‘Sweet Spot’ With Mike Sugerman: Waiting For Beer In Brooklyn

“Sweet Spot,” by Mike Sugerman

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — In the city that never sleeps, some New Yorkers spend the hours they should be in bed waiting on line instead.

All for the chance to buy beer.

“I have insomnia. I have a 2-year-old daughter,” Jesse Sayre, of Port Jefferson, told WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman. “This is daddy time.”

Sayre left his Long Island home at 1:15 a.m. on a recent Saturday and arrived on an empty Brooklyn street in a gritty, industrial part of Carroll Gardens.

He was the first in line at the Other Half brewery, but eventually 150 others lined up behind him for the latest vintage of this increasingly popular brew. It’s different every week, but this time they were waiting for the Double Dry Hop Broccoli.

“You can’t get this level at a store,” he said. “To get to this level, they are usually undistributed.”

Other Half Brewing’s Andrew Burman said he was surprised at first.

“This wasn’t part of our business plan. It wasn’t what we wanted, but it’s what people want,” he said.

It’s been gaining momentum for a while now.

“In the last two, three years, we’ve made 200, 300 different types of beers,” Burman said. “So every week there’s something new coming out.”

Billy Bush came from Jersey City to wait five hours in 32 degree weather to take home the maximum allowed: 24 beers.

“I will commit my time every weekend to come here to wait for something I really enjoy,” he said. “Spend my time and money, rather than go to the store and spend money on something I really don’t enjoy. And I really enjoy their beer, so it really doesn’t bother me that I’m losing out on five hours.”

It’s a nationwide trend, catching on here in Brooklyn.

“Every city, every state has it’s own little group,” said Vald Morizov, who also waited for hours. “Everywhere there’s a niche market. It’s like wine deep down in the underworld.”

That underworld is not so underground. Just check out the line that starts snaking around the block in the wee hours on Saturday mornings.

Find more from the “Sweet Spot” here.

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