Tag Archives: Finback Brewery

Lonely Planet names Queens best place to visit in US next year


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the Queens Tourism Council

Move over, Manhattan — Queens is the must-see U.S. destination of the coming year, according to a leading travel guidebook company.

The borough has made it to the top of the list of Lonely Planet’s Best in the U.S. 2015. Selected by Lonely Planet’s authors and ranked by its U.S. editors, the list consists of 10 perennial favorites, places with timely reasons to visit and understated destinations that are ready for their time in the spotlight.

“I’ve seen how Queens has transformed from one of the forgotten boroughs to one of the exciting places to visit,” said Regis St. Louis, coordinating author of Lonely Planet’s USA and New York City guidebook.

This year was the first time that Queens made the annual online list, which was released on Wednesday.  The rankings expand on Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2015” guidebook, which came out in October, and chose Washington, D.C., and Rocky Mountain National Park as its top city and regional picks among world destinations.

St. Louis, a 14-year New York City resident, who currently lives in Brooklyn, was one of several authors to nominate Queens for the Best in the U.S. 2015 list.

It was clear from our passion and our feedback about Queens that it should be number one on this list,” he said.

Rounding out the top 10 are Western South Dakota,  New Orleans,  the Colorado River region, North Conway, N.H., Indianapolis, Greenville, S.C., Oakland, Calif., Duluth, Minn., and California’s Mount Shasta region.

Queens food truck

What made Queens stand out among those destinations were reasons obvious to anyone familiar with the borough, such as its diversity, Rockaway Beach and its art institutions.

As St. Louis writes on the Lonely Planet website, Queens is  “New York’s meltiest melting pot,” and that is not only reflected in the number of languages that are spoken there, but also in its culinary offerings.

“It’s something that has always been there, but it’s something that people are just beginning to discover,”  he said about the diversity.

He also highlighted Rockaway Beach’s growing trendiness and the borough’s burgeoning arts scene, noting the Queens Museum’s recent makeover and the newly christened Kaufman Arts District in Astoria.

Rockaway(7)

“You don’t have to stay in Manahattan anymore. You can come base yourself in Queens now,” St. Louis said.

That sentiment applies to both residents and tourists, as another advantage Queens has to offer is its boutique hotels, which have been growing in number.

Anyone looking for something that is not in the average guidebook should try Queens’ microbrewery scene, said St. Louis.

Microbreweries have exploded around the country, he said, and it’s surprising that so many of them have made their way to Queens.

These small-batch or nanobreweries, such as Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company, are just another example of what stands out in the borough’s food and drink scene, he explained.

Z Hotel in Queens, NY roof top

“People are looking for the next thing and there are some really interesting things happening in Queens,” St. Louis said. “There are so many great secrets … you never run out of things to do and see.”

To mark Queens topping the Best in the U.S. 2015, Lonely Planet is giving away the Queens chapter from its recently released New York City guide as a free e-book until Feb. 1, 2015. To get the free download, visit www.lonelyplanet.com/queens-ebook.

Find out more about this year’s list at www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-the-us-2015.

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Sweet time at the Flea


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

flea

Visitors at the LIC Flea & Food were in for a sweet time this past weekend.

The popular Long Island City market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, hosted a Sweets Festival highlighting vendors that hit every visitor’s sweet tooth.

During the festival, LIC Flea vendor Ice & Vice was awarded the judges’ pick, and vendor This Pie Is Nuts! was picked as the visitors’ favorite.

The LIC Flea Beer Garden, which is set up along the basin in the back of the market with views of the Manhattan skyline and outdoor seating, continues to offer beer selections from SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company.

In addition, visitors will now also be able to enjoy New York-made red and white wines, as well as mimosas made using lemonade from LIC Flea vendor Frittering Away.

LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will run through the end of the year. The LIC Flea Beer Garden is open during the hours of operation of the flea market.

For more information visit www.licflea.com or www.facebook.com/licflea.

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Home run at the Flea


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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The LIC Flea & Food will hit a home run this weekend with a super sweet lineup.

First, the popular Long Island City market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will continue to celebrate the opening of the LIC Flea Beer Garden.
Beer will be available for $2 from 4:30 to 5 p.m. with an LIC Flea purchase. The beer garden, which offers selections from SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company as well as wine, is set up along the basin in the back of the market with views of the Manhattan skyline and outdoor seating. Beer enthusiasts will also have the ability to meet the owners of the local breweries featured and learn about the beer-making process.

For sports lovers, former Mets player William Hayward “Mookie” Wilson will be at the flea market signing and promoting his book “Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the ’86 Mets.”

HGTV will be making its return the LIC Flea to film another episode of its show “Flea Market Flip” with host Lara Spencer, co-anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Each week on the show, contestants, who participate in teams, are given $500 to explore items at different flea markets. The participants search for objects they can buy, fix and then “flip” for a higher selling price. By the end of each show, the contestants display their transformations and battle it out to win all the profits earned.

Finally, to end the weekend on a sweet note, the market will host a Sweets Festival with voting by judges and LIC Flea visitors to name the best sweets vendors. So far, participating vendors include A Spoonful of Brownies, Brookies Cookies, Bibingka-esk, Ice & Vice, Mom & Popsicles, Petalouda Bakery, Sweet Muse and Cassey’s Cookies & Cobblers.
LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will run through the end of the year.

For more information visit www.licflea.com or www.facebook.com/licflea.

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Beer garden coming to LIC Flea & Food


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File Photo

Visitors will now be able to raise a glass at the LIC Flea & Food.

This Saturday, the popular Long Island City market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will debut the LIC Flea Beer Garden with outdoor seating set up along the basin in the back of the market with views of the Manhattan skyline.

rockaway

Only artisanal beer made by Queens breweries will be served, along with wine. The breweries include SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company, which is located just across the street from the LIC Flea.

FINBACK_logo_A2“We are really excited to showcase all that Queens has to offer from amazing vendors to now breweries that are making top-quality beer right here in the borough,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “This fits in with our mission to attract people to Long Island City and Queens.”

QUEENS BREWERY 3

The LIC Flea Beer Garden will be opened every Saturday and Sunday during the hours of the flea market. Astoria Flea & Food has moved to Long Island City through the end of the year.

For beer enthusiasts, owners of the local breweries featured will be on hand to talk about the beer-making process. 

SINGLECUT

This weekend, Sept. 13 and 14, beer will be $2 from 4:30 to 5 p.m., while supplies last. 

LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will run through the end of the year.

For more information visit www.licflea.com or www.facebook.com/licflea.

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Glendale’s Finback Brewery set to open in May


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Finback Brewery.

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

The Finback Brewery will finally surface on May 10, the Glendale establishment announced via Twitter Wednesday.

Craft beer makers Kevin Stafford and Basil Lee were planning to open the Queens brewery last November, but construction delayed its debut.

Lee, a Harvard-educated architect, and Stafford, an art designer, were frequent home brewers, but finally decided to take the leap a few years ago to open a full brick-and-beer location.

The name Finback Brewery is a tribute to the Finback whale that washed up on the shores of Breezy Point in 2012.

In the past few months the brewery has been selling its beer in bars around Queens and in the city.

 

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Glendale’s Finback Brewery to launch beer at local bars despite setbacks


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Finback Brewery

Glendale’s Finback Brewery won’t open for a few more months, but the beer is finally coming to the surface.

The brewery, which was originally supposed to open in November last year, has been delayed by construction issues, but founders Basil Lee and Kevin Stafford are introducing three Finback beers at three bars around the city.

The brewery will have launch events for the beer at The Owl Farm bar in Brooklyn on Wednesday, Jimmy’s No. 43 in Manhattan on Thursday, and Forest Hills Station House in Queens on Jan. 28.

The three beers are Pilot X IPA, a citrusy drink filled with Summit, Chinook and Columbus hops, and hints of pink grapefruit; Puffin Smoked Porter, American porter filled with roast subtle hazelnut aroma and a smoky backbone from cherry wood smoked malt, and hints of chocolate; and Double Sess Wit, brewed with Szechuan peppercorns, ginger and chamomile.

The pair hopes to introduce the beer at other bars in the city, including The Queens Kickshaw in Astoria, and are shooting to open the brewery’s tasting room in late February or March, according to the owners.

“We’re working hard to finish the tasting room and open the brewery for beer and tours,” the owners said in an email. “We wish we could welcome you all to the brewery right now, but alas, NYC contractors have their own way of working, or not working…Rest assured we’re busy making beer and getting it out to our favorite local watering holes. Hopefully we’ll get the tasting room open in the next couple months.”

 

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Glendale brewery set to open next month


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Something’s brewing in Glendale.

Craft beer makers Kevin Stafford and Basil Lee, Brooklyn residents, are building Finback Brewery in the Queens neighborhood and planning to open in November.

Lee, a Harvard-educated architect, and Stafford, an art designer, were frequent home brewers, but finally decided to take the leap a few years ago to open a full brick-and-beer location.

“I like it, because it’s creative. Making beer is like an art,” Stafford said. “There are so many different variables and so many different ingredients that go into the beers. It’s a fun art.”

After deciding to open the brewery they searched for a location throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Finding the large building at 78-01 77th Avenue was akin to the “Goldilocks and The Three Bears” tale, they said.

“One thing or another wouldn’t work, it’s too expensive, it’s too small, the ceiling is too low,” Lee said. “We didn’t know Glendale well, but we loved the space.”

When completed, the brewery, named Finback Brewery in tribute to the finback whale that washed up on the shores of Breezy Point last year, will have a tasting section and catering room for special events. They already have many ideas for favors and some craft beers lined up, including a hops-filled American India Pale Ale, which is citrusy, and “double sess,” which is flavored with ginger and peppercorns. They also hope to barrel age and brew various sour beers.

File photo

The brewery is only now beginning to take shape. The brewing vats are in place and most of the walls have been carved out, but there is quite a lot of work left to be done.

The pair is also hoping to raise $28,000 through the crowd-funding site, Kickstarter. The money is for extra equipment and the pair has already garnered more than $18,000.

The pair will host a grand opening party, with a date to be announced.

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