Wine and beer have become cornerstones of the Brooklyn social scene, and Brooklyn has become a cornerstone of the world.
So it was only fitting that the Judgement Of Brooklyn wine and beer tasting– loosely based on the 1976 Judgement Of Paris– was a rousing success!
A handsome production, in a stunning venue and close to the original calendar date of the JOP, the Judgement Of Brooklyn gave a smart haircut to the original concept of a wine tasting, of the U.S. vs France, by including craft beer and pitting the U.S. against Europe.
The name kinda sounds like a dystopian Will Smith movie, where the county of Kings is a desolate and barren wasteland, ruled by tyrants and speed freaks. And in fact, the candy-colored painted, Lamborghini Diablo, that was parked out front of the Judgement Of Brooklyn, was very apropos for such a movie.
However, the energy and vibe at the Judgement Of Brooklyn was the polar opposite of dystopia.
The venue, Skylight One Hanson event space, is the ground floor of the landmark Williamsburg Bank building, aka, “the clock tower,” to many of my friends.
It’s a converted event space that’s composed of the Romanesque Beaux Arts Bank Hall and the Art Deco Vault and features a magnificent 63-foot vaulted ceiling, marble floors, carved teller stations and the iconic 40-foot mosaic of New York as a Dutch colony.
In other words, the space is beautiful and played organically into the the “Judgement” theme.
That’s because the art deco design is reminiscent of a scene from the Game Of Thrones, and especially appropriate since two things that are done with high frequency on the HBO show, as at the JOB, is passing judgment and quaffing wine and beer, but sans the goblets.
The difference between the JOF in 1976 and the JOB in 2014 is that viticulture has grown exponentially and the critique and experience of fine wine has been highly democratized, along with the explosion of the craft beer industry and the development of a discerning palette for craft beer.
What that means for an event like the Judgement Of Brooklyn, is that there’s a large audience that enjoys tasting craft beer and quality wine and food. So in addition to the official judges, everyone in attendance was an unofficial judge. And all had a full run of the over thirty wines and thirty craft beers.
It was evident at the VIP reception, where people were busy taking pictures– some dressed in marvelous attire– and talking taste and nose and texture about wine and craft beer.
Judgement Of Brooklyn, was not just a place to taste a variety of high quality, artisanal wine and beers, but a event that had all the trademarks of a major outing in Brooklyn .
Live music via the Jeff King band, who’s abstract and virtuoso performance colored and filled the expansive space, and funky DJ sets courtesy of the WonderGround Party, kept it fun and sexy, while an amazing art exhibition of figurative art in a backroom provided stimulation of the visual palette, if the beautiful audience in attendance wasn’t enough.
Judgement Of Brooklyn wasn’t without a few, frail grapes though. The vastness of the venue was a detriment to the sound, especially when the James King Band performed and the musical notes were sucked up into the heights of the 63 foot ceiling.
Perhaps a different sound arrangement would have fixed it. I also wasn’t a fan of the porta potties, especially with all the wine and beer being consumed; and especially in that building, which I would have thought to have an abundance of bathrooms inside.
And a little more substance to sop up the beer and wine would have been awesome… but not the kind to be purchased in addition to the ticket price.
But overall, whether you were enraptured by the Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA, a 2011 Domaine De La Chezatte Sancerre 2011 Cuvee Prestige or tipping on wine from True Wine Connoisseurs with Will Tell & Sadat X, the range of beer and wine at the Judgment of Brooklyn was impressive.
The event created great memories– though it was a lot of awesome beer and wine consumed.
So I’m sure many people relied on their camera phones for the memories on Sunday morning.