On Sunday, April 26 The Brewminaries homebrew club (I’m the club’s treasurer) along with the Bitters and Esters homebrew shop staff celebrated the release of their first collaboration brew aka Ryes of the Brewminaries with a bike tour of three Long Island City (Queens, NYC) breweries. The last of which was Rockaway Brewing Company, the brewery where the beer itself was brewed on March 18th. Though I do not currently own a bike, a fellow club member and I walked to from one brewery to the next and sampled beers at each one.
We first went to Transmitter Brewing Company, a yeast focused brewery that has grown quite a bit over its short history. Since first visiting Transmitter this past August they’ve upgraded to a 7 bbl brew house, installed larger fermenters, and moved their growing numbers barrels to an adjacent warehouse space. Each one of their beers is brewed, fermented, and packaged with care and attention to detail. They even keg condition to ensure the consistency and quality of their beers between bottles and kegs. Before heading out to the next brewery (Big Alice Brewing Company), I made sure to purchase a bottle of F4, a saison / farmhouse ale fermented with three strains of brettanomyces i.e. a funky version of my favorite warm weather beer style.
Though the Big Alice staff knew we were coming I think they were a bit taken aback when we arrived and quickly filled their tasting room. While many beer bars stop offering flights when they’re really busy, all of us were able to order flights of 4 or 6 sample glasses and taste the creativity that goes into every Big Alice beer. As a homebrewer that tends to stick to beer’s traditional four ingredients I found Big Alice’s eclectic line up of unique beers to be balanced and approachable. However, despite fellow Brewminaries insisting that I try the jalapeño black IPA, I could not get passed my dislike of beers brewed with peppers and nicely declined their offers.
After finishing our flights and snacking on a bit of the trail mix provided by the Big Alice staff we headed to our final destination of the bike tour i.e. Rockaway Brewing Company. While they had some beers that I hadn’t tried on tap, I decided to stick to the beer that we all went there for. Ryes of the Brewminaries, our hoppy rye pale ale brewed with Mosaic, Galaxy, and Magnum hops. With its juicy tropical fruit aroma and flavor, it was a quite refreshing beer to walk around the brewery with all the while chatting with my fellow Brewminaries, homebrewers, and the Rockaway staff.
All in all this inaugural collaboration and its releases were a big success. I’d like to thank John LaPolla and Douglas Amport (owners of Bitter & Esters), the Rockaway Brewing Company staff (especially head brewer / co-founder Ethan Long), and my fellow Brewminaries for their part/s in creating that success.
The Brewminaries have a lot of great brewing experiments, showcases, and events planned for the upcoming months and I plan on continuing to document my perspective on them both on the Brewminaries website and here on thebrewedpalate.com.