Full Disclosure: Josh M. Bernstein is one of my authors. But through him I found ut about the New York City Homebrewers Guild. This stuff is too cool not to mention.
Why: Because the retail options for buying equipment and ingredients in New York City have multiplied from basically nothing to several in just the last few years, and an entire subculture has sprung up.
On Saturday, Oct. 2, I hoofed it from the Metropolitan stop on the G train (why did I trust that subterranean Dodge...) and texted Josh Bernstein that I would be late for the Brooklyn Homebrewers Tour.
I met Josh in early September in Denver during the Great American Beer Festival. He writes about beer for AOL News, among other places; and has been organizing tours of homebrewers' lairs for about a year now (cost $25; next one's likely to be in November). He also has a book coming out next year from Sterling Publishing: Brewed Awakening.
This particular tour would take a group of about two dozen through three places in Williamsburg, each a celebration of a locavore approach to liquid bread that one would not have expected to grow in a megalopolis rarely envied for its extra square footage. Or: How do you brew a commercial-quality craft beer in a small apartment? Answer: quite well.
Josh was waiting outside the first stop, a second-floor walkup on Wythe Street, where Ray Girard, president of the New York City Homebrewers Guild, lives.
Mr. Girard, a trim, 29-year-old native of Western Massachusetts, was a natural introduction to a subculture that may appear at first as opaquely laden with physics, chemistry and microbiology, weighted by its own David Foster Wallace-esque terminology (you ever sparge your wort into a lauter tun?); but that in the hands of someone amiable like Mr. Girard becomes something else entirely. It becomes fun. Math class turns into P.E.
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