Queens Beer Week returns to its namesake borough tonight, officially launching its second annual festival at Crescent and Vine (25-03 Ditmars Boulevard, Queens; 718-204-4774) in Astoria. Looking to build upon the success of its inaugural year, QBW2015 offers far more events, tap takeovers, and themed parties than in 2014. Here’s what you need to know to navigate the next ten days so that you can get the most out of the party.
“Queens Beer Week is all about bringing together our community here in Queens and supporting our local businesses,” says organizer Dan Bronson. “For me, there’s no better way to do that than with a beer.”
Might as well make it a beer that’s never been tasted before. Tonight’s event at Crescent and Vine marks the arrival of the city’s newest brewery, LIC Beer Project. Starting at 6 p.m., attendees will be among the first to sample the brewery’s faithfully reconstructed Belgian-style beers. “Try them now,” Bronson advises, “because they’re going to be huge!”
On Saturday, Ridgewood Hair & Hound (6869 Fresh Pond Road, Queens) hosts a scavenger hunt in conjunction with Rich Castagna of Bridge and Tunnel Brewing. The event kicks off at noon and will span several neighborhood venues. A quest to find hidden items promises to become increasingly difficult after each downed pint.
Scenic LIC Landing (52-10 Center Boulevard, Queens), situated along the East River, provides the backdrop for QBW2015’s Sunday Kick-Off Party, which begins at 4 p.m. Every Queens brewery will be on hand with free samples, and you’ll also be able to taste the QBW IPA, a collaborative one-off produced by Astoria’s own SingleCut Beersmiths and Barrier Brewing Company. Local live entertainment will be provided, in addition to a selection of street food favorites. Although tickets are free, they still need to be secured via the Queens Beer Week website.
While you’re there, check out a complete list of bars with something special in store over the next ten days. Just be sure to save room for the grand finale next Sunday: Finback’s First Anniversary Party at its Glendale taproom.
“All we hope for QBW2015 is for our neighbors here in Queens to go out and discover a new bar or restaurant they’ve never been to,” says Bronson. “And hopefully a few of our fellow NYCers can head northeast and see what we’re so proud of.” Hardly seems like too much to ask. Craft enthusiasts from every borough should be willing and eager to oblige.