Craft Brewers Go Hi-Tech

craft hop

The dirty secret behind today’s IPAs: There’s little dirty about them. Brewers are sourcing their signature bitterness in sterile labs, not muddy hop fields.

The hop plant contains oils and resins that give beer its bite; lab-made extracts of those flavorful and bitter oils and resins were once relegated to Big Beer’s industrial toolbox, while craft brewers stuck to cramming whole cones of the hop vine into the brewing kettle. No more. Not that industrial hop extraction is anything new. In the 1870s, the New York Hop Extract Company supplied brewers with hop resins made by soaking flowers in gasoline. Today, labs use liquid CO2 as a solvent, boiling hops to extract oils and then venting the gas away. The liquid that remains is clean, shelf-stable and concentrated, easy to preserve and to ship. “Extracts have better longevity [than raw hops], particularly in countries with developing logistics or harsher climates,” said Alex Barth, CEO of John I. Haas.

Still, the new wave of extraction is small. Robert Bourne of Extractz makes variety-specific extractions in an Ohio garage. He supplies a few local brewers but admitted he’s on the fringes: “It’s more of a home-brew thing.” Even when they come from a garage, extracts haven’t quite shed their industrial associations. The Hop Stoopid label shows a rustic barn; the fine print proclaims the “mountain of extracts” in the beer. “People read the label and call us up saying they won’t drink it,” says brewmaster Jeremy Marshall . “They think it’s some industrial, nonnatural thing.” Others maintain that whether from a leaf or a vial, flavor trumps all.

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Brooklyn Brewery Joins the Navy Yard

View-1-png.pngBrooklyn Brewery, the borough’s most iconic brewer, originally opened their Williamsburg location in 1996 and helped propel the neighborhood from its downtrodden industrial past to an international destination. But with rents steadily on the rise and showing no signs of slowing, the brewery has been looking for new spaces for several years to move the bulk of their operations once their lease is up in 2025. This weekend they announced that they’ll be following in the footsteps of Russ & Daughters and the Mast Brothers and opening a huge (75,000 square-foot) production facility in the updated Brooklyn Navy Yard under a 40-year lease.

The new facility will include brew space, offices, and a rooftop beer garden and restaurant. The move represents the first time the Brooklyn Brewery will be offering food as well as suds, and chief executive Eric Ottaway promises the menu will be “more than pretzels and bratwursts.” The borough has already committed to $80 million to revamp the Navy Yard’s building 77 as a food hall open to the public. The beer garden there should be open to the public by 2018, and early renderings promise the space will be a major destination for the “foodies” borough president Eric Adams is hoping to attract.

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Barclays Center Event: Tapped

27-tapped-beer-festival.w529.h529Barclays Center will host its first-ever beer festival. Barclays Center is home to the NBA team Brooklyn Nets, but with such a large and new facilities, new events are being put into the arena. On October 25, it will host a beer festival. Many lauded craft brewers like Florida’s Cigar City, Michigan’s Founders, New York’s War Flag are all expected to be participating in the event. This event will potentially attract all beer lovers and food lovers.

Food lovers will have the opportunity to taste celebrity chef Josh Capon’s Bash Burger, five-time winner of the New York Wine & Food Festival’s Burger Bash and other award-winning foods. Not only will craft beer, wine tasting and renowned foods be available but will also have interactive games like large-scale beer pong and Jenga. Moreover, Sunday Football will be streaming through TV’s.

General admissions tickets to each session of three hours is sold at $29 for early bird until September 2nd. The admissions ticket includes a souvenir cup and drink samples. VIP access tickets include early entrance 30 minutes prior to general admissions, and access to Calvin Klein Coursed Club, exclusive craft beer tastings, and televisions for Sunday Football games.

To read more, click here.

Food Almanac 2014: Food and Farm Policy

On Wednesday, Feb 12 from 6:30-9:30pm at the Center for Social Innovation, the Food Systems Network NYC will feature a panel discussion about food and farm policy predications as they relate to NYC and the nation. The event will commence with networking and passed hors d’oeuvres followed by the panel, dinner and a Q & A. Wine and local beer will be served. The panelists have not yet been revealed, but check back at Food Systems NYC to find out more.

Whole Foods Coming to Gowanus

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 17th— Whole Foods will be making its grand premier on Third and 3rd in Gowanus, Brooklyn, after eight tedious years of construction. This isn’t just any Whole Foods— the most highly-anticipated Brooklyn location will boast a rooftop farm and beer bar, a take-out noodle shop from Yuji Ramen and an array of artisinal specialties from Brooklyn producers.

Pig Butchering Demo: Wed 11/13

Join Meat Hook butcher Sara Bigelow for a comprehensive demonstration of snout-to-tail butchering techniques. All porcine queries are encouraged as Ms. Bigelow will show how to butcher an entire cross section of a farm-raised pig. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about unfamiliar cuts and even try some of Brooklyn Kitchen’s house-made sausages and Great Brewers’ beer. Leave your knives at home; this class is not hands on (however, participants will receive a 10% discount on equipment on the day of class).

Company: Brooklyn Kitchen

Location: Williamsburg

Address: 100 Frost St (Manhattan Ave & Leonard St)

Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm

Tickets: $85

Salon Series Kickoff at HRN: February 20th: Beer, Bison & Beats

Heritage Radio Network is hosting a salon series. An opportunity to convene with chefs, designers, bloggers, artists, musicians, and gourmands that are shaping the future of food and drink in America. They’ll kick off the HRN Salon series with salsa from BK salsa, some of their favorite beers from Bluepoint Brewery, and some killer bison jerky at the HRN warehouse. Buy tickets here, so you can, as Heritage says: “join the conversation, share your voice, and make sure you’re taste making and not taste faking.”