Fall has arrived, and while we have been furiously working on securing a space for Strong Rope, we have also been celebrating the local beer scene with new festivals, new breweries and our own new beers.
It is important as Strong Rope takes the steps to open, to take a moment to appreciate all the great things happening in the local beer scene. Recently we were able to check out the Dutchess Hop Festival, outside Poughkeepsie, NY. As one of the many hop farms starting to spring up in New York, it was great to see their farm and many of the participating breweries using local ingredients. Despite the rather dreary day, we were able to enjoy the festivities, drink some good beer, eat some good food, and make some new friends. As a farm brewery I want Strong Rope to use as much New York grown ingredients as possible to develop relationships with the farmers to see where our hops and malts are coming from as well as ensure we're getting the best possible ingredients. They are the ones growing/developing our ingredients, let's get to know them.
In addition, there are new developments in the city. I got my first taste from Mike Mare's brewery Secret Engine with their fabulous lagers brewed at and in collaboration with Rocky Point Artisan Brewers. Jimmy's 43 had a recent takeover, serving a wonderful Sticke Altbier on cask, that was malty, rich, and delicious. Keep an eye out for their beers. When talking to Mike, he brought up the point that he loves the collaborative side of brewing. He said to him that was what beer was about, it was something that brought people together, whether it was the brewers or the drinkers. It is a "social" science if you will. I love the idea of being able to throw ideas of other brewers at times and will definitely be on the look out for breweries to collaborate with.
I also want to give a shout out to the NYC breweries with wins at this year's Great American Beer Festival. Congrats to Gun Hill Brewing and Grimm Artisan Ales for their award-winning beers. Gun Hill (in the Bronx) has only been open for 7 months...way to kick it off with a bang! Once we get Strong Rope up and running, I hope to participate in festivals and competitions. With Strong Rope's regional focus competitions are a great way to spread the word about our beers/brewery, without attempting national distribution.
Finally we checked out the 1st annual Brooklyn Local Craft Beer Fest, showcasing a handful of NYC and regional tri-state area breweries. It was a beautiful day and great to see some new and new(ish) breweries growing into the NYC market. The NYC craft beer scene is continuing to grow and one that we hope to be a part of soon. It is far from being overcrowded as Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewer's Association, recently wrote, "I believe fervently that there are plenty of opportunities that still exist for breweries who can make a consistent, differentiated product, particularly at the local/neighborhood level." Hope to see you soon.