Southside CSA Broken Stove Beer Tasting Club

Love home-brewed beers but don’t have the time, space, or patience to do-it-yourself?

broken stove beer pic by ryan kuonen

Join our Broken Stove Beer Tasting Club–

Get a monthly dose of local, sustainable, hand-crafted beer!

Membership Fees for 6 months:

  • $100 for Basic membership plan* –
  • $200 for the Connoisseur membership plan* –
  • $400 for the Snob membership plan* –

Email Southside CSA for info on how to join. We will also being selling memberships as gift packages at the Winter Fair Fundraiser at the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen – Dec 21st — 12-4pm — 136 Milton St in Historic Greenpoint.

Perfect holiday gift for the beer snob in your life!

James during Dec 2010 Beer Tasting Event
James during Dec 2010 Beer Tasting Event

About the Tasting Club —

Each month, you will taste 3 varieties of beer in your share. A booklet will be provided to each member to record tasting notes. For the foodies in the house, we will post a write up about each beer flavor so you can play and pair your monthly beers for an amazing culinary experience.

The Club will have a session once per month from December  through May — Tues 12/17, Sun 1/19, Sun 2/16, Tues 3/18, Tues 4/15, & Sun 5/18. The 3 Tuesday distributions will be strictly pick-ups. The Sunday distributions will be paired with a fun tasting event.

Bottle deposit – A significant portion of the cost of producing this product comes from purchasing bottles. Therefore, a $20/$40/$80 bottle deposit is part of the membership fee. If you return all of your empty bottles (clean), your deposit will be returned at the end of the season, OR you can opt to take home a growler full of beer. ($20=1 growler)

Broken Stove Beer pic
About the beers — These locally produced craft beers –created by an obsessively meticulous brewer who is also the biggest beer snob you’ll ever meet– will satisfy your craving to get a monthly dose of delicious beers while supporting small, traditional, and independent craft brewing. For the fourth year in a row, brewmaster James is back at work, creating new, improved recipes to share exclusively with the tasting club. James has moved upstate so it’s your lucky day because this current expansion has created more open spaces in the tasting club.

3 different varieties arrive per month
3 different varieties arrive per month

James creates his recipes through painstaking analysis of yeast performance and grain combinations. This year, the results will produce 18 delicious brews over the course of the season. They will range from rare European styles like Saison and Dunkelweisen to old favorites like IPA’s and Stouts.

A large amount of the flavor and color malts are coming from Valley Malt, a maltster in Western Mass. James hopes to have some NY hops in the Spring brews. While a member in the Southside CSA, fruit from the Greig Farm Berry share made it into several brews.  All of his purchases are from small, non-chain stores so the money he spends stays local.

Get Tasting!!
Get Tasting!!
James. Southside CSA Distro, July 2011
James. Southside CSA Distro, July 2011

About the brewer – James has always been a maker, coming to NYC for art school and building a life in Brooklyn. In school, his meticulous, curious, obsessive nature was allowed to blossom to its awkward introverted fullest. Time passed and many projects later, James developed a taste for, of all things, beer! Being of the right age in the right place, he got to be a witness to the burgeoning craft brew industry. An environmentalist and food activist as well as a DIY extraordinaire, the idea that one could easily brew beer at home quickly popped into his head. The idea kicked around that head for a few years. Then one day, walking down a small street in Brooklyn, he came upon ten 6 gallon glass carboys in the trash. With a friend’s help he dragged two back to his apartment and started figuring out how to can make kick ass beer. Many months later after meticulously and obsessively researching everything he could to make the perfect beer, he helped create the worst tasting beer ever  (or maybe the best tasting bottle of aspirin flavored water ever!?)

Broken Stove James pic by Yolim Khoo
James at MimoMex Farm. Oct 2010

There began a couple years of study and many bad batches of beer. Of course, for every bad batch were two or three amazing runs to keep the brewer inside motivated and the beer study continuing. With just enough good batches to keep him from getting completely discouraged, James also started to change his own drinking habits, tasting as many different beers that he could find. With all this “hands on” research, he began to think about how different styles of beer are made. Questions like “What’s a Quad or Gose?” began to fuel that meticulous, curious, obsessive beast growing inside.

[Fast forward to today where James can wax poetic about all sorts of beer-type-things. If asked, James will tell you that “a Quad is a Trappist style that’s dark and strong. Always their strongest around 11-13% ABV. Dark in color thou not roasty like a stout more fruity with notes of apricot, plum and raisin. Plus all the peppery esters common in a Belgian style beer. Gose, pronounced go-say, is an almost extinct German style, that relies on a water profile that’s a bit salty to give the beer a sour brine aftertaste. I had one when I was I Berlin one time and it was much more refreshing than it may sound. I should retract the almost extinct cuz after writing this I had one in a bar in Brooklyn. According to a friend, small American craft breweries are resurrecting the style.” ]

Yeah Beer!
Yeah Homemade Beer!
Beer goes camping
Beer goes camping

Back to our brewer’s journey– Soon James was cracking out a steady stream of fantastic beers. The perfectionist that he was, it took him a long time to recognize that he had started making some fabulous brews. As this hobby progressed, James’ beer became a staple highlight at bbqs, potlucks, parties, and celebrations; A gift of beer from James was a valuable treasure. While bringing his beers to parties, he discovered another friend who was also a secret brewer and they started throwing parties to share their beers with friends and others.

The party scene ended up not being as rewarding as they had assumed and after more than a couple parties where they found a lot of their precious beers opened,  half drunk, with tons of cigarette butts floating in them, the anger and the frustration of serving their craft beers this way began to simmer. While the friends meant no real disrespect, they realized that the house party scene didn’t highlight the amount of effort and care put into making those beers. So they hatched plan — to start a tasting club! But first the friend had to WOOOF across one continent, followed by biking across another, and then he would be ready to start. James waited 8 months, finally said screw it, and started organizing the tasting club as a solo project. That was four years ago, years of beer creativity and exploration that has filled Brooklyn fridges with hyper-local brews and fueled many a mighty dinner party.

Beer Pairing Potluck

Last July, James embarked on another adventure, moving away from Brooklyn to Hillsdale. While sad to have him leave us, the dream of a Hudson VAlley brewery gets closer to fruition. Meanwhile, this move has increased the membership capacity of the Tasting Club. Distributions start soon. Email to get in on this superior beer. Watch your carbon footprint while enjoying a mighty taste of a locally made beer. You might not have the room or supplies to brew yourself some beer but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beautiful possibility that is homebrew!! Join today…


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