You would be hard pressed to find a more respected homebrewer in NYC than Phil Clarke. From 2000-2002, Clarke served as President of the NYC Homebrewers Guild (NYCHG), NYC's oldest homebrew club. Chris Cuzme recounted his experience of meeting Clarke for the first time on episode #005 of the Brew To Share podcast and how quickly they became friends after just one meeting years ago. Clarke is also the founding President of the Westchester Homebrewers Organization (Westchester's largest homebrew club) and co-owner/manager of homebrew supply store Westchester Homebrew Emporium in New Rochelle, NY. He's also widely known for his award winning mead; a beverage made by fermenting honey. Those beverages are a particular favorite of the Society for Creative Anachronism (a medieval re-enactors group), of which Clarke is an active member.
Phil was randomly chosen out of more than 60 entrants to participate with 4 other local homebrewers in this year's NYC Brewers Pro-Am. Homebrewers meet with local profesionals. They collaborate on a recipe, brew it together and will be serving that collaboration on Saturday. Phil was paired with KCBC (Kings County Brewers Collective). KCBC is NYC's newest brewery featuring the talents of Tony Bellis, Zack Kinney, and Peter Lengyel. Together they are opening up the 1st brewery in Bushwick in decades This opening is significant in that Bushwick used to be synonymous with breweries and for a time was the epicenter of brewing when Brooklyn was brewing 10% of all beer produced in the United States. After years in planning, months of build-out, and a ton of paperwork, they are now ready to go and Bellis said recently that KCBC is set to brew their first big boy batch this Sunday following their participation with Clarke on Saturday.
Given that Phil has been a staple in the NYC and surrounding brew communities, it was no surprise that he knew Bellis, Kinney, and Lengyel. Kinney is also a former President of NYCHG, so when Bitter & Esters and Brew To Share paired him up with NYC newest brewery it was almost a given that he responded,"Hey! I know those guys!" Like most good beer planning, theirs happened over a few rounds of beers. They met at The Ginger Man and began planning away. Their idea was to incorporate Clarke's expertise as a mead maker and together arrived at the idea of a honey kolsch-style beer. "It is a nice summer beer. I developed the first draft of the beer recipe and Tony, Zach, and Pete tightened it up." says Clarke
Owing to the fact that KCBC was nearing completion of construction and set up of their brewery at the time they needed to brew for the event, they all brewed together at Bitter and Esters brew on premises system.
They will be serving that beer on Saturday at the 3rd annual NYC Brewers Pro-Am at Covenhoven in Brooklyn. Phil will compete against 4 other homebrewers who were partnered with local breweries Bronx Brewery, Folksbier, Greenpoint Beer and Ale, and Strong Rope for Audience Choice votes. The winner of Audience Choice will have that collaboration brewed on their partnered brewery's commercial system.
In addition to the collaboration. each homebrewer is bringing a homebrew and each brewery is bringing a beer for a total of 15 beers.
Due to the limited capacity of the venue, there are 2 sessions. The 1st session is 1p-3p. The 2nd session is 3:30p-5:30p. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Ticket price includes admission with unlimiteed samples, a souvenir glass, and a complimentary pretzel. Advance tickets can be purchased online here.