November 17, 2010


What a delay since the last posting! Thanks to all of our great customers! We have been fighting to keep up with demand since the weather has taking a turn in the right direction. We are selling about 160 packs of yeast liquid yeast per week (and who knows how many dozen packs of dry), which definitely helps keep it fresh, but makes it really hard to have the ones you need, when you need it. It may be time for more refrigeration! We've been selling tons of whole leaf hops from this years harvest as well. Fortunately for the brewers who prefer pellets, the hop-gods have begun pelletizing many varieties from this years hop harvest, so we will have Amarillo pellets again! Yipee! We really are grateful for your business, and your patience while we expand and train our staff to keep up.
Some fantastic news: As of Friday Nov. 19th, brewers will be able to sign up for the 2nd edition of Brooklyn Wort! Thanks to the guys at Sycamore Bar & Flower Shop for their help
getting this event together. This time around will be even better than the last. We have many news sponsors, like Valley Malt, Wyeast, Beer Sessions, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., and many more to be announced, as well as all of the great sponsors that made the 1st Brooklyn Wort possible.

Because the competition will take place on February 26th, and its likely to be cold as f#%k. So in order to accommodate 25 brewers (that's right, 25 brewers this time) the event will be held around the corner from Brooklyn Homebrew, at The Gowanus Studio Space. Brewers should be on the lookout this Friday @ Noon if they want to sign up! Go to for details on participating.

We never had a chance to share some photos from Jamil Zainasheff visit to Brooklyn Homebrew. It was a great time, and a fantastic way to kick off another crazy NY Craft Beer Week. Many thanks to our friend Jaclyn Elder for taking these great photos. She is available for any type of beer related event you need!

We now have some hop teas available (blended in house!), which would make a great gift. We also have our equipment kits available in boxes, to make them easier to gift wrap. And maybe some bows will be added as Christmas creeps closers!

We have reorganized our grains, and added even more information to the grain bins to help you learn about the ingredients in your beers. When buying beer kits to give as gifts (from us or online) keep in mind that beer ingredients ARE perishable. Malted barley can keep very very well when it's un-cracked (un-crushed, un-milled, etc.), but beware of buying beer kits in which the malted grains have been pre-crushed. Once the tiny grain has been cracked open, exposing air and moisture to the center of the malt, it not only loses its delicious aroma, but its flavor will quickly fade. Even worse than loss of flavor, if the grain oxidizes or hydrolisis of the lipids (fancy words!) within the grain takes affect, then you may end up with an unpleasant or even metallic taste in your beer. So if you buy a beer kit as a gift, make sure the grains are crushed for you at the time of purchase and not in advance, because you have no way of knowing how long ago the grain was milled. Or, when you buy the kit, make sure they are not milled at all. By the time you give the "gift of grain" to the brewer on your Christmas shopping list, a full month may have nearly passed already..... and who knows when they will have time to brew the beer. Let the person you give the beer kit to either mill the grain themselves if they have a way to do so, or let them take the grain to the friendly neighborhood home-brew shop (Brooklyn Homebrew) and ask them (us) to mill the grain for them right before they brew.

And finally, we want to congratulate our good friend Mark Zap (who played a big part in helping us get our store up in running last January) for his amazing creation that he recently unveiled. Brewing as Art. Mark and his co-creator and metal sculptor friend, Scott Van Campen have been working hard through the summer months to get this done. A hand-made mobile sculpture piece that actually functions....... it can make 10 gallons of beer! My photograph (below)
doesn't do it justice. You really need to see it in person to appreciate the amount of work that went into every detail of the brew sculpture. Hopefully he will be blessing us with his sculpture at the next Brooklyn Wort!

August 22, 2010

Brooklyn Wort Season 1

Congratulations to all the winners! And a big thanks to all the brewers who participated, all of the guest who attended, the judges & sponsors, and most of all to the owners and staff of Sycamore. It was a blast!

Quaffing homebrew.

Deliberations at the judges' table.

Greg Doroski - "Wry Saison" - Rye Saison
1st Place - Judges' Choice

Clinton Stauffer - "Wallonian Summer" - Farmhouse Ale
2nd Place - Judges' Choice

Brad Hillman - "Suspicious Package" - Dark Farmhouse Sour Ale
3rd Place - Judges' Choice

Jonathan Moxey - "Electric Blanket Saison" - Saison
1st Place - Peoples' Choice

Christopher Pagnotta - "Rager's Revenge IPA" - IPA
2nd Place - Peoples' Choice

David Elder - "Spur of the Moment No. 1" - American Amber
3rd Place - Peoples' Choice

All the Votes are in......... let's do this again!

July 10, 2010

Adventures in New Glarus, WI

The gorgeous new Hilltop, New Glarus Brewery (in the town of the same name) Wisconsin.

The beautiful new brewing facility allows visitors to wander about, taking a self-guided tour at your leisure free of charge, and without getting in the way of the brewing in progress.
As you enter the brewery, you get a glimpse into New Glarus' brewing prowess and a little history of the brewery. Above: The many medals the brewery has won are proudly on display.

The brewery is complete with their own waste treatment facility at the bottom of the hill.
Happily, many breweries are taking steps to reduce or reuse their waste in ethical ways.
You know, like monks have done for centuries. Feed your left over yeast to your livestock, and your grains can be composted or fed to chickens and pigs.
Beautiful and shiny copper kettles for mashing and boiling! If only we had room in our garage for a couple of these puppies (if only we had a garage :(

This place is really state of the art! SO MUCH Stainless steel and healthy yeast at your fingertips.
Guest that visit the brewery are discouraged from drooling (for sanitation purposes of course).

From the left: the Weiss beer room (separate tanks from everything else), more steel tanks whose only purpose is to make homebrewers jealous, and the "stairway to heaven" as the brewers have affectionately dub it. It seems like an alright way to die... a 4 story fall into vats of fermenting beer. Will that get us into heaven though? I think so, but consult a priest for more details before attempting this!

Check out the bottling line in action!

The tasting room/gift shop is, hmm..........well, tasty! For $3.50 you get any 3 tastes of their standards on draft or
the bottled specialty beers.
And you get to keep the glass when your done. We were lucky enough to score an extra taste from a nice women
who had had her fill, so we got to try everything.
While you sample, you can stroll around outside and enjoy the beautiful rolling green hills in the distance.

One last stop at the brewery... the "Beer Depot." We must buy some bottles for future sampling. The "Enigma Unplugged," "Golden Ale," "Raspberry Tart," "Cracked Wheat," "Moon Man," "Fat Squirrel," "Two Women," and the "Wisconsin Belgian Red."

Before leaving town, you may notice the original New Glarus Brewery (referred to as Riverside) down the road just a bit.
This humble building is still functioning today, and within its walls are GIANT wooden barrels used for
some or the breweries more "wild" beers.

As we drove out of the town of New Glarus, we were surprised to find ourselves back in Brooklyn almost instantly. Wormhole? Maybe, but this doesn't look like the Brooklyn we know?

Finally, we made it back to Chicago... to have some beer flights at the new brew-pub there, Revolution Brewing. Really delicious beers. We were happy to be back in Chicago, and not be drinking Old Style (or Molson, like we had to on July 4th)! Boy, those residents of Wisconsin are mighty kind and really do enjoy some amazing Brats! Thanks Matty!

June 30, 2010

Drunk History Presents St. Arnold, Nikola Telsa & Mark Zap

Not only is July the celebratory month of St. Arnold, Patron Saint of Brewers, but it is also Good Beer Month here in NYC! There will be several events going on all around the city, so be sure to check at least one out!

Next on the list, we wanted to give a shout out to our buddy Mark Zap and congratulate him, and his homebrew club, The New Brighton Homebrew Society out on Staten Island. They are the American Homebrewers Association's feature club of the month! Check it out here. Staten Island has a whole mess of homebrewers and we are very happy to see them getting a nod. We should also mention that Mark has been working on a really awesome project for a few months now called "Brewing As Art". Mark and a welding buddy will be building, from the ground up, a completely mobile brewery. They plan on having presentations all through the city when the project is ready. You can follow their progress here.

Lastly, we wanted to remind everybody about our new FORUM! Now anytime you have a question and need an answer, you can have a whole mess of people helping you out, including us of course. Feel free to join and participate or just browse the forum as a guest. It is of course FREE to join! We also have a new "Questions & Answers" page set up. It is simply a quick reference guide for frequently asked questions and will always be available to view on our homepage.

Next up some Adventures from New Glarus.....

June 3, 2010

The Cooking Channel? F*ck that sh#t! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

In case you didn't catch it, we had the pleasure of joining Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy's No. 43, Ray Deter of d.b.a., Dave Brodrick of Blind Tiger, Brian Ewing of 12 Percent Imports, and Spencer Niebhur from Southampton Ales & Lagers at Roberta's for an episode of Beer Sessions on the Heritage Radio Network.

We got to taste some great beer that Brian and Spencer brought with them, and we got to share a Saison and a Canadian/Belgian Cherry Ale that we brewed at home. The food at Roberta's is indeed as good as everyone says..... Awesome pizzas, and a fantastic dry-age steak!
Thanks for having us guys.
Also, noteworthy, but much less significant... we made a "subliminal" appearance on the Cooking Channel last monday night on a show called Drink Up! You surely wouldn't have noticed us, but images of our store were used for the homebrewing segment. Don't feel bad if you are confused..... blame the sloppy editing of the hopefully soon to be short-lived Cooking Channel. Blahhhh! Television leaves us with a bad taste in our mouths. Give us radio or give us death!
If you are interested in attending the Brooklyn Wort home-brew competition, and helping to choose which beer is awarded the title of Peoples Choice (and the $200 cash prize), the tickets are now on sale here! $20 for 20 3 oz tastings, thats a freaking deal! Get 'em before they're gone!
We've added some new herbs, spices, and flowers to our lineup: Rosehips, Star Anise, and Sea Salt and Anatto seed for you cheese makers.
Also, we are happy to say that we are now selling raw honey from Stockin's Apiaries in Pennsylvania, instead of getting honey from California. We can sleep better at night now.
The grain selection has grown too. We added Pale Chocolate malt, Acidulated 2-row malt, Chocolate Rye, and Special Roast.
The 3rd meeting of the Brooklyn Rot at Bierkraft was once again a success!! Delicious goat cheese, awesome pickles and lots of homebrew as always! We hope we can keep this beautiful union of all things fermented for a long time to come.
Thanks again everyone for all of the support!

May 11, 2010

Now I can't write about anything.....

Introducing the Brooklyn Wort! A competition that we announced roughly 3 days ago and has already SOLD OUT!

We apologize for the people who haven't heard about it yet, but we truly did not expect this kind of response. It's AWESOME! So even though nobody else can enter to win $1000, you can still go to the event and get drunk on 20 delicious homebrews. Tickets are set to go on sale June 1st, so mark your calendar and get the tickets before they sell out! Hopefully we will be able to add on a few more competitions in the future!

In not so great news, last years hop harvest is already beginning to get light, mainly on whole leaf hops. So many of those great whole leaf hops you have all fallen in love with (Citra....) will likely be sold out by next week and done until this years harvest.

In better news, our hops out front are looking quite nice! Please come and see them soon....

We will be taking a few days off this summer, which we will announce shortly. You can also expect to see maybe a new face or 2 around here helping us out shortly. Be nice to the newbies!

Currently we have been brewing a massive amount, trying so hard to catch up from our moving hiatus! Expect to see us with several versions of a Saison, a few Weizens, another Bohemian Lager and our first attempt at Mead w/ our delicious Orange Blossom Honey!

Speaking of Honey.... we finally have some amazing LOCAL honey! And its raw! They are in 17 oz jars and 5 lb jars!

The meeting of the Brooklyn Rot this month was a blast! We had TONS of beer, cheeses, pickled diakon, pickled mango and a very delicious carrot kombucha. We hope it continues to grow, because it has been a blast so far!

For those of you who will be out and about this Sunday, Park Slope will be having it's annual 5th ave. fair and you can come and find us there. We will be next to the Bierkraft Beer Booth selling all kinds of weirdo gadgets and stuff you have never seen before at the store. See you guys around!

April 1, 2010

Bring on The Rot.

Spring has arrived, along with lots of goodies. First off, Rhizomes are still around, and maybe for another week or 2. Right now should be about the perfect time for planting them, as long as another pesky frost doesn't come along that is..... This BYO Video will give a bit of an idea of what you will need to do,
The Rhizomes are $7 ea and are available in several varieties. We will be attempting to grow our own hops and create a mystical-dreamlike arch outside of the front of our store ( thanks to Steve Hindy for the awesome idea ). So exciting!

Next up on the agenda, our first meeting for The Brooklyn Rot will be next week, Wednesday April 7th, 8pm @ Bierkraft. This collaboration between ourselves and Bierkraft is not to be missed. Along with our normal selection of beers we will be bringing our first batch of EXTREMELY young wine, a Barolo to be exact. We hope to bring one to every meeting, and be able to taste it as it transforms throughout the months. Besides us, we hope to be trying lots of delicious offerings ( we are crossing our fingers for some homemade cheese! ). Besides all of the things people should be bringing, there is also the amazing selection of Bierkraft beers and tasty treats that will be available as always. Please join us for an evening of magic.

Lastly, we have decided to close for Easter Sunday, April 4th. We will reopen with our regular hours on Tuesday.

Thanks everyone! We look forward to seeing you in the future!

March 2, 2010

Flip, Flip, Flipadelphia. Bitches.

We have yet to tell anybody about our short trip Philly last week! While we have been before, we decided that this time around we would play the role of tourists, allowing our dear friends to take care of us and show us the sights and sounds of the city. About an hour after arriving we were led to Dalhak bar, which happens to be safely hidden in the back of an Ethiopian Restaurant. In this fun little neighborhood watering hole we got just a mere taste of what the rest of the city would offer us as far as beer choices came. Philadelphia Brewing Co
lined the menu, such as the Walt Wit and Kenzinger. Victory's Hop Devil and Golden Monkey also made an appearance as well as MANY other fine Pennsylvania brews. It is so awesome to see the little bars representing. Thats how it should be... everywhere!
The next day we venture out to the Eastern State Penitentiary. Which by the way is probably one of the coolest things we have ever witnessed in our lives. Seriously. It's kind of awesome. And we will definitely be back for Halloween this year. We swear. After a few hours of wondering the prison yard, we decided to walk around to see if we could find lunch. We weren't sure if we were going to be able to find anything remotely interesting, but then, like a pond in a desert oasis, we came upon The Belgian Cafe. This place is apparently owned by the guys who opened Monks. Lucky us. A "blow your freaking mind" beer list and REALLY good food. Score. And then on to the typical tourist traps. Climb the Rocky Stairs. Check. Look out over the city reminiscent of Paris. Check. Be amazed by the details in the Washington Monument (no not THAT Washington monument). Double Check. After being overwhelmed by all this, we found ourselves in Fishtown. Visiting a fellow homebrewing friend, tasting some of his tasty beers and then off to a pretty fun joint that goes by the name of Johnny Brenda's. By the way, it seems as though all the bars in Philly not only have amazing beer lists, but they also provide really awesome bar food. Not typical by any means....
The next day started with a hang over and ended at the City Tavern. While TOTALLY dorky, this place is quite the site.
Nestled in Ye Olde Town, it is a fun place to get the tasting of Yards "Ales of the Revolution". Be prepared to feel pretty toasty after that flight of beer. So good.
After some thrift store shopping, which barely exists in NYC anymore, it was time to get back on that MegaBus and head home. Fun trip. Thanks Denini. Such a good tour guide you are.
Now that we have that out of the way, we have several more delightful things to talk about. First off, we will be receiving our first shipment of Hop Rhizomes, hopefully by the 3rd week of March. We will have a starter kit with 5 varieties and also several varieties sold separately, Cascade, Centennial, Nugget, Kent Golding, Fuggle and Mt Hood. Hooray! Spring is just about here....
Next on the list, we will be joining forces with Bierkraft to bring you The Brooklyn Rot. The Brooklyn Rot will be a fermentation club for everyone! Beer, Wine, Cheese, Kimchi, Yogurt, ETC. Whatever it is that you enjoy fermenting, come join all of us to share and discuss what we all love to make. It will give all of us a chance to share our things in a welcoming environment. This will also be a chance for many of us to learn about other fermented goodies that we have no clue about! It is very exciting, please join us. The first meeting will be held on Wednesday April 7th at 8pm, at Bierkraft, and hopefully every first Wednesday of the month to follow. We will post more details soon about the club, Homebrew Classes this summer, and even the potential for some Homebrew Competitions. We hope to see everyone at the meeting!
Business is still going strong. Thanks to everyone who is constantly coming to see us. We love to see your happy faces, especially the ones we get to see every week.....

February 21, 2010

Follow the Light

We finally have our own sign, and it even glows at night!

This week we finally got our act together and set the place up so customers can measure and bag the grains themselves, to their liking. Now no one has to wait on us to measure grains out for them.... which allows us to answer questions and make your check out faster. We will still mill the grains for you, for free of course.
Here is a little heads up on how to work in the grain area.....
When buying grains, just mark the bag with the colored dots that correspond to the dots on the grain bins. If you buy American 2-row (which has a yellow sticker on the bin) then simply put a yellow sticker on your bag, then write down the weight in pounds/ounces. Put as many stickers on the bag as you need to.
You can keep the grains separated if you like, but whenever possible try to use one bag to help us reduce the amount of plastic waste we all create. We are always happy to help anyone who needs help getting their grains together, so don't hesitate to ask. And please let us know how well this system is working for you. We are open to suggestions that will make this system better for our customers.
Beginning in a few days our first shipment of Blichmann products will arrive, which means we will be carrying the "cadillac" of brew pots. They are beautiful, with all the bells and whistles, and are available for pre-order. But even more importantly, we will have the Blichmann Beer Guns in house. These wonderful gadgets are similar to a counter-pressure bottle filler, and perform the same function. They let you pump beer from a keg of finished, carbonated beer, into bottles, without creating excessive foam or working lots of oxygen into the bottle.
Also, by the end of the week we will be getting our first shipment of the Five Star 5.2 pH stabilizer that everyone has been inquiring about.
By the way Joshua Bernstein is going to be taking another group of individuals on a Homebrew Tour March 27th. If you are interested in being one of Joshua's stops please Email us and we will forward your info to him.
Lastly, don't forget we will be CLOSED next Tuesday, March 2nd and will reopen with regular hours Wednesday March 3rd.
That's all for now. Thanks again to all of our faithful customers, and all of the new ones that keep making each week better than the last.
Let's hear it for the beers!