Karl, the Operations Manager for the Brooklyn Brewery, was the special guest speaker at Tuesday night's NYCHG meeting. He regaled us with some very interesting tales about the fire up at the F.X. Matt Brewery, where Brooklyn Lager and Pilsner are produced. If you don't feel like reading up about it on the Saranac site (link above), rest assured that all is now well.
A couple of years ago I went with R to a wedding up in Utica, so we took the opportunity to tour the brewery. It's a huge facility, so the tour of the production areas doesn't really hold much charm, but it finishes up in their tasting room, which is truly one of the most unique and charming places we've seen in our beer-related travels. There's a beautiful old bar and an attached room with a player piano and tables made from barrels. A really neat spot that, apparently, is only used at the end of the tour and for the occasional private party. Karl assured us that the tasting room was not damaged in the fire.
Karl was also nice enough to bring along some rare treats from the secret Brooklyn stash. The highlight was the 2000 Brooklyn Monster that was poured. A great big barleywine with alcohol, vanilla, and caramel flavors - I've got two bottles of this in the fridge myself, so I now know what I have to look forward to.