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Eat and Drink

Breweries upping your summer drinking game with new beers and events

Summer offerings at NYC breweries include Pizza Rats

Summer offerings at NYC breweries include Pizza Rats Pilsner, Flagship Brewery's collaboration with the Staten Island Yankees' alter ego.  Photo Credit: Michael Galayda/Staten Island Yankees

New York's brewery scene has become pretty vibrant over the past few years, with more and more craft breweries peppering all five boroughs with their individual personalities and, importantly, their own takes on beer styles both classic and experimental. The summer is a time for special releases, parties and events, so we've rounded up some of the most exciting new beers, charity initiatives, new locations and celebrations to give you a guide of what you can't miss over the next few months if you're a beer lover (or just love a good time without leaving the city).

Cream Regime(s) at Fifth Hammer Brewing Co.

Fifth Hammer brewed this nitro cream ale with Sheri Jewhurst, winner of a Brewer's Choice award at the first-ever Brooklyn Women Homebrew Competition this year. Fifth Hammer co-owner Mary Izett was a judge at the competition and says Jewhurst's nitro cream ale really stood out, and now, the award-winning beer is on tap at Fifth Hammer (10-28 46th Ave. in Long Island City).

"Sheri brewed with us a few weeks ago and the beer just went on tap and is delicious, pouring especially creamy on nitro," Izett says. Jewhurst and Fifth Hammer split the batch to create two variations, too: Coconut Cream Regime with toasted coconut and vanilla beans and Tangelo Cream Regime with tangelo zest and juice and vanilla beans. (These two won't be served on nitro.) Choose the original variation or something a little more tropical and raise a glass to the first of many women's homebrewing competitions in the city.

Mighty Real at SingleCut Beersmiths

SingleCut Beersmiths teamed up with Cyndi Lauper's True Colors United to celebrate Pride Month with Mighty Real, a hibiscus-infused beer that will help raise funds for the organization's work in helping to find housing solutions for LGBTQ youths in NYC and beyond.

“We’re Queens kids and musical zealots, so we adore Cyndi Lauper and wanted to get involved helping True Colors United’s mission of ending LGBTQ youth homelessness any way we could,” says SingleCut general manager Dan Bronson. Mighty Real is an IPA, brewed with the SingleCut team’s favorite hops and lots of fresh hibiscus flowers, which Bronson says gives the beer a “bright aroma of orange juice, some tropical fruit and a touch of zippy flowers.”

Mighty Real will be on tap in SingleCut’s tasting room at 19-33 37th Street in Astoria as well as at bars and at shops — in cans — around the city for the month of June.

United by Beer at Five Boroughs Brewing Co.

Five Boroughs is also celebrating Pride Month with a collaboration aimed at raising awareness and funds. They teamed up with The Center, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community center, to make United by Beer, a northeast IPA, resinous with notes of citrus — grapefruit, in particular.

United by Beer is on tap at Five Boroughs, 215 47th St. in Sunset Park. It will be available on tap and in cans to go around the city, and it will also be offered at The Center’s Garden Party, an event studded with culinary talent that will raise money for the organization’s outreach programs, on June 24.

Transmitter Brewing’s new location

“Urban farmhouse brewery” Transmitter built a cult following when its tasting room was fashioned out of a corner of its brewing space in Long Island City, and pours were only available from bottles. Its fans will be excited to experience its golden ales, harvest ales, sours, triples, wits, saisons and lagers in its sleek, airy, comfy new digs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (141 Flushing Ave., Bldg. 77) – and many more people will get to discover what makes Transmitter special here, too.

“The new space has a much needed and upgraded tasting room with 14 beers available on draft and another six to 12 beers available as cans and bottles to go,” co-founder and fermentologist Anthony Accardi says. “Russ & Daughters’ first Brooklyn outpost and new manufacturing facility is right next to us, so you can pair bagels and smoked fish with our beers. Our saisons are a beautiful match to the delicate flavors of smoked and cured salmon.”

Transmitter is operating under soft-opening hours of noon to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and noon to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with finalized hours to be announced.

Rockaway Brewing Company’s Brew Cruiser

The good news for New Yorkers during the summer is that we’re close to the beach, but the bad news is how inconvenient it can be to actually get there. Rockaway Brewing Company is offering a solution, one that’s made even more appealing with, of course, beer. The Brew Cruiser will run every Saturday of the summer from June 1 to Aug. 31, making a total of six loops each day. The 28-passenger shuttle departs from Rockaway’s Long Island City location at 46-01 Fifth St., starting at 9:45 a.m., and drops beach-goers off at Beach 73rd Street and Beach Front Road. Shuttles depart every two hours, and to return to LIC, riders will meet at the brewery’s Rockaway location, 415 Beach 72nd St..

The air-conditioned Brew Cruiser has storage space for beach chairs, surfboards and everything in between. Best of all, passengers can purchase beach packs — growlers and cans — at either the LIC or Rockaway locations, and can enjoy their Rockaway brews on the bus. (Gather up your friends: There’s a special where six bus tickets bought together gets you a complementary six-pack of beer.) The Rockaway taproom makes for a great post-beach, pre-shuttle hangout with plenty of space, games and music.)

Mikkeller Brewing NYC’s “Ultimate Summer Beer” collaboration with Fuku

Sando Sipper and a Fuku fried chicken sandwich are a distinctly NYC take on the summer tradition of a cold and refreshing brew and backyard barbecue-friendly food. Mikkeller and Fuku teamed up to make Sando Sipper, an American pale lager, to perfectly complement David Chang’s signature spicy fried chicken sandwich. The beer is crisp and clean with a little more body and flavor than your average commercial lager. (This is a craft brew, after all.)

If it sounds like a great sidekick for your Mets game viewing, you’re in luck: Later this month, Sando Sipper will be available both at Mikkeller’s CitiField taproom (123-01 Roosevelt Ave. in Flushing) as well as at Fuku’s concession stand inside the park. It will also be available at Fuku’s locations, at 110 Wall St. and Brookfield Place, 225 Liberty St. 

Summer Done Right event series at Bronx Brewery

“The idea is to give people a summer event series that can be enjoyed on a budget, without pretense or extravagance — which we think is a bit unique here in NYC,” Bronx Brewery’s senior director of marketing Nick Mezansky says of their Summer Done Right event series.

There will be three different themed events at the brewery (856 E. 136th St. in Port Morris) throughout the summer: Ladies’ Night with an all-female DJ lineup (June 15), a hip-hop and R&B party (July 20), and a Caribbean finale with dancehall, reggaeton and Soca music (Aug. 17). Mezansky says all three will feature at least four different DJs, food trucks and pop-ups, and, of course, a variety of Bronx Brewery’s seasonal and limited beers. Presale tickets are $10 and door tickets are $15, and tickets include a free brew.

Home Brew Hero Competition at Gun Hill Brewing Company

Are you a homebrewer with dreams of going pro? Gun Hill Brewing Company is offering you the chance to make it brewing in New York, and you know what they say about making it here. On July 27, they’ll host their third annual Home Brew Hero Competition at the brewery (3227 Laconia Ave. in East Bronx). Homebrewers offer their creations up to be judged, and the winner gets their beer brewed on Gun Hill’s system and distributed by Gun Hill over the next year. Co-managing partner Dave Lopez says they just released the brew from last year’s winner (a saison you’ll see on tap here) and they still have some variations on it that they’re waiting to roll out.

Even if you don’t brew, the event promises great beer, great food and live music. All attendees get to sample the entrants’ beer and cast their votes for the people’s choice award. You can buy tickets at the door or in advance by keeping an eye on Gun Hill’s social media channels. If you want to enter as a homebrewer, email events@gunhillbrewing.com.

Celebrate Big aLICe Brewing’s sixth anniversary

From noon to 8 p.m. on June 16, Long Island City favorite Big aLICe Brewing is throwing a party for its sixth anniversary at its taproom, 8-08 43rd Rd., and all of its fans and fans-to-be are invited. In addition to the brewery’s regular offerings, they’ll release a six-year anniversary beer, Queens Farmhouse, brewed with all New York state-sourced ingredients.

Other special releases include a gin barrel-aged porter, a rice lager brewed in collaboration with sake brewery Brooklyn Kura and a strawberry cream ale brewed in collaboration with Banded Brewing. Take note if you love Big aLICe’s popular Fistful of Rubies: there will be a limited supply of a 2018 vintage version of the sour ale at the party. To round things out, there will be more beers on cask, food from Joe Cristiano’s Pizza and music from the HomeBrewsicians and Cornerstone plus DJs Lord Plek and Mama Snack.

If you can’t make it to the party (or, even if you can), make sure to check out Big aLICe’s new space in Industry City, 52 34th St. Opened on March 1, the satellite has some more room than the brewery’s first location and spots a rustic-industrial atmosphere. There are 14 draft lines and a stage for a regular live music, plus easy access to Industry City’s food options.

Threes Brewing at Governors Island

Sip brews from one of the city’s buzziest breweries while enjoying the slower pace of Governor’s Island. Threes Brewing has just opened a pop-up on Liggett Terrace, putting them within steps of peaceful green views, family-friendly activities, and other great vendors like Melt Bakery.

At Threes, expect a handful of some of their best beers, from light and refreshing table beer to hoppy and hazy New England IPAs, with some can options, too. There is also wine (white, rose and sparkling), cider and non-alcoholic beverages, plus sandwiches like a pimento cheese and pickles combo and roast pork from Popina. The outpost is open noon to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Pizza Rats Pilsner for the Staten Island Yankees

Staten Island’s Flagship Brewery has teamed up with the borough’s minor-league baseball team, the Staten Island Yankees, to celebrate the team’s alter ego with Pizza Rats Pilsner. A playful nod to the pizza rat, one of New York City’s favorite inside jokes and mascots, this brew also pays homage to America’s favorite pastime. It’s a traditional pilsner, dry-hopped with Citra hops, meaning it’s just the kind of refresher you want to sip while watching the game.

Pizza Rats Pilsner will debut at its can release party, June 13 at 7 p.m., at Flagship Brewery, 40 Minthorne St. It will then roll out in cans at Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George (75 Richmond Terrace) for the Yankees/Pizza Rats vs. Brooklyn Cyclones opener, June 15 at 7 p.m.

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