If you've ever flown Melbourne to NYC, you know it's a doozy of a haul. Arriving at 6am after like, I dunno, a zillion hours of flying, we dropped the bags and rallied the awake-juices with as many coffees as we could stomach, followed by what could only be described as majestic mountains of pastrami on rye for breakfast at Sarge's Delicatessen & Diner.
Now, it's down to business.
Across the river, we popped into Brooklyn Brewery, which, let's face it, needs no introduction. Brooklyn Brewery and Steve Hindy have always played a special part in the Hawkers story back from the days when Mazen, like Steve, was a war journalist and then later started brewing in the Middle East. We were graciously shown around by Alan and Ayad, whose kind hospitality we greatly appreciate—particularly in our zombie-like hot mess of jet-lag and caffeine. Thanks for the fun times, you legends!
Heading into Queens, we hit up Evil Twin NYC for a similar visit. After sampling a healthy spread of wild and wonderful brews, Tanner (who was generous with his time after Jeppe got tied up and was unable to make it) gave us a tour of the facility, lending an appreciation for their use of space and unparalleled creativity (on literally every front). Cheers, guys!
After a long, well-earned sleep, we found our way back to Brooklyn the next day for quick stops at a couple of local brewpubs before heading to Other Half.
Sam and the crew showed us a very warm welcome and looked after us, giving us the grand tour of the brewery the space and more than the time of day while we were there. We hope to see them in Melbourne someday so we can return the favour! Thanks again, everyone at Other Half - Brooklyn!
After a stupidly early morning flight to Chicago, we set out to visit a few breweries in the Windy City, which is a fitting name for the single day whirlwind tour that we were there for. Be that as it may, we still managed to a make stop at Piece Pizza, an absolute hidden gem—known by the locals and those in the know, not for their pizzas which are New Haven (not Chicago style), but for the 29 medals at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup in the past 19 years. Following that were stops at Revolution Brewing, Pilot Project, Maplewood Brewery & Distillery, Half Acre, and Mikerphone Brewery. Don't ask us how we did it.