The fledgling Brooklyn brewery advanced through three weeks of public voting at Brookfield Place’s Winter Biergarten, ultimately defeating stiff competition from Bronx Brewery, Rockaway Brewing Co., Staten Island’s Flagship Brewery, and People’s Choice winner Harlem Brewing Company. KCBC’s Sonic Rocket IPA won our favor with its combination of balance and classic execution. In the midst of a haze craze, the beer poured clear with fresh tropical fruit aromas. Up against beers of the same style, this one stood out for daring to go back to its roots. It was an impressive victory considering the other contenders and the fact that KCBC sold their first keg barely 18 months ago.
“We all come at this from really different backgrounds,” says Tony Bellis, one of KCBC’s three founders, who describes himself as a service and retail industry management lifer with “day-to-day expertise.” Co-founder Zack Kinney has an advertising background, and Pete Lengyel spent years in labs as a molecular biologist. Together they’re a motley crew. “It’s like a bad ‘80s movie,” Bellis says. “All we need to do is have an adopted kid dropped at our doorstep: Three Brewers and a Baby."