Beer Writer to Offer Homebrewing Tour of Staten Island
ST. GEORGE — Beer fans will soon get a chance to taste some of the finest brews made in Staten Island's kitchens.
Joshua Bernstein, a Brooklyn-based beer writer, will lead a June 7 tour of homebrew setups across Staten Island, the latest in his series that highlights homemade beer around the city.
"It's almost like a roving voyeuristic house party — with homebrew beer in the mix," Bernstein said.
"You don't always get a chance to meet these folks. It's a really great way to break the ice and a really casual way of meeting people."
Bernstein has done tours of people's brewing systems in every other borough, but until now has stayed away from Staten Island because of its distance from the rest of the city and lack of public transportation options.
"Staten Island has always kind of been this last frontier," he said.
After meeting with the head of the local homebrew club, Pour Standards, Bernstein hashed out plans for the Staten Island tour, which will feature about eight different brewers from the club.
In addition to sampling the beer, participants will also get a chance to see how easy it is to brew beer at home and get info on how to start up from members.
"It's both enjoying great, rare beer as well as a learning experience," said Sean Torres, president of Pour Standard.
"The beer is unique, it's once in a lifetime. A lot of these brewed beers are brewed once and, if they're brewed again, they rarely come out the same."
The tour will start on the Staten Island Ferry, where two members of Pour Standards will pour growlers of their brews to enjoy on the ride to Staten Island. Then participants will hop on a party bus — with another homebrewer's offering on tap — and visit the homes of three members of Pour Standards, with two members at each spot offering samples.
The day will end with a tour and tasting at the soon-to-open Flagship Brewing Company in St. George, Bernstein said.
With all the beer flowing, the tours might seem like just a unique way to get drunk, but Bernstein said the point isn't to get sloshed but to learn about different styles of beer and how they get made.
"It's easier to get drunk than to learn about beer," he said. "I try to make education the key component. If you want to learn and find out stuff about fellow New Yorkers, then a tour is a great way to go about it."
For Torres, the tour not only offers the group the chance to let people try out their beers and get them interested in brewing, it's also a way to show off their home borough.
"It's a great opportunity to show Brooklyn and Manhattan what Staten Island has to offer, its communities and how different it is," he said.
"We're going to be sharing what it is to be a Staten Islander."