In the middle of the 19th century, more than 12 Brooklyn breweries were busy producing suds within the same 12-block square Williamsburg neighborhood—the so-called Brewer's Row—on the daily. A history focused group named Urban Oyster now leads walking tours of the area every weekend, retracing long gone hops with steps. Tour features include a peek at the two remaining Brewers' Row 19th century buildings, a pit stop at the Brooklyn Brewery, some snacks, tastings, and a lot of breweriana. Tours take three hours; more information is here. In other news, a massive home brew and beer themed cook-off is happening this Sunday at the Bell House. It's beer revival time!
The beverage has also made its way onto many cocktail menus of late: Last week Grub Street brought news of an OJ and beer Brewdriver on the brunch menu at Elettaria, and now StarChefs has come through with six restaurant roundup—from PDT to Mayahuel—all about beer cocktails. Recipes, which are for the most part easy, are included. DUMBO's ReBar also mixes a variety of creative beer cocktails.
There's a historic, particularly New York subtext to the beverage: In the 1890s The Church Temperance Society sought to install bronze, public access ice water fountains all over town, specifically to deter beer consumption. "As 276,000 pounds of ice will have been used this Summer," a May 1896 New York Times article reports, "saloon keepers will sell, according to the friends of the free fountains, about 2,760,000 less glasses if beer for this year alone."