This past Autumn, an event took place on Randall’s Island that offered attendees the chance to combine their love for running and craft beer. This event, which is called The Brew Hop, was an opportunity for runners and non-runners to try beers from over 30 different New York City, Long Island and Upstate New York breweries. The event starts off with a 5 Kilometer Race (Registration @10am | Race @12pm) followed by a festival from 12:30pm – 4pm. I found the run to be a refreshing way to enjoy a beer festival, and thanks to the massive heat wave that day, knowing that there would be a plethora of cold beer waiting at the finish line made the running bit that much more rewarding.
For those interested in solely partaking in the post-race festivities, there was a ‘Beer Fest Only’ ticket available for purchase. VIP tickets were also available for purchase, which granted access to a private lounge area with wait staff to get beers for you, free massages, private bathrooms, exclusive food and beer offerings, and a limited edition poster. All attendees received complimentary beer samples with their ticket purchase, along with a tasting glass, koozie, and other swag from participating breweries. For entertainment, the post-race festival featured live music, lawn games (I ruled at mini-golf!), brewery row, art installations, local food trucks, vendor village and plenty of lovely places to sit.
What made this event extra special was that everyone was running and drinking for a good cause! 10% of all proceeds went to the non-profit, Oceanic Global, whose main goal is to educate people on issues affecting our oceans. Oceanic Global was successful in getting the conversation started by creating immersive experiences. An individual would be able to see for themselves the issues impacting our oceans, while also providing them with solutions on how they could help. Running for a cause always makes the experience that much more worthwhile!
For those of you that have never been to Randall’s Island, the location made me feel as though I’d left NYC and found myself on a sweet island oasis. Randall’s Island is incredibly beautiful (especially on a sunny day!), and during the race, I got to enjoy scenic views of the city while running around the island. Once I finished the race, I was awarded a medal and then moved on to the festival which was all about craft beer. Here are just a few of the beers that I sampled…
The First Ever Hard Kombucha. I found this to be the most original tasting booth at the event and specifically loved the usage of ginger in the ingredients. Ginger is good for the stomach after all!
- Royal Ginger | 2.5% ABV
- Similar to a ginger beer taste, but made with kombucha. If you like ginger, this is for you! Not too spicy or strong.
- Ingredients: Purified water, cane sugar, kombucha culture, ginger juice, fair trade black tea, lemon juice, yeast, and certified organic.
- The O.G. | 3.2% ABV
- A tasty and refreshing beer/cider made with Fair Trade Black Tea & Organic Cane Sugar.
- Ingredients: Purified water, cane sugar, kombucha culture, black tea infusion, fair trade black tea, yeast, and certified organic.
Founded in 2004 and located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the good people at Sixpoint operate like a bunch of mad scientists…
- Sweet Action | 5.0% ABV
- This 40 IBU brew is a juicy blonde wheat ale that pours like a clear honey yellow. It has an aroma that’s a refreshing citrus with some grassy notes. Slightly bitter after-taste. The finish is dry, which is just the way I like it!
- Bengali | 6.6% ABV
- This 66 IBU ale has a cloudy honey amber color with notes of sweet citrus on the nose. Medium mouthfeel and well carbonated with a dry bitter finish.
No nonsense ales…established in 2011. This brewery took me quite by surprise and are a newly discovered favorite of mine thanks to the Beer Hop!
- Bronx Banner | 4.8% ABV
- IBU: 24
- Golden Kolsch Ale
- Contains wheat and pilsner malts balanced by German hops
- Clear-filtered, soft and perfectly balanced with a bitter after-taste
- Hop Bill: Hallertau, Hersbrucker
- Grain Bill: Castle Chateau Pilsen, Briess White Wheat Malt
- Available year-round
- No Resolutions IPA | 7.9% ABV
- IBU: 50
- Notes of citrus and fruity flavors.
- Hop Bill: Centennial, Comet, Cascade, Citra, El Dorado, NZ Dr. Rudi
- Grain Bill: Muntons Extra Pale, Briess Special Roast
- Also available year-round!
Founded in 2010 by a wine salesmen, a chemist and a farmer.
- The Dirty Mayor | 5.2% ABV
- Made special for the Mayor of Fort Ethan Allen, USA
- Contains strong notes of ginger. Pours yellow and clear. Balanced blend that feels more like a cocktail than a beer. A personal favorite!
- Wit’s Up | 5.9% ABV
- Notes of Apple and pine with a finish that’s medium and sharp. Reminds me of what I think the perfect cider would taste like. Starts like an ale and finishes dry on the tongue.
Began in 2002 with a vision to revive the practice of small-batch brewing to a region rich in brewing tradition.
- Nu Skool IPA | 6% ABV
- New American Hops with a tropical twist. A well-balanced IPA containing a spicy & sweet malt. Notes of fruit, citrus and pine. Resembles a traditional English IPA in both the malt & hop bills.
Founded in 2013 and located in the historic Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn.
- Skyliner IPA | 7% ABV
- This 60 IBU beer has notes of pine and citrus. Very hoppy and very bold with a smooth taste.
- Available year-round
- Black Pale Ale | 5.2% ABV
- A 40 IBU Classic American Pale Ale that pours as black as night. Notes of earthy hops with undertones of a stout-like hint of chocolate. Crisp finish.
- Limited release
Other brewery favorites of the day…
- Brooklyn Brewery
- Captain Lawrence
- Third Rail Beer
- KelSo Beer Company
- Single Cut Beersmith
- Coney Island Brewery
- Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC)
In addition to all of that delicious beer, there were oodles (no, not Oodles of Noodles) of food options. Which is a good thing because all beer and no food is a recipe for disaster, especially after a 5K run! My personal favorite was Organic Bareburger which I had heard about for some time now. It was well worth the wait because I thoroughly enjoyed my first bite!
All in all, The Brew Hop was an excellent way to spend the day. A bit of exercise. A plethora of craft beer. Many tidbits of delicious food. And we did it all for a great cause. Be sure to be on the lookout for The Brew Hop 2018. It will not disappoint!