Hold a Steady Stein, Try Blind Wine Tasting, and Toast New York State This Weekend

Battle of the Halls Oktoberfest Celebration, Clinton Hall and West End Hall, 90 Washington Street and 2756 Broadway, Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. till late both days

Grab a stein and try to outlast the competition at these sister beer halls, which are both holding competitions this weekend. German beers like Radeberger, Weihenstephan, and Hofbrau will be available, with prize giveaways for the winners. There’s also a cornhole championship taking place at Clinton Hall on Saturday for those of us too distraught to watch our fantasy team any longer.

Claire Ptak Ice Cream Party and Brunch, Achilles Heel and Estela, 180 West Street, Brooklyn and 47 East Houston Street, Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. until late/11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. brunch

London based baker and food writer Claire Ptak is flying across the pond for a weekend collaboration with locals Andrew Tarlow and Ignacio Mattos. On Friday, Ptak will host an ice cream party (with flavors like fig leaf and roasted quince) and will sign copies of her latest book The Violet Bakery Cookbook. Specialty cocktails will also be available, along with a live DJ and dance party. On Saturday, Ptak heads to Soho for a brunch collaboration at Estela, focusing on baked goods like bacon and egg buttermilk biscuits, cinnamon buns, and chocolate sandwich cookies with parsnip ice cream. Guests can secure a reservation or walk in for both events.

Wine on Wheels, Papillon Bistro, 22 East 54th Street, Friday, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Improve your sense of taste this weekend as sommelier Yannick Benjamin and Wheeling Forward, an organization that supports the disabled, will host the second annual Wine on Wheels consumer blind tasting challenge. With a focus on the casual wine drinker, Benjamin and fellow sommeliers will offer over 20 wines representing the most common varietals as well as give tips on insider tasting techniques. The guest who is the most accurate upon completion of the blind tasting will receive a case of wine. Tickets are $55 and can be secured here.

NYC Craft Coffee Festival, Villain, 50 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sample over twenty different coffees from specialty roasters like Irving Farm and get to know more about what makes up your favorite morning blend. Additional coffee shops scheduled to participate include Sweetleaf and Cafe Grumpy, while plenty of pastries from Underwest Donuts and others are also included in the cost of a ticket. Secure one for $35 here.

Cheers NY, Industry City, 37th Street and 2nd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, Saturday and Sunday, 12 to 8 p.m/12 to 3 p.m.

Learn more about the local cheeses, wines, and beers that are being made in New York State at this two day festival, which features an additional marketplace stocked full of Brooklyn’s best menu items. There’s also an outdoor biergarten and games section. Ticket options start at $10 and can be reserved here.


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.