Good Beer, Great Beer, and oh yeah, Even More Beer

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Ask for it by name.

It’s nearing the three day weekend, and we’ve only just now recovered from Tuesday night’s The Good Beer Seal 2010 induction ceremony, so kindly hosted by d.b.a. in Williamsburg. We know, we know, we always use our hangovers as our late-posting excuse, but this time it’s really true! Actually, it always is.

Plus this was a rare kind of beer event, more like an all-hands-on-deck party where the city’s best beer bar-owners and bartenders who never ever leave their bars came from the Bronx and Queens and Manhattan and Brooklyn to accept their The Good Beer Seal seals and hang with distributors and brand reps and brewers from not just one local brewery but all three: Sixpoint Craft Ales (the whole team was in the house); Brooklyn Brewery (Garrett Oliver brought a few bottles of the stellar Sorachi Ace) and Kelso, represented by Kelly Taylor and his wife Sonya Giacobbe. (Mashed together, their names spell Kel-so.)

We should also note that most of the Good Beer Seal commmittee members, meaning Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy’s No. 43, Joe Carroll of Spuyten Duyvil, Dave Brodrick and Alan Jestice of Blind Tiger Ale House, Ray Deter of d.b.a., Dan McGloughlin of The Pony Bar and Gary Gillis of Standings and Burp Castle were also in the house. Pretty impressive, right?

These folks were there to welcome 12 new members of the New York City suds scene into a super-elite group of independently owned bars. (Okay, and maybe to drink the hand-picked drafts Deter had put on just for his knowledgable guests and eat the boatloads of Louisiana boudin and duck and okra gumbo made by Tchoup Shop, which holds court in d.b.a’s Brooklyn patio on Sundays.)

But let’s get to the heart of the matter. The new members of The Good Beer Seal are — drum roll, please — 124 Rabbit Club, Swift, Rattle N’ Hum, George Keeley’s, Pacific Standard, Waterfront Ale House, Brazen Head, Rebar, Lucky Dog, Mugs Ale House, Sunswick 35/35, and Bronx Ale House.

Nearly all sent reps on Tuesday night, and all were awarded The Good Beer Seal by a committee of beer drinkers, writers, sellers and others (including Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn) for having not just a well-curated list of real craft beers but a real community and a desire to teach that community a little about real beer.

In other words, if you’re gonna spend your hard-earned money on beer (spending habits of which we approve) spend it here.

This is the second round of Beer Sealing (in fact we covered the first 15 members in round one ourselves last summer in a story called What Would Jimmy Drink). And like last year, it includes a Proclamation from Bloomie that July is Good Beer Month and a slew of beery activities.

Those include Meatopia on July 11; the second round of Edible Pursuits, aka our alcohol-themed trivia game at Brooklyn Brewery on July 8th; and our very own Good Beer event at BAM on July 28th. (Look for more deets on both in this space very soon.)

Good Beer, in fact, is actually not unlike Tuesday night in its accumulation of local beer royalty and great brews, except that it’s two floors of free-flowing quaffs inside one of Brooklyn’s most beautiful buildings and food from some of the city best cooks. And we’ve just heard chopped liver from Sammy’s Roumanian will be there for the schmaltzing. So in other words, it’s maybe even better than Tuesday night.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.