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Sound the trumpets: Today marks the start of 2015 New York City Beer Week. Ten days of bacchanalia, celebrating the finest in Tri-State suds, and honoring the hardworking folks who make it…by drinking a whole lot of their beer. Are you ready? The NYC craft beer scene, bigger than ever before, now offers a dizzying array of libations to fill your glass. But there’s only so much time in a day. Other Half Brewing Company — barely in existence during 2014 Beer Week — is now one of the premier names in the game. Today, they release their Green Diamonds double IPA in sixteen-ounce cans. It’s a fitting beer to raise for the city-wide toast at 7 p.m. this evening, Beer Week’s official kickoff.
Why Green Diamonds? First off, the 9.1 percent hop devil is brewed with an unreasonable amount of Galaxy hops — Australia’s best. It offers all sorts of aromatic wonder; tropical blasts of pineapple and mango. The flavor, following the nose, is awash in West Coast touchstones and is alluringly drinkable. It locks down all the characteristics of yet another cultish craft IPA. Accordingly, the task of securing a $16 four-pack, now on sale at their Carroll Gardens brewery, will be nothing short of monumental.
The beer is superb, to be sure. But it’s hardly unique. What makes Green Diamonds so noteworthy, particularly its canned release at the start of Beer Week, is the brewery itself and the mentality behind it. Rewind to a few short years ago, and nary an NYC-based producer was creating anything worth mentioning in the Imperial IPA category. Likewise in the categories of barrel-aged dark ales, or sours — it was best to import them from faraway lands, like California, Belgium, or Maine.
This year’s Beer Week is more exciting than years past because it will truly be an all–New York affair. Innovative newcomers like Other Half, Greenpoint Beer and Ale, and Finback (to name but a small few) can proudly stand toe to toe with the biggest names in IPAs, saisons, and wild ales.
When Eataly opened their Birreria in 2011, the buzz was about big-name producers from other parts of the country being tapped to pour alongside their own Italian-inspired suds. On Sunday, for their most anticipated event of the week, the rooftop beer garden kept it local, bringing in Other Half brewmasters Sam Richardson and Matt Monihan for a three-course dinner. Why look beyond the five boroughs when everything we desire is right here? This promises to be a consistent trend throughout 2015 Beer Week.
The city has spent years culling inspiration from across the globe, and has now emerged as a standout on a global scale. These next ten days are a testament to that evolution. Never comfortable anywhere below the apex, New Yorkers should raise high that pint of Green Diamonds: You’ve come a long way, baby.
And if you are unable to trek to the brewery today for the canned release, fret not: Green Diamonds is regularly on tap at craft beer bars across New York.