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From Home Brew To Brewhouse

If you were to take a time machine (or possibly a Delorian) back a few decades, you’d probably be pretty thirsty… Reach for a beer, and unfortunately you would find only a few dozen breweries operating inside the United States.  Back then, the American palate was most familiar with beer prized for its less offensive qualities, as opposed to its more adventurous formulations.  Fortunately for all of us, today there are more than 2,000 breweries pumping out new chocolate stouts, doppelbocks, black IPAs, and many other craft styles.

A look back at early home brew meetings

So many of the breweries and well-loved craft beers of today can find their roots in home brewing.  What was once considered a complicated, antiquated practice is now an increasingly popular pastime – particularly in the company of the younger homebrewers who, unlike their parents and elders, were raised in a world awash with unconventional ales and lagers.  This younger generation is also uncharacteristically patient: many don’t mind finding the time (sometimes more than a year to ferment, condition, and age) to make their own.  As we would come to learn, Jeff Kruszyna is very much a part of this growing generation.

Home brew alley in full swing

It’s not surprising then that along with many new homebrewers, many would look to friendly competition to grow their communities, enhance their knowledge and show off the fruits of their labor.  Now in its 6th year, the New York City Home Brewers Guild held its annual Homebrew Alley competition this past January right here in Brooklyn, NY.  Hundreds of different homebrews were entered, with each one judged independently with respect to their style.  Of those many entries, the nearly 30 first place homebrews proceeded onwards to be judge by a designated Brewmaster.  This year, Sixpoint’s own Brewmaster Jan Matysiak was invited to offer his own judgement for the hallowed “Brewmaster’s Choice Award.”

Jan takes his judging very seriously

Upon Jan’s final selection, Jeff Kruszyna proudly claimed this title and, according to Jan, “won by just a hair” with his American Barleywine entered in the Strong Ale category.  On top of earning the clout and admiration of his peers, the real prize here came in the form of an opportunity to brew a 15 bbl batch of the winning recipe at Sixpoint’s Redhook Brewery.

Jeff Kruszyna and Head Brewer Pete Dickson discuss the brewing strategy

Brewing began this past week with Jeff on hand to take part in the process.  An obviously special day for the winner, Head Brewer Pete Dickson said he “had a great time working with the originator of the recipe.  A fun day of collaboration.”  NYCHG veteran Chris Cuzme was also present for the brew.

Chris Cuzme with Jeff Kuszyna at the brewery

The aptly named “Old Redhooker” will be available at select NYC bars and pubs as soon as the maturation and aging process is complete.  Check back for an update as to when and where you can sample this award winning homebrew.  This was one small step for beer, but one giant leap for Jeff Krusyna.  Cheers!

Nice work Jeff!

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  • Play Too Much CMJ Showcase
    7:30pm October 20, 2014
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    We are stoked to be sponsoring our friends at Play Too Much and their CMJ showcase, 4 bands, including Great Caesar, Dylan Owen, Prose, Le'Asha Julius. If you want to go see some fantastic music, all you need to do is RSVP to info@playtoomuch.com, and also enjoy some complimentary Sixpoint beverages!
    Village Music World, 197 Bleecker Street, NY, NY
  • No Shame CMJ Showcase
    7:00pm October 22, 2014
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    This free event features three of No Shame artists and a guest opener. Wild Pink, formerly known as Challenger, starts the night with their epic, cinematic, pop songs followed by Loveskills, with his “relentlessly accessible and stupefyingly catchy” sounds. Our comrades from Russia, Pompeya will treat us to new songs from their upcoming LP “Real” as well as their newest single "Does". And closing out the showcase, we will have Brooklyn's own Walking Shapes, who will be laying down their unique brand of “Feel Good” rock. Sixpoint Brewery will be graciously providing 1 FREE BEER for every entry and will also be hosting specials all throughout the night! Mark your calendars and come down to Cameo gallery on Oct 22nd. Check out all the lovely music, as well as a happy hour for your enjoyment. We look forward to seeing you all at the showcase! To RSVP, please click here https://www.facebook.com/events/797740446944000/
    Cameo, 93 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY
  • NYCTAPER Unofficial CMJ Showcase at Cake Shop
    12:00pm October 23, 2014
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    The NYCTaper Unofficial CMJ Day Party is happening on Thursday October 23, 2014 at Cake Shop. Show is free and Sixpoint drink specials all night! Doors are opening at Noon! Here is the schedule. 06:15pm: PURLING HISS 05:30pm: MAINLAND 04:50pm: PALEHOUND 04:10pm: AMANDA X 03:30pm: RIVERGAZER 02:50pm: THE KICKBACK 02:15pm: PRETTIOTS 01:40pm: WHISKEY BITCHES 01:00PM: BEACH DAY FB INVITE: http://www.facebook.com/events/1471451349803256
    The Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, NY, NY