This past Saturday, the folks behind Brooklyn Beer and Wine Festival teamed up with local businesses along the fast-evolving block on Troutman between St. Nicholas and Wycoff to bring us the first ever Bushwick Beverages: Beer and Wine Day Party. Lot 45 hosted the main portions of the event—with employees pouring samples of craft beer and wine at several stations throughout the space, live music, and food for purchase. Another pour station was located at the front patio at Union Pizza Works, adding a welcome outdoor aspect to the afternoon. Things there were more low-key, a place where folks could take a break and enjoy their beer with some delicious pizza.
White House DJ Christopher Sealey and DJ CEO kept the music bumping at Lot 45, while folks sipped their beverages and nommed on tacos from AP Café. Later on the all-female mariachi band Flor de Toloache played some select numbers and as the night wore on the people started loosening up and hit the dance floor. The crowd ranged from young twenty-somethings in high-rise shorts and cropped tops to middle aged couples, one of which graced us with a little too much PDA throughout the evening.
The beer selection was varied, if a bit haphazardly curated. Local breweries were represented by Barrier Brewing, located on Long Island, and the Kelso of Brooklyn, brewed in South Brooklyn. There were also kegs from Two Roads, 21st Amendment, Speakeasy, Bell’s, and more, as well as pours of Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer. While it wasn’t always clear what you were drinking, nevertheless, three beers had me coming back for repeat pours throughout the evening.
#1 Kelso Nut Brown Lager, 5.75% ABV
The amber-brown Nut Brown Lager has a nutty, toasted aroma with hints of caramel. It’s medium bodied, nutty, and woody, with pleasant roasted quality. It finishes light and clean as a good lager should, even though the dominating malt characteristics make it seem a bit like an ale in disguise.
#2 21st Amendment’s Back in Black, Black IPA, 6.8% ABV
Back in Black is an appropriate black-brown in the glass. This is actually a go-to brew of mine, not because it’s a stellar example of the style–it’s a little weak on the hops for that–but because it is a really drinkable ale. The aroma is dominated by toasted cocoa scents with a little citrusy hop action going on. Slightly burnt cocoa taste on the tongue and some earthy coffee flavors on the finish. This is typically found in cans, so it was a treat to have it on draft.
#3 Barrier’s Rukus IPA, 6.4% ABV
The Rukus IPA pours a bright orange with a clean white head. This is a great IPA, with large amounts of grapefruit on the nose, backed up by some resin notes. The flavor packs a full punch as promised by the aroma, with lots of big grapefruit and tropical fruit going on and more of that dank resin. It’s refreshing and bright, a very well-balanced IPA.
Bushwick Beverages was a great way to take advantage of the budding local food and beverage scenes in Bushwick. Next year hopefully even more local breweries and restaurants will be featured, but it was an excellent start to what should become an annual event. Tickets were $20, and everyone definitely got their money’s worth in brews to sample. Looking forward to next time, Bushwick Beverage!