New York's nanobrewing climate is sizzling. With brand new micro- and nano-breweries cropping up across the boroughs, standing out is a serious challenge for many brewers.
This hasn't been the case for Rob Kolb and Anthony Accardi, co-founders of Transmitter Brewing. At their six-barrel operation out of Long Island City, Queens, Transmitter has quickly generated a loyal local following—after opening their doors just over a year ago in April 2014, the two brewers have produced over 35 different farmhouse-style ales and continue to add to their portfolio.
After meeting as amateur cyclists in 2005, Kolb and Accardi became friends, discovered a mutual love for the kitchen and began experimenting with food and eventually, beer making. They preferred brewing due to the freedom and variability it offered, a perspective that translates into their inventive, uninhibited ales.
This belief in mutability and pursuit of wild but careful variation sets Transmitter apart in a sea of excellent breweries. Their creations have become so desirable, in fact, that the only way they sell their beer is through a "Community Supported Brewery" (CSB) program in which customers pay ahead of time to receive a pair of bottles each month.
With a focus on traditional farmhouse ales, achieved by the old-school fermentation process of using the unpredictable yeast strain, Brettanomyces (or "Brett" for short), Transmitter repeatedly seals a fascinating, funky adventure into every bottle.
21 IBU | 5.1% ABV
Picture a field of delicate summer flowers surrounded by gently waving wheat and you'll start to get an idea of Transmitter's W1. The wheat ale boasts a light straw color (playfully referred to as "baby duck" by one of our tasters), a consistent white head and superfine, champagne-style bubbles that hint at the sprightly scents and tastes within. Flowery notes of marigold, lavender and thyme rule the nose, while subtler hints of lemon and a pinch of pepper play elegantly across the tongue. Strongest in the middle, the W1 starts and ends crisp and dry, providing a "dusty" sensation that perfectly matches the overall pastoral feel.
34 IBU | 5.8% ABV
Transmitter's take on this traditional Belgian brew is powerful and, intriguingly enough, rather elusive. The power is reflected in the appearance, with a nearly opaque, deep copper color topped with a foamy cream-colored head that threatened to escape our tasting glasses. That adventurous quality dominated in the nose and tastebuds, with each taster at the table smelling something different, from hazelnut and cocoa to more "kitcheny" notes, like flour and baking spices. The taste resonates with the scents, conjuring images of allspice and baker's chocolate. As the beer begins to warm, though, it reveals new flavors—every sip has a variable finish, from slight sweetness to the delicate dustiness present in the W1.