Not content to produce just one intoxicant, a new East Williamsburg taproom will be brewing beer and distilling the hard stuff. The delightful overachievers at Interboro Spirits & Ales debut their new operation today on Grand Street, offering nine tap beers and their proprietary gin, Goodwin Hill, which they'll pour on tap in gin and tonic form.
"There was an Interboro brewing company pre-prohibition," co-founder and brewmaster Jesse Ferguson explains. "We discovered the old smoke stack and thought it was a good name to speak to and about the city we love."
Six of the tap beers are Interboro originals, including the Bushburg, a pilsner named for the brewery's placement in the borough. "Five years ago I definitely would have called our neighborhood Bushwick, but I think it's really East Williamsburg." The other three beers are collaborations with three other local breweries: Transmitter, Threes, and Other Half. “We hope to get to a point where there’s a new beer on every week," Ferguson says.
Ferguson says they'll be introducing new beer and spirits "constantly," starting with a whiskey and a bourbon in the coming year. "We’re not constrained by regional or territorial history. I don’t have distilling in my family. It’s something I’m doing just to play with flavor and make cool stuff." They'll also be crafting spirits like amaros and liqueurs, and this fall they'll distill an Apple Brandy made with cider from Indian Ladder Farmstead.
Small plates and snacks like vegetarian and meat pasties will be available as well; for tonight's opening party, it's cheese plates and charcuterie, too.
And like every good brewery, they have their own brewery cat, Bingo. "[Co-founder and CEO] Laura [Dierks] adopted him from a shelter on the North Fork of LI, he lived in and out of her house, hunting birds from what I've heard," Ferguson says. "Now he lounges around the Brewhouse and the Still sleepily giving tours and finding dangerous situations to narrowly avoid when we're operating the forklift."
Meet Bingo and the rest of the team at tonight's opening party from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
Additional reporting by Scott Heins.