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October 18, 2011

Photos from the Inaugural Brooklyn Pour 2011

This past Saturday afternoon I was lucky enough to attend the first-ever Brooklyn Pour, held at Skylight One Hanson in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. This was an all-around good time and I was happy to be a part of it.

The venue was in the former Williamsburg Savings Bank, which was a very cool place to hold a beer festival. Some of the logistics were a little wonky, but still such a uniquely historic place.

He'brew's brand-new Genesis 15:15 Barrel-Aged Barleywine was among my favorite beers at the festival.

A slight disappointment was how many breweries were pouring out of bottles. Extra points to breweries like Kelso and Wandering Star who brought jockey boxes. Tap > Bottles.

Allagash's bottled offerings.

The vault of the bank also hosted additional beers and food. All in all it was a bit cramped everywhere you went, but it was still relatively easy to get any of the beers.

Troegs in the house!

Wandering Star Craft Brewery's Chris Cuzme pouring their Mild at Heart and Bish Bosh Bocktober.

Empire Brewing Company coasters, free for YOU!

The most delicious pretzels in all the land from Sigmund's. I had the 7 Chile and loved it.

Behind the teller windows is where all of the beer was on the main floor. Kinda cramped once general admission entered the fray.


  1. Hi there-

    Thanks for stopping by the Shmaltz table at BK Pour! And glad you dug the Genesis 15:15, we were stoked to pour that beer at the festival since it's brand-new and super special.

    I wanted to ask about your "Tap > Bottles" comment. We almost always pour bottles at festivals, for a few reasons. One, none of the NYC crew has a car, so schlepping jockey boxes/leftover beer on the train is near impossible. Set-up is also much easier: bin + ice + bottles = good to go.

    There is a general misperception with beer drinkers that tap beer is better. There is no doubt that draft beer is a fun experience (let's face it, first thing I look at in a bar is their draft list) and more environmentally-friendly, but when it comes to the actual quality of the beer, you have way more consistency with bottles.

    The taste of draft beer is affected by the cleanliness of your lines/jockey box and the type of gas (and the pressure) you use to push beer through your system. On the other hand, there's less room for outside factors to mess with your beer (barring extreme temperature changes and sunlight) from the bottle to your glass.

    Most folks also believe draft beer is inherently fresher, but as an industry person I can tell you that freshness is not guaranteed with all draft (although I'm certain that every brewery at BK Pour made sure their beer - whether bottles or draft - was as fresh as possible).

    Anyway, I'll get off my soap box now, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on draft vs. bottles and your preferences.


    Shmaltz Brewing

  2. Hey Melissa,

    Thanks for replying, I genuinely appreciate the feedback! You make some very good points that I definitely agree with. I hadn't even thought about the fact that you guys have to lug all of that stuff to/from the fest. And of course if a beer is bottle-conditioned that's a whole different story.

    I guess the only genuine argument for draught is what you mentioned about glass bottles being susceptible to light. I also tend to frequent bars where I know they maintain good, clean lines so most of the time I can rely on a consistent product.

    My bias against bottles also probably has to do with the fact that after homebrewing for a few years, I've grown tired of hand-filling bottles and have converted to a kegging system. So I think I just have a general disdain there, haha.

    Because of all of that, I may just have a general aversion bottles...I think for me it just comes down to personal preference. I rarely even look at bottle lists in bars, mainly because I usually know where to get them myself at retail cost (read that as: i'm being cheap). So I think when I see bottles it triggers a "I can get that bottle at ___" thing in my brain, which is a bit of a snobbish way about things. But I do enjoy getting my hands on a beer I've never had before like the Genesis.

    Either way, I will try to keep a more level head about craft beer in bottles. I hope I didn't come off as a beer snob, I hate that.


  3. I don't mind bottles, but I feel like tap still has the allure of being "better", even if it has similar quality as a bottle. I agree with the idea that tasting out a tap makes it seem like a more exclusive experience than a bottle tasting. I always look at the tap list before the bottle list, but if something I want to try is only served in bottles, it doesn't ruin the evening for me.

    Also, I really can't stand drinking directly from a bottle. I almost always need a glass of some kind to pour my beer in to. The aesthetics of sipping out of a bottle just ruins the experience for me. I don't know where that argument falls in the tap vs. bottle debate, but it's true for me.

    At the end of the day, I'd rather have a pour from a tap, but I understand the brewer's need to distribute in bottles. At a festival like this, I'm more interested in trying new brews than focusing on if it came from a bottle or a keg.