Bitter and Esters – 700 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

A few weeks ago Vimbly, a website that lists things to do throughout New York City (some of which are free!), invited me to check out a home brewing class at Bitter & Esters, a home brew shop located in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights.


But wait a minute,what is home brewing? For those that don’t know, it’s basically a do-it-yourself brewery, where you make the beer, bottle it, and best of all, drink it, all in the comfort of your home. 

Bitters and Esters
Drinking and beer making

The class was Brewshop 101: Home Beer Brewing Essentials and our group was treated to an interactive beer making experience. What’s so great about this class?

  • You’re immediately greeted with a pint of home brew when you walk in the door.
  • You get to learn everything you could possibly want to know about beer as well as how to brew your own.
  • The teacher and co-founder, John La Polla, is funny, entertaining and keeps the class going with jokes and little known beer tidbits. 
  • You get to drink some more home brewed beer.
  • You are taught the techniques and theory behind home brewing and how to avoid common mistakes.
  • You get to participate in actually making a beer during the class AND you get to come back in a few weeks and give the beer you made a try!
  • It’s a lot of fun!
Bitters and Esters Beer Making Equipment
Where they keep the good stuff

While I can’t say that I’m now an expert on malts, grains and yeasts, the class was a lot of fun and the entire group had a blast learning the ins and outs of beer making.

Interior of Bitter and Esters
Beer making supplies as far as the eye can see.

Bitter and Esters prides itself on its array of home-brew essentials, and they’re not joking around. They have walls lined with anything and everything you can possibly imagine related to home brewing. Being a home brewing novice, I had no idea what any of this stuff was, but thanks to our fearless beer teacher, John La Polla, I quickly learned all that goes into making a bottle of the stuff. 

Bitters and Esters John La Polla
Our fearless teacher

This class was definitely a good time and I’d highly recommend it to anyone – whether you’re just looking for something to do after work or if you’re a beer connoisseur. Not only does Bitters and Esters offer classes, but they also give you the ability to brew on premises – essentially renting out space for you to brew beer, leave it to ferment and then come back to bottle it and take it home. Really cool set up they have going!

So it’s pretty clear that I loved the Brewshop 101 class at Bitters and Esters. Now how about Vimbly? This is the first time I’d been exposed to the site but I really like how they’ve gone about aggregating events across New York City. I can see myself saying goodbye to endless googling in search of date ideas or weekend activities. Customizable by category, the site displays events in a calendar format, allowing you to easily see what’s available and when. Check them out and check out Bitters and Esters. Just don’t forget to save me a beer!

*This event was provided free, courtesy of Vimbly