Uptown Beer Garden kicked off its fifth season yesterday, ringing in the summer by debuting lunch service and five exclusive new beers.
The annual outdoor pop-up garden, located at in the courtyard of the BNY Mellon Building at 1735 JFK Boulevard, will run six days per week throughout the summer. The garden is celebrating its grand opening this weekend with special extended hours.
Symbolic of its five year anniversary, the garden is introducing five new brews that are exclusively available at the festival — so you’ll be hard-pressed to find these elsewhere once the season ends. On the list is a light, lime-flavored golden lager (“Lime City Lager”), a traditional German wheat beer (“Garden Weisse”), a hoppy unfiltered pilsner (“Bay 6 Pils”), a fruity summer beer (“I Love You All… But You’re Terrible”), and a juicy, hoppy pale ale (“Party Boy”).
The garden will also be serving its Uptown IPA, a crowd favorite brew from years prior that’s only available at the festival.
To Alex Bokulich, Director of Operations and Beer Director at Uptown Beer Garden, creating a diverse array of exclusive beers each year is a welcome challenge for his team.
“Originally the idea was to create something available nowhere else, to set us apart from everybody else,” Bokulich said in a recent press release. “We started with a few selections as a test, last year we evolved to all six draft lines pouring exclusives...This is a great way to challenge our team even more.”
Uptown Beer Garden is also debuting lunch service this year, available between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday each week. Chef Nathan Kilbride (Brü Craft & Wurst) is taking the lead on the menu, which consists mainly of “elevated backyard grill fare and pub favorites,” according to Bokulich. That includes fried oysters, grilled peach guacamole, an avocado BLT, and a pork belly banh mi, among other snackable offerings.
“Our goal has always been finger foods and approachable sandwiches,” Bokulich says. “The hope is that this year by adding new kitchen equipment we can be more adventurous with our appetizers.”
STATUS: Uptown Beer Garden is currently open, with extended hours for its first weekend from 4 p.m. to midnight and 2 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Starting Monday, May 20, it will resume its regular hours from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, 12 p.m. to midnight from Wednesday through Saturday (the first two hours being food service only).