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Queens Beer Festival: NYC brews you need to try

There's no shortage of great beers being brewed right here in New York City, and you can sample many of them this weekend at the first, of what is planned to be an annual, Queens Beer Festival.

The city's most diverse borough will be well-represented at the inaugural event, with beers hailing from Astoria, Long Island City, the Rockaways and Ridgewood making the cut. But the festival will also offer samplings of beers from Brooklyn, Staten Island and beyond (and by beyond, we mean Long Island and upstate).

The event will take over the grounds of LIC Flea & Food (5-25 46th Avenue in Long Island City), and general admission tickets -- which are still available for both days -- include unlimited samples.

Here's a guide to some of the beers that local breweries will have on tap this weekend -- including seasonal sippers you'll want to try while the crisp autumn weather lasts.

Big Alice Brewing

Festivalgoers will be among the first to taste
Photo Credit: Big Alice Brewing

Festivalgoers will be among the first to taste Big Alice Brewing's "brand-new" batch of 1898 IPA, made with rotating hops. For something seasonal, try the Long Island City brewery's Lemongrass Kolsch, a German sipper perfect for Oktoberfest.

Coney Island Brewing Co.

If the enduring success of the pumpkin spice
Photo Credit: Coney Island Brewing Co.

If the enduring success of the pumpkin spice latte has taught us anything, it's that coffee and pumpkin are a good match --- so why not add beer to the mix? Coney Island Brewing's Freaktoberfest is a pumpkin and espresso ale that does just that, keeping it local by using espresso beans from Cafe Grumpy. For something lighter, try the Mermaid Pilsner, an easy drinking lager.

Braven Brewing Co.

Pumpkin beers are fun, but if you're in
Photo Credit: Filip Wolak

Pumpkin beers are fun, but if you're in the mood for something really classic, Braven's got you covered with its Bushwick Pilsner. The Brooklyn neighborhood was home to so many breweries in the mid-1900s that it became synonymous with a certain flavor -- one that brewers Marshall Thompson and Eric Feldman have revived, using modern ingredients.

"We made a beer that's as close to the old-school style as possible," Thompson said. "It's just an old-school classic pilsner."

If you want something a little more modern, try the White IPA, a hybrid of a Belgian white and an American IPA.

Bridge and Tunnel Brewery

This perfectly-named Ridgewood brewery will be pouring its
Photo Credit: Bridge and Tunnel Brewery

This perfectly-named Ridgewood brewery will be pouring its 3 Sisters Pumpkin Ale, pictured with a brown sugar rim, this weekend. The 6-percent ABV ale is made with 50 pounds of fresh roasted pumpkin, barley, corn, beans and spices -- and takes its name from the three Native American food groups of beans, squash and corn. If you're already over pumpkin-flavored food and drink, try the Tiger Eyes Hazelnut Brown Ale.

Flagship Brewing Co.

This Staten Island brewery promises unforgettable beer from
Photo Credit: Flagship Brewing Co.

This Staten Island brewery promises unforgettable beer from the forgotten borough, and its fall seasonal offering is certainly memorable. Dubbed Roggenfest, it's a hybrid of two German styles: Roggenbier and Märzenbier, also known as Oktoberfest.

"It's a really solid fall seasonal," promised Matthew McGinley, Flagship's co-founder. "We're on our third year of doing this."

Flagship will also be pouring its IPA, a West Coast style that's not too bitter, "sort of citrusy" and overall "a real drinkable, real balanced IPA," McGinley said.

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