Saturday, October 21, 2017, brings the return of The Brew Hop, an annual 5K mixed with a Craft Beer Festival, to Randall's Island Park. Kicking off at noon with a race, the event runs through 4:00 p.m. local time. Beyond the brews, the post-race festival will include music, lawn games, and local food vendors.
This year's lineup of craft breweries -- from whom attendees are entitled to unlimited tastings -- no longer just includes New York companies like the 2016 outing of The Brew Hop did. Confirmed participants include the Brooklyn Brewery, Sixpoint Brewery, Bronx Brewery, Interboro Spirits and Ales, Coney Island Brewing Company, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., Brewery Ommegang, Citizen Cider, SpikedSeltzer, and SingleCut Beersmiths. Further to the credit of The Brew Hop is that a portion of the 2017 event's proceeds will go towards the non-profit Oceanic Global; the event has also made a commitment to going 100 percent plastic-free to support Oceanic Global's mission of reducing single-use plastic consumption and oceanic pollution.
To learn more about The Brew Hop -- which was reportedly already 80 percent sold-out in mid-September -- I spoke to representatives from Captain Lawrence, the Sixpoint Brewery, and Citizen Cider on behalf of the Inquisitr. More information on this year's event can be found online at this link.
Tell me about your brand's seasonal beers. Do you have a favorite?
Citizen Cider - Ashley Roche, Regional Sales Manager: We have a few seasonal ciders this year. One, Americran, which is co-fermented with fresh Vermont cranberries, it's part of our rose lineup, and it's something I look forward to every year! Two, Mr. Burlington, is a play on an old-fashioned, so it's fermented with bitters and orange peel, then aged in bourbon oak barrels, which is super-cool.
While Americran is usually my fall time favorite, I am most excited about our barrel aging projects this year, Ms. Burlington, the new one, in particular. Us ladies of Citizen Cider collectively came up with the idea for this cider, which was a really fun project. It is made with a blend of gin botanicals, think of all the herbs you would use to make gin, and local honey -- then aged in Tomcat gin barrels from Caledonia spirits, in Vermont. It's a dry, and super-interesting cider, and will be in a 12-ounce can, which I am personally stoked for. I love specialty ciders in an approachable format, like a can.
Sixpoint Brewing - Jamie Fox, Marketing, Partnerships & Events Manager: We have seasonal beers, we have limited release beers, we have small batch beers! It would literally be impossible for me to pick a favorite. However, our current seasonal is Kold Schauer, a 4.9 percent Kolsch that I can't put down. And the current small batch that I'm obsessed with is Lil Raspy, our Hot Pink Raspberry sour. Ask me again tomorrow and I'll probably have a different answer, though.
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. - Dane Clemens, Manhattan Brewery Presentative: Exciting stuff when it comes to our seasonal beers. We're moving from a more traditional format of releasing individual styles to fit each season to a "core-rotator" series of releases called "Orbital Tilt." This will allow us to have more freedom in creating new and unique beers each time around.
How did you get involved with the Brew Hop? What will you be doing on-site at the Brew Hop?
Ashley Roche, Citizen Cider: Last year I heard that my close friend's friend, Joey, was putting on a 5K/beer fest. While it was all New York breweries last year, I decided to run, with my coworkers, and enjoy the awesome day as a spectator. This year, my now FRIEND, Joey, showed his Vermont love -- we both went to UVM -- and invited Citizen Cider to be a part of the fest. So I won't be running this year, but I'll be behind the Jockey box, pouring Citizen Cider for the runners! Not sure if this year will be more or less tiring! (laughs)
Jamie Fox, Sixpoint Brewing: Anything that involves bringing New Yorkers together, fitness, and beer, count us in!
Dane Clemens, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.: This is our second year partnering with the Brew Hop 5K. We're excited to be pouring two of our best at this year's event, 6th Borough Pilsner and Autumn Blaze Pumpkin Ale.
Early bird tix sales for the Brew Hop 5K end tomorrow at 11:59pm! Get em quick! https://t.co/ES80QE4WsZ #brewhop5k #iruntobeer pic.twitter.com/LjsFqNqXyR
— RockawayBrewingCo (@Rockawaybrewco) August 17, 2017
Brew Hop aside, what's coming up for your brand?
Ashley Roche, Citizen Cider: The earlier-mentioned barrel-aging projects! Mr. and Ms. Burlington will be hitting the New York market this fall in draught, as well as 12-ounce cans -- that's something new for us, the 12-ounce can -- and the specialty, non-core ciders in that can. Our whole thing is making great craft cider, that is approachable for everyone. That's why we started putting our year-round ciders in 16-ounce cans years ago, now we're putting our specialty ciders in cans too. Which means now you have more options on a hike when you want to crack a can at the summit in victory! Cider drinkers are getting more adventurous, so we're bringing more of our adventurous ciders out of the tap room!
Jamie Fox, Sixpoint Brewing: We just launched a new app for small batch can releases that we're holding monthly at the brewery. These awesome canned beers are only available direct from the source. Head to sixpoint.com/app for all the details! We're also doing a month-long residency -- with special beer tappings and brewer's nights -- at Clancey on the Lower East Side, which has been really fun.
Dane Clemens, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.: Cans will be big for us moving forward -- 12-ounce and 16-ounce. More core offerings and many more "Special Releases." Sour Ales are always a big part of our story at Captain Lawrence!
When not busy with beer, how do you like to spend your free time?
Ashley Roche, Citizen Cider: When I'm not spreading the Citizen Cider love around New York, I'm usually rock climbing, biking around Brooklyn, or escaping to the Hudson Valley for some hiking.
Jamie Fox, Sixpoint Brewing: I've recently gotten into boxing, so watch out! I'm very tough.
Dane Clemens, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.: Golf.
Finally, any last words for the kids?
Ashley Roche, Citizen Cider: Eat your broccoli -- it's delicious!
Jamie Fox, Sixpoint Brewing: Get out there, run your fastest, and then drink your... responsibly. Drink responsibly.
Dane Clemens, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.: Drink local, drink independent.
Half Price Tickets: Brew Hop 5K & Craft Beer Festival @ Randall's Island Park #newyork https://t.co/9WjpaEHUlU pic.twitter.com/j0UbvEsPMt
— 50% Off New York (@HalfOffNewYork) August 15, 2017
[Featured Image by Key Frame Photography]