September 8-9: Ah yes, he's still the champ: Nobody can do "The Garrett" as good as Brewmaster Garrett Oliver can. Point proven in the photo above.
After my shower and mash-in at Southampton Publick House on Long Island, I was off for Brooklyn. I took the photo at right while just driving into Brooklyn. I liked the pink graffitti heart on the back of the semi-truck!
I arrived at Brooklyn Brewery without incident. Garrett had a parking spot all picked out for me in their warehouse. He rode with me as we circled the block, waiting for a big truck to leave after loading up with Brooklyn's beers. Garrett had me pull straight in, between the rows of kegs.
The photo at left shows where I was parked for two nights. The warehouse got really hot at night, so luckily the warehouse guys were able to hook me up, and I had electricity so I could run my trailer's air conditioning. If not for Garrett, where would a nearly 30-foot Road Brewer rig park in Brooklyn?
Garrett gave me a full tour of the premises. The detail at right is the old carved concrete ceiling in the delivery entryway of the warehouse.
I had generous pours in front of me, and I'd skipped lunch, so I was feeling pretty good by the time we jumped in Garrett's car to head to Manhattan for dinner.
Garrett only learned to drive about ten years ago. When you grow up in Manhattan, you hardly need to have a car. Garrett must have attended the "Italian Taxi Driver School of New York Driving." He's good in a scary way. Many years ago I attended the "Wisconsin Country-Bumpkin School of Small Town Driving," so I would never attempt the professional driving moves that Garrett was able to pull off. I took the photo at left as we drove across the bridge into Manhattan.
Garrett took me to The Spotted Pig, a highly popular dive foodie bar where Garrett's buddy, Mario Batali is an investor. I think Garrett knows every famous food, beer, and wine person in New York City. Garrett's beer was on cask so we ordered glasses of that and some Local One too. Garrett suggested the Gnudi, which were like Gnocchi, but stuffed with cheese. I said let's go easy on the cheese as I'm allergic to it. We ended up with several cheesy dishes but I didn't make a fuss. Sometimes in the name of gorgeous and delicious food you have to suffer with allergies just a little.
After dinner Garrett suggested we walk to the Blind Tiger, one of his favorite New York beer bars. (Photo at right.) We enjoyed 4-ounce tastes of a very strong English beer that had been aged in a Port wood barrel.
At that point I was hankering after a sour beer, and Garrett surprised me with an oak-aged Belgian-style sour red ale made in Italy. Who'da thunk it?
I took a photo of the bottle's label so I could remember it. I wanted to recommend it to Chip Hardy, the proprietor of Eugene's multi-beer "The Bier Stein." The name of the Italian oak-aged sour Belgian was "Panil Barriquee." The photo turned out as blurry as I felt, so I'm not posting it here.
The next morning I meandered across the street to the brewery and met up with Tom Villa who was about to mash off the single brew of the day. Then I hung out with lab guy Dan Peterson. Christopher Basso was busy with Brooklyn Brewery's current Intern, Kristoph, who was visiting for 5-weeks from Weihenstephan's brewing school in Freising, Germany.
Some of the guys brought sack lunches, but Garrett will often do a lunch run to fetch lunch for himself and the other brewers. His call today? Half-pound hamburgers from the famous Peter Luger Steak House. Wow! Yummy. And filling.
After lunch I took over one of the computers in Brooklyn's offices upstairs to work on my blog and emails.
Popped down just as all the brewers were about to head home. They'd already changed out of their work uniforms. Kristoff took the friendly photo at left and the photo at the top of this page.
Garrett helped me figure out my route to Scarsdale for tomorrow, and also told me about the closest train/subway station.
Soon it was 6:00 pm and time and time for the weekly "Brooklyn Happy Hour." (Photo below.) It was slow at first but heated up quickly. Garrett stuck around for a few hours, a rarity for him, and the other brewers came back to hang out for awhile.
Brooklyn Beer's Happy Hour is a happening Friday night hot spot for this up-and-coming neighborhood. Folks of all stripes and tatoos bring their babies and their thirst for $3.00 pints of Brooklyn's best.
Where else in Brooklyn could you get a pint for $3.00? After the crowd and noise surpassed my tolerance level, I retired to the peace and quiet of my trailer in the warehouse across the street and read a book.