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This Week’s Five Best Food and Drink Events in NYC – 4/13/2105

This week, you can learn the secrets to being a beekeeper or explore a museum while tasting sake. Check out our five best food and drink events in NYC.

The Brisket Sessions with Jake Silverstein, editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine, Hill Country Brooklyn, 345 Adams Street, Brooklyn, Monday, 6:30 p.m.

Want to know what Jake Silverstein, former editor of the Texas Monthly, really thinks about NYC barbecue? Head out to this casual discussion, which will cover topics ranging from where to find proper brisket to changes taking place at the Times. Tickets include one beer, margarita, or soda; reserve one for $5.

Intro to Beekeeping at Brooklyn Grange, BLDG 92 at Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Learn how to make your own honey — or at least how to appreciate bees — at this interactive workshop led by Stone Barns beekeeper Dan Carr. Guests will learn the basics of beekeeping safety as well as the tools needed to start their own honey business, and the event will conclude with a tasting of honeys from around the world. Tickets are $40 and can be reserved through BLDG 92’s website.

Sake Dinner & Tasting, Dassara Brooklyn Ramen, 271 Smith Street, Brooklyn, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Decode the world of sake at this tasting, which also matches the rice wine to food. For $20, guests receive a sake flight paired with beets, longbeans with house-made tofu and kimchi, chicken meatballs, and Alaskan pollock skewers; ramen is also available for an additional $10.

Culture Salon: Rice Wine and Sake, American Museum of Natural History, West 79th Street & Central Park West, Thursday, 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Stick around this museum after hours and learn about the history of sake. Sommelier Chris Johnson will educate visitors on the distillation process as well as discuss the popularity of rice wine, and seven varieties of sake will be available for tastings. Tickets are $45 and can be reserved through the museum’s website.

Malbec World Day, The Dream Hotel, 355 West 16th Street, Friday, 6 p.m.

Celebrate Argentinian wine and try more than 120 Malbecs at this informational and interactive tasting. Wine talks, live music, and Argentinean dishes like empanadas and steak sandwiches are all included with the purchase of a ticket.

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NYC Beer Week Hits the Home Stretch

The seventh annual NYC Beer Week is heading to the finish line, but it promises to go out with a boisterous bang. The final weekend is punctuated with several standout bashes, tap takeovers, local drink specials, even a whole lamb roast. Here’s a few to hit in the home stretch.

Clinton Hall (90 Washington Street; 212-363-6000) in Lower Manhattan hosts Huge Beer Night starting at seven this evening. The event welcomes Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, offering no fewer than seventeen taps from the San Francisco–based brewery. Diverse styles range from barrel-aged barleywine to a Belgian-inspired white IPA. They’ll also be pouring from an exclusive firkin (a cask used to condition small-batch beer). The lucky recipient of the final pour enjoys a comped beer tab for the night. Beer and a small selection of pub grub is priced à la carte.

Head to Fool’s Gold (145 East Houston Street; 212- 673-2337) in the East Village on Saturday to enjoy their Cask Fest, which promises more than a dozen exclusive rarities, low in carbonation and served at a slightly higher temperature, in the English tradition. The selections, including local producers like Sixpoint, will be available throughout the weekend — or until they run out.

Sunday funday is all about Brooklyn, with competing events bringing the ruckus to two separate corners of Kings County. In Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-963-3369) is the setting of the Closing Beer & Brass Brunch, the official conclusion of NYC Beer Week. $40 tickets still remain to the four-hour festival, complete with a Blue Ribbon buffet and an hour of live brass music. The exclusively NYC-centric tap list features the best of the old guard (Brooklyn Brewery) and the new (Other Half Brewing).

Not to be outdone, Threes Brewing (333 Douglass Street, Brooklyn; 718-522-2110) in Gowanus celebrates the release of its newest IPA, Superf*ckingyawn, with a whole lamb roast, beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday. In addition to the beer of the hour, the brewery offers a lineup of two dozen crafts on tap, a full bar and cocktail menu, and live bluegrass from the Tumble. Food is priced à la carte and is first-come, first-served, but a $50 pre-order ticket ensures food and two pints of the IPA.

Parting is such bittersweet sorrow. But as New York City Beer Week bids adieu, at least it won’t leave you on an empty stomach.

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Joe Russo’s Almost Dead

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead: Don’t you dare slag them off as a mere cover band. The group otherwise known for its experimental Led Zeppelin instrumentals as Bustle in Your Hedgerow here works its high-octane magic on Grateful Dead material, taking the improvisations to wild new realms. Keyboardist Marco Benevento and guitarist Scott Metzer (who’s been raising the ghost of Danny Gatton in his other group, Wolf!), are the special sauce. On Friday, the lanes will be energized by the annual Freaks Ball thrown by a local group of rabid live-music connoisseurs. $25–$30. 9 p.m. 21 and over. Brooklyn Bowl and the doors open at 6 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 23, 9 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 24, 9 p.m., 2015

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HERE BE DRAGONS

A rare opportunity to hear a couple of great acts that hit above their weight – when they hit at all. Cerebral smoothie Bilal’s Salvador Dali-inspired A Love Surreal mixed art and angst and was one of last year’s better underheard r&b albums. Distracted by their own art and acting side projects, Brooklyn ADD rockers D.O.Z. are playing their first local show in three years.

Thu., Dec. 11, 8 p.m., 2014

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New Orleans Suspects

This Crescent City supergroup consisting of bassist Reggie Scanlan (Radiators), drummer “Mean” Willie Green (Neville Brothers), guitarist Jake Eckert (Dirty Dozen Brass Band), saxophonist Kevin Harris (James Brown), and keyboardist CR Gruver recently released its third and best album. The fiery hometown gig I caught earlier this year mixed originals that could have been standards with real standards like Allen Toussaint’s “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley” jammed out long into the night. Also: the Rad Trads.

Thu., Sept. 25, 10 p.m., 2014

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TEASE, PLEASE

Attention, fans of burlesque: This weekend, your D-cups overfloweth. It’s time again for the New York Burlesque Festival, and the debauched fun starts tonight at the Bell House, with a teaser party hosted by the World Famous *BOB* and DJ Momotaro. Friday’s premiere party is at Brooklyn Bowl, and the Saturday Spectacular (a jam-packed event that more than lives up to its name) takes place at B.B. King’s. There are workshops Saturday afternoon at the New York School of Burlesque, and a burlesque bazaar on Sunday afternoon at the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Brooklyn. And finally, on Sunday night, the Golden Pasties awards are presented at the Highline Ballroom, with categories like the Hot Buns Award and the Khaleesi Award, for the burlesque performer most likely to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Thankfully, they’re starting with this one.

Fri., Sept. 26, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 27, 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 28, 8 p.m., 2014

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KNOW YOUR ENEMY

Public Enemy graces Brooklyn Bowl tonight, bringing their revolutionary rap style to the heart of Williamsburg. Since their breakout in 1987 with Yo! Bum Rush the Show!, Public Enemy have been mixing their signature perspective on social-justice issues with hip-hop’s political and radical roots. Not only that, but Chuck D, Flavor Flav, DJ Lord, and The S1W’s (Khari Wynn and Professor Griff) brought to light important criticism of the media and American culture that was largely absent during the late ’80s and early ’90s. Gaining notoriety in America and abroad, Public Enemy have been a household name for nearly 30 years, and have accrued a number of commercial hits and underground cult classics to draw on as they perform live. A one-off performance like this is a rare thing for such a staple of New York’s foundational hip-hop scene, and one that should thrill diehard fans and brand-new listeners alike.

Tue., Sept. 16, 8 p.m., 2014

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Talib Kweli (DJ Set)

Talib Kweli entered New York’s hip-hop scene as one half of the duo Black Star, his partnership with Mos Def/Yasiin Bey. Since then, like Yasiin, Kweli has become known as a conscious rapper; though Kweli embraced that title in the beginning, he has recently balked at the label. One of his latest albums Prisoner of Conscious was his effort to escape his title as a conscious, poetic lyricist and a move to focus more on the music. However, his last album Gravitas focused more on his story and storytelling ability, one of the greater marks of Kweli’s career. As hard as he might try, there’s no way Kweli can shake that conscious rapper label.

Thu., Aug. 28, 10:30 p.m., 2014

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The Polyphonic Spree

A band whose staying power perhaps lies more in their gimmicks than content—twenty-plus members donning white choir robes to black militant getups producing oversized pop songs—the Polyphonic Spree have proven to still have a place in today’s indie rock scene, if only for their cult following. Since their inception in 2000, frontman Tim DeLaughter has underlined campy playground sing-alongs with sprawling orchestral arrangements whose cinematic qualities have landed Spree on countless soundtracks. Their 2013 studio album Yes, It’s True‘s toned down 70s psych rock, however, proves that even Spree’s unrelentingly optimistic pop may one day relent.

Tue., Aug. 26, 8 p.m., 2014

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K. Flay

Often identified as rap’s resident smart girl, K. Flay’s got the brains and flow to put much of mainstream hip-hop to shame. K. Flay, real name Kristine Flaherty, grew up in suburban Chicago before attending Stanford University, where she began toying with her own brand of rap music as a response to the genre’s cliches. With a handful of mixtapes and EPs under her belt, she signed with RCA, which she left before putting out a full-length debut. Free from the major, she recently released the Life as a Dog LP, an intriguing mix of hip-hop, electronic and indie rock.

Mon., Aug. 25, 8 p.m., 2014