New York’s annual suds-filled Beer Week is back. A hoppy roster features tastings, dinners with beer pairings and tap takeovers. From a Billyburg cask bash to the big-ticket Brewer’s Choice, we’ve sorted through the frothy festivities to bring you this year’s five best beer events.
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The NYC Brewers Guild is undertaking its most ambitious Beer Week yet: Kicking off ten days of 100 suds-drenched events, this opening-night bash at the Dumbo arts den features unlimited beer tastings from 20 all-American craft breweries. Hop devotees can indulge in pints from Gotham’s own Sixpoint, Shmaltz, Kelso and more, and take home an official NYC Beer Week 2013 tasting glass to make theirbrewthusiast buds seethe with jealousy. 7–10pm; $45.
Brew purists swear by old-school cask-conditioned ale (which employs secondary fermentation), what they refer to as real ale. The unfiltered, unpasteurized suds are the focus of this Billyburg cask bash. Sixteen rare beers are poured straight from cask to glass, like Thornbridges sought-after Beadeca smoked porter and a brand spankin’ new hazelnut brown ale from Bridge and Tunnel Brewery. Delayed due to Sandy, the fest’s rescheduling serendipitously coincides with NYC Beer Week and has been stretched from three hop-filled days to four. Pay-as-you-go tastings ($5–$10) are available throughout, and rarities and vintage bottles are up for grabs at the Mega Beer Raffle on February 24. All raffle proceeds benefit the family of the late Ray Deter, founding partner of d.b.a. and beer-bar pioneer. 1pm–midnight.
It’s about to get rowdy at this quaint, quiet Park Sloper—the Kelso crew is moving in for a farm-to-brewery-to-table pairing dinner to toast Beer Week. The Clinton Hill microbrewers and the locavore resto have collaborated on a menu incorporating all facets of the beer production process: sausages poached in beer, short ribs braised with Kelso suds and fresh spent-grain pretzel rolls sweetened with malt syrup straight from the brewery. To complement the fare, Kelso is serving up its pilsner, Nut Brown lager, Rauchbier, pale ale and Cabernet Aged Industrial IPA. 7pm; $75
The boozy highlight of NYC Beer Week, this big-ticket bash at City Winery brings together notable beer names with some of Gotham’s tastiest grub. Keynote speaker and Captain Lawrence head brewer Scott Vaccaro will be joined by hop experts like Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver and the Evil Twin himself, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, all pouring their most special brews . To soak up the suds, Mile End Deli, Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque, Jimmy’s No. 43 and others will be doling out snackage at 20 different tasting stations. In between building a buzz, guests can cheer on the Second Annual Unsung Local Beer Hero Awards (categories include Best Homebrewer, Beer Bartender and Brewery Worker) or celebrate the 150th episode of Beer Sessions Radio with the Heritage Radio Network. 6–10pm; $60.
Mario Batali’s Italiano rooftop beer garden serves as the setting for the frothy finale of the fifth annual fest. Under the thankfully closed retractable glass roof, warm up at a cash bar of local craft beers from NYC Brewers Guild members like the Bronx Brewery, Rockaway Brewing Company and City Island. Rounding out the party is, of course, La Birreria’s menu of bar bites hailing straight from the Boot, including smoked prosciutto from Alto Adige ($11), formaggi from Lombardi (three cheeses $11), and Emilia-Romagna–inspired sausage and kraut ($21). Noon–4pm.