Exactly one year ago - just when rompers were first appearing on the streets of Williamsburg – I was sitting in Salvador’s Coffee House in Kunming China, missing BK in a big way. What was the one thing that could possibly wash away these blues? A nice cold bottle of Brooklyn IPA – the first and only time I’ve seen an American craft beer in Asia. At an exorbitant 25RMB a bottle (the most expensive on the menu), it was worth every sip. And word on the street is that co-founder Steve Hindy is going Hindi as Brooklyn Beer makes its debut in India next week. Already, these tasty brews are the #1 craft brewed export from the USA by volume. A bulk of this export goes to Sweden where the Brooklyn label sells not just beer but the whole Brooklyn image, which is seen as mirroring the Scandavian country’s indie rock scene.
Coming full circle, today was my first brewery interview and I was elated to start in the Brooklyn Brewery, just a few blocks from my apartment. Although the suds produced here are branching out internationally, their roots run deep locally. Brooklyn lager is the #3 tap in the city (behind Stella and Guiness) as patrons and the brewers’ support for the locavore movement mutually reinforce one another. Processed grains from the brewery are sent to the Queens County Farm, where they are then fed to some lucky pigs – which in turn occasionally show up at BK Brewery partnered barbeque events across the city (maybe you will have a chance to try such a treat at BAM’s Good Beer Festival, where Brooklyn Brewery will be partnering with Fette Sau).
In fact, co-founders Potter and Hindy were big believers – and enablers – of the Williamsburg renaissance long before most of us were around, when the neighborhood was in the height of its de-industrialization. And these two were not only pioneers on the craft brew scene at the time, they were also the first to dip their paws into craft distribution, sharing truck space with brands like Chimay and Anchor Steam which were previously unavailable outside of their immediate locales. Although the factory was held up at gunpoint several times during the neighborhood’s darker days, the two entrepreneurs held their ground. In 1994 Garrett Oliver was recruited as head brewmaster, and the formidable dream team has only been picking up steam since. They also managed to solicit Milton Glaser – mastermind of the I Love NY logo – to do all of their label art. Mr. Glaser is still taking advantage of his free-beer-for-life method of payment (and just in case you happen to be reading Mr. Glaser, yours truly could use a little logo design of her own). You can see his latest design on the limited edition brew Sorachi Ace, part of the brewery’s Brewmaster Reserves which appear every 4 months. Plans are in the works to expand the brewery into the neighboring factory, at which point the present happy hour space will be available for private functions.
For this first piece I will provide an Asian-Brooklyn pairing to complement Sorachi Ace’s Japanese hops. If you are in the mood woo, listen to some BK indie tunes while preparing, and then watch this Taiwanese indie flick shot by a Brooklyn filmmaker (and co-starring yours truly) while eating and drinking. Enjoy!
Sorachi Beef Roast
4lbs boneless beef sirloin tip or inside round roast
5 scallions, sliced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup soy sauce
½ cup rice wine vinegar
3 tbs. Miso paste
¼ tsp five-powder spice
2 tbs red pepper flakes
Salt, ginger powder, and freshly ground pepper to taste
1) Combine soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chives, miso, garlic, and red pepper flakes in large bowl. Use fork to pierce roast all over and place in bowl with marinade. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours. Make sure to turn roast periodically for even marinating.
2) Remove roast from marinade, saving liquid. Season roast on all sides with salt, pepper, and ginger powder. Let roast warm at room temperature for an hour or two. Place on rack with shallow roasting pan, and cool at 300 degrees for 1 hour – 1 hour and 10 minutes.
3) Remove roast, pour remaining liquid from marinade over it, and allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with cold sesame noodles (recipe below).
½ cup sesame oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
7 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp chili oil
2 tbsp minced ginger
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 lb fettuccine noodles
1 bunch of asparagus
5 scallions thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup sesame seeds.
1) In a small container combine marinade ingredients, and set aside.
2) Cook fettuccine noodles, rinse with cold water, then put noodles in large Tupperware container, pouring marinade over noodles.
3) Allow noodles to marinate 24 hours, periodically rotating container and stirring noodles.
4) Cut asparagus into thirds, blanch, drain, rinse with cold water and sent aside to cool.
5) Add asparagus and dry ingredients (seseme seeds, cilantro, and scallions) to noodles and stir.