The Opening Bash of 2018’s NYC Craft Beer Week was, in the 2001 vernacular of Fred Durst, “the illest beer festival known to man.” Sure it had some weak tracks (issues) but overall, it was all killer. Just like Limp Bizkit used the nu-metal sound as a way to spin testosterone fueled fantasies into snarky white-boy rap, the NYC Brewer’s Guild congregated and invited friends to use the squeezins’ of lupulin glands with which to imbue barley teas and throw a party to celebrate said concoctions with a large crowd of randoms in NYC. Starfish Junction Productions provided the logistics and the NYC Brewers Guild and its’ friends provided the libations.
The venue was fine, the layout was fine, the fairly significant line to get in moved wicked fast, but whomever thought one men’s bathroom at a beer festival was sufficient should be examined for cognitive issues.
Pro-tip: Depends adult diapers or urostomy bags are the only way to make it through this festival unless the bathroom issue is addressed for next year. Otherwise, drink as much as you can as soon as you enter, as the rest of the festival will be spent in the bathroom line as your need to urinate escalates from “good idea to go now” to “oh shit, I’m about to piss my pants!!!!” While not as catastrophic as 2001’s Big Day Out festival in Sydney, Australia, I saw more than one grown neckbeard hipster with a look of terror and tears in that bathroom line…..
The beer list was “Break Stuff“, “Nookie” and “Re-arranged” level. While the Monkish line was forever long, the Other Half line was an eternity long, the Trillium line was eons long and the Equilibrium line was hella-long but because of this, there were some FANTASTIC breweries with negligible lines and others with tolerable lines.
To each his own, but The Brew Sherpa and The Brew Sherpette were blown away by Monday Night Brewing (looking forward to an epic cheese and beer pairing with Peter and the guys), stunned by Casa Agria, wowed by Berliner weisses of J. Wakefield and happy in the pants over TrVe, The Answer and Finback. We hung out with the folks at Harlem Brewing Company and talked about life, love and jazz music and forged a soul-bond with them. Clearly, we hope to listen to Miles Davis‘ “Kinda Blue” or Coltrane‘s “A Love Supreme” or Cannonball Adderley‘s “Somethin’ Else” and enjoy the spirit of what we suspect is the soul of Harlem Brewing‘s beer (and the beer that took the A Train). Perhaps it is the beer talking, but we were catching more of a “beer sampling with buddies” than a “show off on Untappd and tick the rare beer boxes vibe.” As the Opening Bash and the “chillin’ with homies” vibe rolled on, we began to explore the breweries we were unfamiliar with (Wartega , Bridge and Tunnel and Folksbier, among others) with as well as visit old friends like Magnify and Søle Artisan Ales, among others. By this point, we needed the break from barley pop intake, so waiting in the longer lines provided a much needed respite (Behind Blue Eyes). The wait was absolutely worth it, to nobody’s surprise
Some manner of cluster-f*ck shorted us the two 4-packs of the Opening Bash beer, but Finback and the NYC Brewers Guild (specifically Basil Lee and Erik Ewton) made it right. We enjoyed chatting with Erik and sampling Finback’s fantastic beers and talking about great festivals and beers we’ve been fortunate to try, featuring the NYC Brewers Guild Opening Bash and the beers we sampled there. Perhaps not so ironically, there was no mention of Limp Bizkit, which is why that story arc died a while back in this article. Maybe it’s for the best, as nu-metal is probably best left back in the late-90’s and early 2000’s where it belongs…?