GrowNYC Celebrates New York Beer this Week

New York, NY — GrowNYC is the charity beneficiary of the New York themed Brewer’s Choice 2014, the marquee event of NYC’s Beer Week. Jimmy’s No. 43 will host the tasting on Wednesday, February 26 from 6-9 pm at The Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Over 25 breweries will be on hand offering tastings of special Beer Week brews along with local restaurants to provide food pairings.

The Brewmasters themselves will be on hand at Brewer’s Choice 2014 to pour the special brews and give attendees a rare opportunity to learn about the brew process directly from the experts. Additionally, the specialty IPAs, stouts, ales, and wheat brews will be individually paired with snacks and treats from some of the city’s best restaurants.

In addition to a brewer’s perspective, you can hear from a grain grower and a malter on their view of the local grain renaissance when Thor Oechsner of Oechsner Farms joins malter Andrea Stanley of Valley Malt, and June Russell of GrowNYC on Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy’s No. 43’s weekly Beer Sessions on the Heritage Radio Network, Tuesday, February 25 at 5 pm. Thor is a long-time friend of Greenmarket and will be on hand at Brewer’s Choice sampling the beer, including some brewed with grains grown on his own Oechsner Farms in the Finger Lakes, while also serving as a judge for the evening.

GrowNYC’s Regional Grains Project which promotes local grains in the Northeast by educating and connecting growers, processors and malters is helping pave the way for truly local events like Brewer’s Choice. Despite the abundance of local breweries, up until very recently, these breweries were forced to source their malt (a key ingredient in the brewing process) from Europe and Canada, as no local malters existed. Working with GrowNYC’s Greenmarket program to connect with local farmers that supply barley and other malting grains, Valley Malt, in Hadley, MA, is on the forefront of the effort to promote local malt in the Northeast. They processed all New York State grown grain into the malts used in some Brewer’s Choice 2014 offers.

This is only a continuation of GrowNYC’s work on local beer. In June 2013, Greenmarket Wheat, a summer wheat beer, was released through an innovative partnership between Brooklyn Brewery and GrowNYC. One of the first truly local NY beers, Greenmarket Wheat proved it was possible to brew incredible tasting local beer and helped to revitalize economic demand for grains grown right here in the Northeast.

Marcel Van Ooyen, Executive Director of GrowNYC, says “The dedication of our staff and our farmers are making truly local beer possible. We’re proud of the groundwork we’ve laid to make world-class products possible using the ingredients coming out of our own region.”

“Our role is to help facilitate the production of grains in the Northeast in order to provide grain crops that are marketable for our farmers and continue to develop the infrastructure required to process these raw ingredients into the end products to form a truly regional food system.” says June Russell, the Director of the GrowNYC Regional Grains Project. “We are continuing to connect the food culture to the agriculture.”

About GrowNYC : GrowNYC improves New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations. Reaching two million New Yorkers every year, GrowNYC operates Greenmarket farmers markets, engages New Yorkers in recycling education and resources, builds and maintains green spaces and engages young people in hands-on education. Helping residents make ours the most sustainable city in the world. Our Regional Grains Project seeks to foster a thriving regional grain economy within the local food system, beginning with our network of growers and customers and extending to any farmer, entrepreneur or retailer contributing to its growth throughout the Northeast. Learn more at