ASTORIA — There's a lively beer scene brewing in Queens, and it's getting a week in the spotlight next month.
The first annual Queens Beer Week is slated to take place across the borough beginning April 18, featuring nine days of craft-beer related events showcasing Queens' many local breweries and bars and featuring events like chocolate and beer tastings.
Organizer Dan Bronson, a beverage consultant who runs the beer program at Astoria's Crescent and Vine, said he he came up with the idea with the owners of Queens Kickshaw and Sunswick, two other Astoria craft beer spots.
Though events like the annual New York City Beer Week celebrate the city's craft beer scene, the group thought Queens could use its own version.
"New York Craft Beer Week is a great event, and we're so glad to have it in the city, but with 60 or 70 events in Manhattan, it's hard to get people out to Queens," Bronson, 27, said. "Queens is such a rapidly growing beer market, we thought it was time that there was a week dedicated to Queens."
Queens' beer scene is unique, Bronson said, thanks to the rise of several niche breweries that are producing unique kinds of beer: from the ales made by fermented tea company Beyond Kombucha in Astoria to the soon-to-open Transmitter Brewing in Long Island City, which specializes in wild yeast brews.
"It's nice to see that Queens is really getting a concentration of really specific and dedicated [breweries]," Bronson said. "Queens is such a supportive community for beer."
The festivities will include more than 30 beer-related events spread out at venues across the borough, including Crescent and Vine, Queens Kickshaw, Alewife NYC in Long Island City and Forest Hills Station.
The first will be a kick-off party at SingleCut Beersmiths in Astoria on April 19 beginning at 8 p.m.
A full calendar of events and venues will be announced on the Queens Beer Week website on April 1, but are expected to include things like chocolate and beer pairings, courses on tasting beer and wine, plus brewery demonstrations and open houses. Most events will not require tickets but will be pay-as-you-go.
For more information on Queens Beer Week, visit www.queensbeerweek.com.