For a few years, Brooklyn claimed ownership over home-brewery startups. Dozens of companies, usually founded by young professionals, began sprouting up.
Now, Queens has stepped into the gauntlet with its own group of local breweries.
For the first time ever, the borough is celebrating these young businesses at Queens Beer Week, a 10-day event in which bars will exclusively offer brews made in the city’s largest borough.
Crescent and Vine, a bar located at 25-03 Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria, was jam-packed on Friday, the first day of the festival.
Transmitter, a brewery owned by Rob Kolb and Anthony Accardi, showcased a handful of their beers.
“We’re doing pretty tight-ranged beers called farmhouse ales,“ Accardi said. “We tend to think of ourselves as ‘yeast forward’ in terms of what drives the beer taste.”
The pair met in 2005 when they were amateur bicycle racers and began experimenting with brewing using old homebrew equipment from the 1990s.
They officially launched Transmitter Brewing last summer and are working to have their beers on tap in bars around the city.
Prospective patrons can order individually bottled beer directly from Kolb and Accardi.
One of their brews, Q1, is a tasty Belgian white that delivers a smooth flavor without as many hops. Their “yeast forward” mentality is apparent in Q1 but the flavor does not overpower the hops.
Also featured was Jamaica Me Coconuts from Barrier Brewing Company that run out of Oceanside on Long Island.
The dark beer has a bold taste with a hint of coconut. It was a crowd favorite at Vine and Crescent.
Barrier’s other draft, Queen of Tarts, is also a fun beer. The 6.8-percent pale ale is brewed with 200 fresh limes especially for Queens Beer Week.
Throughout the festival, beer lovers and newbies can sample drinks from local business owners while experiencing the various bars, pubs and restaurants Queens has to offer.
Tours of some of the breweries are also available.
Some of the week’s highlights include “Pints and Stand-Up” at the Laughing Devil Comedy Club, located at 47-38 Vernon Blvd. in Long Island City.
While local beers will not be featured, the venue will offer $6 pints of Sam Adams Revel IPA and $4 cans of 21st Amendment while attendees listen to sets from Crystian Ramirez, Adrienne Iapalucci, Jon Fisch and other stand-up comedians.
For beer lovers looking to learn how to home brew, a home-brewing and beer-tasting tutorial at Astoria Beer and Brew, located at 21-76 21st St., will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Tickets are $25 for tasting and demonstrations.
Also on Saturday, Alewife Queens, located at 5-14 51 St. in Long Island City, is hosting the New York Beer and Bacon Festival from 12 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.
Tickets are $50 but include unlimited smoky meat and ice-cold beer.
The week closes at Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, located at 29-19 24 Ave. in Astoria, the “original spot for beer in Queens,” according to the website.
The beer garden will be premiering its new house beer crafted exclusively for the venue by the up-and-coming Single Cut Beersmiths of Astoria.
The closing ceremonies begin at 12 and end at 5 p.m.
Of course, many Queens-made beers are available at bars around the borough year-round and special events will be posted on the Queens Beer Week website even after the festival.