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Ale aboard! Crowds flock to new brewery in Williamsburg

Barrels of fun: Lauren and Joe Grimm, the owners of Grimm Ales, stand in front of the aging barrels in their newly opened brewery and taproom in Williamsburg.
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It’s no fairy tale!

The formerly-nomadic brewer Grimm Artisanal Ales opened the doors of its new brewery and taproom in Williamsburg last weekend, and it immediately faced a flood of beer fans. The freshly-built bar was quickly packed three-deep, which made for an exciting but slightly overwhelming weekend, said one of the beer company’s owners.

“The opening was incredible and wonderful, but it also gave our bar staff a bit of shell schock,” said Lauren Grimm, who founded the brewery with her husband Joe.

The beer brand has won several awards from the beer community, but the opening marked the first time the brewers have really gotten to meet their fans face-to-face, said Grimm.

“For so long Joe and I have only been able to meet our customers if we meet them at an event or a festival,” she said. “This is the first time we had a chance to look around and see, ‘Wow, all of these people are excited about our beer.’ It’s pretty amazing.”

The taproom, on the eastern edge of Williamsburg, has 12 taps flowing with Grimm-produced beers, which it sells in four, eight, and 12-ounce glasses, along with a selection poured from oversize bottles. It also serves food — Grimm Ales has teamed up with Middle Eastern restaurant Samesa to offer schwarma and pita chip snacks.

The opening featured two brand new beers: an American pale ale called “Today’s Special” and a double IPA titled “Zero Anniversary,” but the showcase brew for the day was Flow State, a blended sour beer aged for three years in a barrel that formerly held the cocktail ingredient orange bitters. It felt appropriate to finally release the beer at the same time as they finished the years-long project of opening the brewery, said Grimm.

“The Flow State is something really special. It’s been a long time coming, and I think that the trajectory of the beer follows the trajectory of the brewery as a whole.”

In addition to the taproom and the brewing tanks, the new location has a dedicated area for barrel-aging beers, which will allow the brewers to experiment with new projects — although they do not plan to abandon the IPAs and stouts that made them popular, said Grimm.

“We want to focus on our barrel-aging program in a way that we haven’t been able to before. That said, we’re going to keep making all kinds of beer,” she said. “We’ve never made a lager, because they take a significant amount of time. But now we’re not renting other people’s equipment, so we can do it.”

The brewery plans to launch a new beer every Saturday at 10 am.

The new taproom is part of a wave of new breweries coming to Brooklyn. Braven Brewing plans to open its doors in Bushwick, less than a mile away, later this month.

Grimm Ales (990 Metropolitan Ave. between Catherine Street and Morgan Avenue in Williamsburg, www.grimmales.com). Open Thu–Fri, 5 pm–midnight; Sat, 10 am–midnight; Sun, noon–10 pm; Mon, 5–10 pm.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Updated 1:34 am, July 10, 2018
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