Big Brew Festival: 8 February 2014 - White Plains, NY

David Reyneke

Much like the Superbowl, New York gets all the glory for New Jersey's Big Brew Festival.

The Big Brew Festival

City: White Plains, New York
Date: 2012-02-08

With the soaring popularity of craft beer, brew oriented festivals have begun to pop up around the country celebrating unique offerings. While major cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and D.C. have solidified themselves as key contributors to the movement, New York and its growing list of top-notch breweries have quickly become a force to be reckoned with. Taking note of the increasing excitement in the state, the people at Big Brew thought it was time to take their New Jersey-based event across state lines.

This year, the Big Brew festival makes its first appearance in New York. With over 300 different craft beers, enthusiasts have the opportunity to interact with some of their favorite breweries. While a number of top-notch brewers like Bell's, Firestone-Walker, Great Divide and more coming in for the event, the excitement peaks at the prospects of several local breweries joining the ranks.

Not only has New York City played a major role, but outlying cities of upstate New York have continued to develop their own budding beer culture, too. Westchester County has become home to a number of remarkable breweries like Peekskill Brewery and Captain Lawrence. To help nurture the rising community, festivals like Big Brew NY have come about to facilitate an experience allowing beer drinkers to try some of the regions finest offerings.

One of the most exciting new additions, Peekskill Brewery, will bring along two delicious offerings, the Eastern Standard IPA and the Hop Common. The Eastern Standard is loaded up with Simcoe and Citra hops, making for a remarkably citrusy and hop-forward experience. Another locally recognized name worth getting excited about is Spider Bite Brewery from Long Island. For their inaugural year they plan on introducing four new beers. The most exciting if not best loved is the Boris Russian Imperial Stout, which cuts right to the chase with a high ABV and even higher taste profile.

For those interested in an extra special experience, the festival offers a VIP package. For the VIP lounge, 42 the Restaurant will be catering a buffet menu complete with gourmet options. The VIP section will feature a selection of unique beer offerings from breweries like Allagash, Ballast Point, Clown Shoes, Green Flash and more. And if you happen to find yourself in the VIP section, do yourself a favor by pairing up some of those fine food offerings with the exclusive beers being handed out. For the beer battered fish and ranch chips, you might want to slug Maine Beer Co's Lunch, which packs a massive dose of citrusy and piney hops. If it's the beer braised lamb arancini you're after, look for something that can handle its richness like Firestone-Waler's Velvet Merlin. The oatmeal stout is heavily packed with chocolatey roasted notes.

Big Brew NY goes down on Feb. 8 in White Plains, NY. Perfect for those who want to get a big beer experience without having to travel into the city. Tickets can be purchased here (

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.