The craft brewer’s life is a busy one, especially during October when the all-important Oktoberfest beckons from Germany. The tradition has endured for more than two hundred years, drawing in more than six million people annually, and making it the world’s largest beer festival. While imitations have sprung up all over the world, diehard beer lovers and the brewers who keep them happy know to go to Munich for the real thing.
Just back from the sixteen-day event in Bavaria, Paul Sciara, president of City Island Beer Company, was able to find a few minutes to chat with the Fork in the Road about his brewery, the Bronx, and Brooklyn Pour.
Every brewery has a story. What’s yours?
Basically, we’re three brothers that started a company. We started out as home brewers making great, craft beers. After years of brewing at home we said, let’s go out in public and bring great beer to other people. As a craft brewer, we’re very small. We brew traditional beers, and we’re working with a few local groups on some ideas we want to come out with next year, using some locally grown ingredients to try to give back to the community.
So did you learn anything at Oktoberfest that you plan on bringing back to the States?
We’ll see. Germans make some really good beer, that’s for sure.
What kind of local ingredients are you planning to use?
We’ve got some local honey, so we’re looking to do something with that. And we’re working with the Garden Club out here on City Island to make sure we get our hops-growing up and running.
What drew you to the Bronx?
We’re life-long Bronxites. Born and raised in the Bronx, we still live here.
How do you like running a business in your own neighborhood?
It’s exciting. Doing something like this locally, being a part of the community, the positive response we’ve gotten from everybody, it’s almost overwhelming actually.
What do you plan on serving at Brooklyn Pour?
We’ll have our flagship beer, our pale ale. We are working on a few other styles that will come out in the next couple of months, we’re just not ready to release them at this point.
Any beers from other breweries that you’re looking to try at Brooklyn Pour?
I’m always looking to try the real local beers, so naturally that would include Brewers Guild breweries. There’s always a great selection from all the Guild members–you just can’t go wrong.
Inspired by City Island’s rich maritime history–historically excellent craftsmanship has produced seven America’s Cup winning yachts–City Island Beer Company has been making its handcrafted brews since 2011. The flagship City Island pale ale–with a 5.6 percent ABV, a deep amber hue, full-body, and a citrusy hop aroma–is just one of many reasons to get to Brooklyn Pour in Fort Greene this weekend. Can’t make it to Brooklyn Pour? Bummer. Look for City Island’s pale ale at places like Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen in Manhattan, Alewife in Queens, or J’eatjet Gastrobar in Brooklyn. For a full listing of where to find the Bronx brew, check out City Island Beer’s website.