiments that they want to try, and brainstorm things the club can do in the homebrewing community at large. The meetings are always a great time and a bit of a drinking fest. I recently decided to go on a mini-tour of some of the brew clubs by going to meetings with Brewstoria, Pour Standards, and the Brewminaries. It was a great way to talk homebrew with fellow brewers and taste what they have been up to.
I also wanted to get some feedback from the clubs about what we should be offering via our webstore. We know that not everyone can make the trip into the shop (but we appreciate it when you do!) and we want the webstore to offer the same experience you’d get in the shop, with super fresh ingredients, tried and true recipe kits and our awesome customer service. We launched the new version of our webstore this fall and it’s been a great success, but we’re always looking to improve. We want to be able to reach brewers that are a bit far away from Brooklyn, so I asked some of the homebrew clubs if I could stop by one of their meetings and talk about the store.
The first club I visited was Brewstoria in Queens. They meet at Astoria Brewhouse every first Wednesday. Such a great bunch of homebrewers who are quite knowledgeable, they poured some very tasty beers. I gave a short talk about the webstore and then gave a mini-lecture on brewing water. They just achieved non-profit status and that night they elected officers. They also held a mini raffle to help raise funds for the club. We talked about moving one of our monthly swaps to the second Wednesday so we can have some Brewstorians join the party!
The next night I visited Pour Standards Richmond County Homebrew club in Staten Island. Bitter & Esters and Pour Standards pretty much grew up together. These men and women are a very philanthropic bunch. Among other things, they organize an amazing homebrew charity event every year called Brew for Autism that raises a ton of money for Autism Speaks. An awesome bunch of brewers, three of them are in the process of opening Kills Boro brewery. They meet the second Thursday of every month at Flagship Brewery, although this month was on the first Thursday because of the holidays. It’s easy to get to if you’re traveling from Brooklyn or Manhattan, right off the ferry.
It was an interesting evening because all of the women in the club were listening to Lauren Grimm of Grimm Artisanal Ales give a talk in the brewery for the monthly Women’s Craft Beer Society meeting. So it was just me and the guys in the tap room, sitting on couches by an awesome fake fireplace, drinking their delicious brews. Great time and great meeting. Extra thanks to Lauren for the ride back to Brooklyn!
The next day was a bar crawl organized by B&E and the Brewminaries homebrew club in Brooklyn. The Brewminaries are the largest homebrew club in NYC and started out of our monthly beer swaps. We were celebrating the release of a beer that we all collaborated on with Kings County Brewers Collective, called Nightmare on Troutman Street. So not officially a meeting, but I still got to hang out and drink beer with the Brewmies, at seven bars by the store!
On Monday I visited the Dive Bar Homebrewers Symposium. Not a club but a meeting of like minded homebrewers who get together to share beer, much like our swap.They meet on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at the Dive Bar on 96th and Amsterdam. The symposium I went to was their anniversary / holiday party. They had a cask of delicious juniper ale tapped that they collaborated on. Interestingly enough the Dive Bar had Nightmare on Troutman street on tap. Of course I had to have one! Again, great people, great brewers.
If you are a homebrewer and not a member of a homebrew club, I urge you to join one. Not only do you get to meet great people and drink great beer, if you are a dues paying member you get discounts at Bitter & Esters. Check out my earlier blog on all of the clubs in the city.
I plan on hitting up the rest of the NYC homebrew clubs in the new year. Three meetings per month is my limit! Thank you to the clubs for having me and a big thank you to all of the venues that host the homebrew clubs.
We’d also love to have you check out the new webstore. We are offering free shipping to all readers of my blog until the end of December. Just use code BlogFreeShipping2016 at checkout.
I’ll see you out clubbing!John