Above was the scene at the prestigious National Arts Club, located on Gramercy Park South, in New York City, as members were introduced to what is called “craft” beer.
The scene was focused on the speaker, a bearded young chap named Brian Dwyer, assistant brewmaster at the Singlecut brewery, when I got there, fifteen minutes late. He was explaining the brewing process and was beginning to place the founding of his brewery local historical context.
Two things interested me about the folks who were there to listen to him. The first was how many people were there. The room was more than half full. The other thing I noticed was the range in ages, from late 30’s through the almost octogenarians.
These folks were there because they had been informed by email…
“Rich Buceta, a lifelong beer enthusiast and a home brewer who been making beer in Upper East Side kitchen as a hobby, decided in 2008 to quit his job in advertising. Successful but unhappy after two decades as a creative director and art director, he felt that his real passion was for craft beer, which he had discovered and begun making while he was working in Canada in the 1990s. Realizing that he needed professional beer experience before starting his own company, he got a job at Greenpoint Beer Works after bringing his home brews to the interview. He started off cleaning kegs, and worked his way up to brewer within eight months. Now, after years of planning and honing his recipes, his dream has finally come to fruition: he started his own craft brewery, Singlecut Beersmiths (named after his other passion, guitars). The first micro-brewery to operate in Astoria, Queens since before Prohibition, Singlecut Beersmiths opened its doors on December 8, 2012”
“Rich Buceta will be at the National Arts Club to talk about the techniques of brewing beer; how recipes are adjusted when they go from home brewing to a small-scale microbrewery; and the differences in the beers themselves, illustrated with generous samples of his beers.”
Unfortunately Rich Buceta was unable to attend. However, as I mentioned above, his place was taken by the assistant brewer, Brian Dwyer.
The questions posed by the members ranged from basic questions about the ingredients and the brewing process to “What is that almost herbal flavor in the finish?”.
There was no doubt that the folks from Singlecut made some friends that night. What interested ne most was how the presentation made friends of beer from a group not known for a fondness for beer. Then again, one of the founding fathers of the club was Theodore Roosevelt and I know for a fact he liked his beer.
National Arts Club… meet a work of art… I mean the beer of course.