Bierkraft, will you be my Valentine? On Bierkraft's website you'll see in bold: Beer, Cheese, Chocolate, Charcuterie and More. I'm in love.
The only thing missing for me is wine, but their over 900 varieties of beer, mostly from the Barley Belt of Europe (England, Germany, Belgium, France, Poland and Czech Republic) and the U.S., quickly help me forget. Richard opened Bierkraft in 2001, after a former life on Wall Street, and since then he's added cheese, charcuterie and chocolate. I asked Richard for a favorite recipe that the kitchen readers could make at home and he passed me to Ben, who was most recently a pastry chef at Town.
Now Ben's an all-around Bierkraft expert who's responsible for the duck confit – cured in salt, sugar and herbs for 4 to 5 days (My journalistic integrities did not prevent me from trying a bit that had just come out of the oven. Bierkraft, may I have this dance?) – the Berkshire ham they cure in-house – and the coffee and chocolate that sometimes find their way into the filters of the tap beer, which you can buy by the growler. A growler is a 64 ounce jug that you buy and return to Bierkraft and have refilled to your liver's content. It's around $10.
Ben's go-to are the white anchovies, or Boquerones, imported from Spain. Milder than black anchovies, he might stack a few on bread with a drizzle of olive oil or take them home and make his version of Charmoula (see following recipe). Either way, they go great with the beer, which is the main reason we all go to Bierkraft, but by no means should it be the only.
Bierkraft, located at 191 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, is open 7 days a week, Monday – Friday, 11am – 9pm, Saturday, 10am – 9pm and Sunday, 10am – 8pm.