BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO
The streets of Ridgewood played host to the first annual Ridgewood Hair and Hound, part bar crawl and part scavenger hunt, on Saturday as part of Queens Beer Week, the nine-day celebration of local beer and breweries that runs through this Sunday.
The Hair and Hound was a collaborative effort between Ridgewood Beer Society founder Stephen Calebro, William Reder of Julia’s Beer and Wine Bar and Finback Brewery‘s Leah Blair.
“We want to support our neighbors while promoting the beer culture that’s developing right now,” Reder said.
Teams of craft beer enthusiasts were given a special map to the participating bars along the route. Each bartender provided the teams with a secret list of clues. The goal was for the teams to photograph objects in each bar based on the set of clues provided.
Queens Tavern, located at 68-69 Fresh Pond Rd., served as the hunt’s starting point. The bar featured specials on locally brewed beer, including Finback’s Double Session ($7), a floral brew spiked with peppercorn and ginger. They also featured pints of Bridge and Tunnel Brewery’s Twenty-Spot and a Switchblade Coffee Cream Ale ($7) infused with ground coffee for a smooth yet bold flavor.
The groups progressed next door to The Monk, a Belgian beer bar located at 68-67 Fresh Pond Rd. Teams were treated to $1 off drafts of Transmitter Brewery’s Saison S 4 Ale ($7), a white wheat malt brew combined with French Saison yeast for a full-bodied fruity flavor with hints of pepper.
Bleachers 67, a vibrant sport bar and grill located at 67-14 Forest Ave., offered specials on drafts of Queens Brewery‘s Queens Lager. Queens Brewery is currently planning to open their doors in Ridgewood in the fall. Their new locale will include a taproom and beer garden.
Julia’s Beer and Wine Bar, located at 818 Woodward Ave., was the fourth stop on the route. The bar featured $2 off specials on Finback Brewery’s aptly named Buddy System Double IPA, a tropical, hoppy brew with bold citrus notes. The sleeper hit, however, was the Kirsch Gose ($5), a refreshing pink sour cherry beer from Victory Brewing Company. According to Reder, this “salty sour” beer was created in the tradition of the old-world German brewing process.
The teams converged on Onderdonk and Sons (566 Onderdonk Ave. at Menahan Street) for a midday meetup and check-in. The bar featured an all Queens lineup of locally made brews on their taps. The list included SingleCut Brewery’s Pilsner, Braven Brewery’s White IPA, Rockaway Brewing Company’s ESB, Queens Lager, Bridge and Tunnel’s Coffee Cream Ale and Finback’s Double Session and IPA brews. Team members enjoyed the popular Onderdonk burger and fries before resuming their hunt.
The Hair and Hound wrapped up at Bierleichen (582 Seneca Ave.) where patrons enjoyed specials on Finback and SingleCut drafts ($6). The ultimate winners of the hunt were the members of Team Gunther, named after a longtime regular patron of Caskey’s Pub, currently Queens Tavern.
Prizes included T-shirts, tote bags and gift certificates to local breweries, including a free growler fill at Finback Brewery in Glendale. Organizers of the Ridgewood Hair and Hound thanked Bridge and Tunnel Brewery’s Rich Castagna for inspiration, as well as Finback Brewery, Transmitter Brewing Company, Braven Brewery and SingleCut Beersmiths for sponsoring the event.
Click here for a full schedule of remaining Queens Beer Week events.