Each year, when summer rolls around, Edible Manhattan puts together its Good Beer event. This is always a great showcase of local New York breweries as well as dishes from NYC restaurants to go along with them. Last Thursday, July 19th, for the first time, this gathering was held at 28 Liberty, the former Chase Manhattan Plaza. The China General Chamber of Commerce was a co-sponsor of the event along with Tsingtao beer and Fosun International (who operates 28 Liberty). One added activity for this year, was that attendees were able to vote on what beer would be on tap at the newly-opened Manhatta restaurant on the 60th floor of the building.
View from the plaza
Breweries came from around the New York City area as well as from Long Island, and there were a few from overseas. This was a opportunity to sample craft beers as well as more established brands. As usual, from past Good Beer events, IPAs seemed to be on tap at almost all of the tables. Ales, Pilsners, Stouts, and Gose were also in supply. In addition to the beers, were ciders from Doc’s and 1911. One visible trend was fruit in beer, with passion fruit, mango, grapefruit and other flavor being added to beers to boost flavor and to try to land that extra hook to capture the audience’s taste buds and fandom. Another trend, which has been becoming more visible is that many of these products are available now in local markets in can form, instead of only on tap or at the tasting rooms.
Some of the breweries and their beers
My two favorites of the evening were, as comes as no surprise: Ales, as I tend to steer clear of hop-heavy IPAs. The Pub Ale from Strong Rope Brewery reminded me of many an evening hanging out with friends over a few pints. This is a great food brew in the classic, crisp bitter style. The other ale I enjoyed was the more complex, malt forward Driftwood Ale from Montauk Brewing Company, also something that would be a great match with many dishes. Fortunately, there were also many different foods with which to try to pair them.
Some of the food options
The restaurants who came out to this event brought some great beer-pairing friendly nibbles. Noodles by Lucky Pickle Dumpling Co. provided a spicy base layer with which to start the evening. Pickles by their parent company Jacob’s Pickle and bacon by Maison Pickle provided contrasting tangy, porky, and sweet notes. Fatty, spicy, hot, sweet seemed to the taste profiles of many of the dishes, minus the mochi by My/Mo Mochi and sweets from JoMart Chocolates. Pierogies by Baba’s Pierogies had jalapeño, along with a spicy sour cream and lime dip. The folks at Blue Smoke created another two-bite treat with saltine, pimento cheese, andouille, and a slice of jalapeño. One of my favorites was the Nasi Lemak from Wok Wok, with layers of coconut rice and curry chicken and a sliced egg garnish. All of these provided nice pairing options with many of the different styles and profiles of beverages.
This new event location was ideal for a walk-around tasting, allowing plenty of space for wandering around the tables to pick up a glass of something and a bite of something else. The tables on the plaza added that extra aspect of this being a place to hang out where groups of friends were getting together to compare notes and share samples. A live band, plenty of beers, delicious food, and a rare, breezy summer evening made it difficult to say good-bye to this year’s Edible Good Beer festival.