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House pour: Tiny brewery opens in Williamsburg

Shuffle along: The expanded Williamsburg space features two shuffleboard tables and plenty of comfortable seating.
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This beer bar has leveled up!

A Williamsburg suds spot expanded its reach last week, doubling in size and adding its own brewing tanks. The Williamsburg branch of Randolph Beer — which also has outposts in Dumbo and in Manhattan — opened its doors on Oct. 11 as a nanobrewery, pouring its own extremly small-batch brews and serving them in a new game room. It was the culmination of a long-term dream, said the chain’s managing partner.

“This is the full fledged versions of what we had planned from the beginning,” said Kyle Kensrue.

The new Williamsburg facility is much smaller than Randolph’s brewing spot in Dumbo, which also makes it more flexible, he noted.

“This is the experimental brewery, where we can try new flavors and new techniques,” said Kensrue.

Experiments currently on tap include a cucumber-and-elderflower pilsner, a Baltic porter brewed with rum-soaked wood spirals, a sour beer made with blackberries and lactose, and a “baby barleywine” — a low-octane version of usually high-proof style, dubbed “The King in Sonoma,” because it was brewed in collaboration with a distillery in Sonoma, California.

Most of the beers will be known by their style, rather than having formal names, said Kensrue, because they will appear and disappear so quickly that it is not worth coming up with a unique name each time.

The brewing tanks, which produce about two kegs of beer for each batch, are wedged into a loft space in the back of the pub, where the head brewer must climb up to manually add ingredients for every stage of the brewing process.

“I’m up and down the ladder all day — it keeps you fit,” said Flint Whistler. “It’s the most sober brew site I’ve ever been on. You don’t want to be tipsy while climbing.”

For the opening party last week, the bar’s 22 taps were all stocked with Randolph beers, either produced on-site, or at its Dumbo location. In the future, said Whistler, drinkers can expect to see between six and eight exclusive brews at any time, with the rest coming from other craft breweries.

The bar uses a “Beer Wall,” which allows guests to pour their own beer, paying by the ounce. The system lets drinkers sample wide variety of brews, said Kensrue.

“It is the ultimate flight experience,” he said.

The nanobrewery also opened its additional lounge area, which features a sunken area for shuffleboard and a video game system, along with booths, couches, and an outdoor seating area.

Randolph Beer Williamsburg (104 S. Fourth St. between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street in Williamsburg, www.randolphbeer.com). Open daily at 11 am.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Updated 3:50 pm, October 17, 2019
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