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Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Drink free beer at Braven Brewing Company's launch party next week

By Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo

Last week New Yorkers said goodbye to Union Square standby Heartland Brewery, but this week new hope for the craft beer scene has emerged: Newcomer to Brooklyn's band of breweries, Braven Brewing Company, is set to launch next Friday, January 16.

The Kickstarter-funded suds operation from longtime friends Eric Feldman and Marshall Thompson will debut during a launch party at The Well—complete with free beer—beginning at 8pm. But you won't have to wait that long for a pint. The brewery's first batch of White IPA hit the taps at The Sampler and Arrogant Swine over the weekend and will soon be poured at nearly 40 other bars across the city (Heavy Woods, Bronx Ale HouseThe Ginger Man, Rattle N Hum) by the end of the week. 

Here's what to expect from the taps: White IPA, the company's flagship ale, delivers a hoppy bite that's tempered by the soft wheat of a Belgian White. The upcoming Black Pale Ale balances earthy, espresso notes with bright, slightly tart citrus while Día, a seasonal Mexican stout, wakes up heavy chocolate with hot chili. 

Inspired by the 'hood's history in brewing, Feldman and Thompson aim to revive Bushwick's once thriving beer industry. In the mid 1800s, the Brooklyn nabe was home to a large German population and thus several breweries (14 facilities in a 14-bock area) that provided a booming economy—and buzz no doubt. Thus, the duo will be brewing a springtime pilsner made from centuries-old recipes dug out of those breweries' archives.

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