This year it was snowing on the Saturday 21 February 2015. It wasn’t snowing enough to keep from kicking-off New York City Beer Week with an Opening Bash, held at the Altman Building in Manhattan. By the time I got there, just after two o’clock, there was a lively buzz to the place and the beer stations were almost all two or three deep.

This year there was a focus on beers that were made from grains and hops grown in New York State. The effect was most interesting. Of particular interest was the use of New York State “Cascade” hops in a number of the beers served at the event. What was interesting was the unique flavor of the New York State version of “Cascade” hops. For over two decades the West Coast version of the “Cascade” hop has been the iconic hop of the ales brewed at the small breweries in the United States. Actually, it has also become the iconic flavor of a number of the nationally distributed brews as well. The New York State version has, as I mentioned, a unique flavor, much less citric than its western cousin and a bit more floral.

As with most events of this size, I either concentrate on beers I have never tasted or beers of a similar style. This year I chose to go the “style” rout, to “Think New York and Drink New York” and monitor the Pale Ales and the I.P.A.s that were being poured.

I invite you to come along with me and experience this year’s Opening Bash… the beers being served will be Cuzett Libations Session Saison, Empire’s Amber Ale, Ithaca’s “Flower Power” (just because I like it), Keg & Lantern’s Double I.P.A. and City Island’s Pale Ale.

For more information on New York State breweries click on the following logo…


Enjoy the Opening Bash…