I was slightly hesitant about attending my first Brooklyn Pour Festival. I expected a hipster frat party: an evening of crowds, kegs, and sticky floors. However, as Vampire Weekend pulsed throughout the massive event space and I took a sip of locally brewed cider, I was thrilled that I gave the event a chance. What I got instead was a beer connoisseurs’ gala: a lovely evening in one of the most beautiful New York buildings I’ve had the privilege of visiting, full of tasty treats and fun company.
This year’s Brooklyn Pour festival was held at Skylight One Hanson, which was originally the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower. It was surreal tasting over 100 beers in the gorgeous Byzantine architecture, full of 1920s teller booths and even an old walk-in vault in the basement!
Entering Brooklyn Pour, I was handed a 4oz glass with a golf pencil, a map, and a complete list of all the breweries at the event. This would allow me to navigate the festival and check off what I’d tried, remember what I liked, and perhaps return to my favorites for a second taste. Breweries from as close as Williamsburg and as far as Scotland and Japan offered a wide variety of pilsners, lagers, ales, ciders, and other brews. A consistent line formed for tastes of Grady’s Cold Brew coffee mixed with Rare Vos– a tasty caffeine fix for those feeling sluggish after a few too many tastes of beer. Locally brewed favorites also included Chelsea Brewing Company, Sixpoint, Doc’s Draft Hard Cider, Fire Island Beer Company, Greenhook Ginsmiths, and The Bronx Brewery.
The basement also featured a food court, selling local restaurants’ tacos, sausages, pretzels, and other foods that pair well with beer. Smartwater also passed out free water bottles and KIND provided complimentary granola bars to keep drinkers hydrated and fueled during a potentially exhausting beer-tasting evening.
Come thirsty! There’s far too much to try during the event, and you don’t want to waste a minute! (Extra advice: Pee First. Lots of beer, equals lots of people using porta-potties…)
Brooklyn Pour cost $45 general admission, and is well worth the price—unlimited beer, music, good company and a beautiful setting for three hours (3-6pm or 6-9pm), count me in for next year!