Relax your fierce booze allegiances at the first-ever Taste NY Craft Beverage Week.
Beer enthusiasts, wine aficionados, cider lovers and spirits connoisseurs can attend more than 250 events showcasing locally made drinks in all four beverage categories at restaurants, bars, taverns and stores across the five boroughs from Nov. 5 to 11.
Events organized by four trade associations and promoted by the New York State goverment will include wine tastings, brewery crawls, happy-hour specials, dinner pairings, meetings with makers, panel discussions and more.
Love wine? You can buy a $85 ticket for a three-course dinner with wine pairings at City Winery in TriBeCa on Monday. Adore beer? Sign up for a $20 walking tour, with samples, of Long Island City breweries on Wednesday. Curious about rye? Taste a smattering of them, as well as bites prepared with the grain at Roberta’s in Bushwick on Tuesday for $45.
"Craft Beverage Week is a celebration of all four beverage categories, but it also connects the New York City market with producers from all over the state,” said Sam Filler, executive director of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation and one of the promotion’s organizers.
Here’s what Filler taught us before the state-sanctioned initiative officially kicks off Sunday:
There’s already NYC Cider Week, NY Drinks NY, NYC Beer Week and a slew of other annual events drawing attention to intoxicating drinks made here in New York. Why make this one so broad?
Millennials aren’t as loyal to one kind of alcohol as past generations and they’re more curious, Filler said. “They’re not just wine drinkers. An occasion they’re drinking a wine could be the same occasion they’re drinking a cocktail or beer,” he noted. ”There’s a greater openness to trying different things. The typical person isn’t just like, ‘I’m a beer person anymore.’ There’s folks that cross over from beer to cider, because ciders also come in cans.”
Which type of beverage would you say is flourishing the most in this state right now?
The wine industry has the strongest international reputation, Filler said, but breweries are growing at the fastest rates. “[New York was] recognized by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2015 as wine region of the year,” he said.
But the number of microbreweries has grown by 275 percent from 40 outfits in 2010 to 150 in 2016, according to a Craft Beverage Week spokeswoman, while the number of New York farm wineries has increased by more than 60 percent, from 195 in 2010 to 316 in 2016.
Where exactly are all these wines, ciders, beers and spirits coming to New York City from?
Ciders and wines are made with fruit grown in New York, so they tend to filter into the city from more rural areas, Filler explained. Most New York cideries grow and press their apples in the Lake Ontario, Champlain Valley, Hudson Valley or Finger Lakes areas upstate.
Wine grapes are grown all over the state, but you’ll find the highest concentrations of wineries on Long Island (think the North Fork), the Hudson Valley and the Finger Lakes region.
When it comes to beer and spirits, breweries and distilleries usually source their ingredients from out of state, so they set up shop in more urban locations, Filler said.
Why host Craft Beverage Week in November?
“This is, for all of the producers, their highest sales volume of the year,” the promotion co-organizer told us. Plus, the chillier weather makes indoor tastings and cocktail happy hours more appealing to New Yorkers.
Browse the full list of Taste NY Craft Beverage Week events here.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of Craft Beverage week events. There are more than 250.