100+ craft beers. 66 brewers. 3 hours.
33+ beers, 22 breweries per hour: my feasible plan of attack at the Village Voice’s third annual “Brooklyn Pour.” The major craft beer festival, held October 12th at the beautiful Skylight One Hanson, celebrated a plethora of unique and delicious brewskies. A most fitting way to ring in the recent fall weather, the tasting event ran from 3:00-6:00PM, with an additional hour at the beginning for lucky VIP ticket holders.
Among the vast offerings was a butternut squash beer, produced by the Barrier Brewing Company. As expected, there were plenty of pumpkin beers, but this standout took seasonal to the next level! My favorite sip of the day was definitely Pyramid Brewery’s apricot ale. To my surprise, there were also a couple of gluten-free brews, thanks to Rochestafarian Wee Heavy and Steadfast Beer Co. I’m not sure I knew this was even possible.
In addition to beer, I sampled several ciders, including the Swedish company Rekorderlig. While these drinks were a bit too sweet for my palate, I appreciated their unexpected flavors, strawberry-lime and wild berry. In my previous experience, “cider” only came in the apple (or maybe pear) variety!
Each station filled the tasting glass to its brim, so within no time at all, I was considerably buzzed. I fully took advantage of my VIP status by checking out the private lounge upstairs, where I encountered the delicious Sigmund’s. Sigmund’s soft pretzels, the perfect complement to beer, were incredible in size and in taste. I can’t wait to venture to their East Village location. Grandaisy Bakery offered a spread of mini square pizzas, of which I found the squash variety best. I very much enjoyed their potato pizza, too, as I had never had anything quite like it before. Whole Foods manned another table, serving bratwurst sliders I did not sample, and the remaining two food vendors were Ovelia Psistaria and Montclair Bread Company. There were also a couple of beers showcased exclusively in this mezzanine section—but I did not find them more special than any downstairs.
The view from the VIP area alone might have been worth the ticket upgrade, though. Skylight One Hanson boasts beautiful architecture. The tremendous ceilings helped alleviate any congestion in the main hall where most beers were served. More vendors were stationed downstairs in the vault (this venue was formerly a bank), where there was also food available for purchase. Even the snobbiest beer connoisseur must have been able to find something to his or her liking given the incredibly vast selection. There were also several beer talks and demos for those interested to partake in. Among discussion topics were beer photography and homebrewing.
Brooklyn Pour made for a perfect afternoon with beer-loving friends. Most people came in large groups, and everyone seemed to be having a ton of fun. I thought it was cool how most breweries had stacks of their cardboard coasters out for people to take, as I left with a large collection for my apartment! Some vendors also had keychains or other little giveaways. I tried to grab something from everywhere so I could remember the stations I liked best.
There are many beer festivals, big and small, around the city–but this one is not to be missed next year! General admission: $50; VIP: $80.
By: Emily Giove