Event Design for Brooklyn Brewery Distributor Dinner at Pioneer Works “Why don’t you live in Brooklyn?” I can’t tell you the number of times people have asked me that. While I may have chosen Pittsburgh because it’s a place where I can still carve out my own little world, Brooklyn still glimmers on the horizon, with all its restaurant offerings, boutique shops and designer trends. Every time I’m there, I feel like a kid in a candy shop and walk around with a stupid grin across my face, so I was thrilled when I had the chance to bring my work to Brooklyn. After collaborating on the MASH Tour: Slow Supper Big Table in Pittsburgh, Brooklyn Brewery invited Thommy Conroy and me to design their International Distributor Dinner. Beer distributors from all over the globe had convened for a Brooklyn immersion. The purpose of the dinner was for the distributors to experience a cliff notes version of the MASH Tour. The MASH Tour is a multi-city tour, in which Brooklyn Brewery’s team collaborates with local chefs, musicians and makers to host a pop-up dinner in unique, non-traditional locations. In the majority of cities, they work with a chapter of Dinner Lab, a company that connects talented, up-and-coming chefs with engaged and interested diners. The venue for this dinner was a covetable space with a rich hisotry- Pioneer Works Center for Art & Innovation. Built in 1866, the building was first occupied by Pioneer Iron Works, one of the largest machine manufacturers in the United States- constructing ships, boilers, tanks, sheet iron, detachable railroad tracks, grain elevators, and machinery for sugar plantations. The building was completely destroyed by a devastating fire in 1881 and rebuilt shortly thereafter. Pioneer Iron Works operated until the middle of the 20th century, after which the site became a storage facility for Time Moving Company. Pioneer Street was named after the Pioneer Iron Works building. Event Design Concept: A Celebration of the Brand Much like a stadium of cheering fans, Brooklyn Brewery has its fair share of loyal fans, and this dinner was meant to be a celebration of the brand. The vast, industrial space inspired swooping and streaming garlands featuring custom illustrated and silk-screened pennants. We also placed hand-held versions on each place setting, treating each dinner guest like one of the brand fans. Loose pennants down the table became a colorful decor element without taking up excess table space, and we continued the theme to the outdoor area, where Brooklyn Brewery boxes served as vases. Concept: A Celebration of MASH Tour Cities To provide a MASH Tour recap, Brooklyn Brewery and Dinner Lab selected six cities from the tour to highlight. Each city was responsible for a regional dish and a beer pairing. Thommy and I brainstormed key associations with the city and channeled those concepts into six unique backdrops. Visiting each station provided a taste of the city. For both the brewery and Dinner Lab, it was important to highlight the menu and featured beer at each station. I illustrated an ingredient and the featured beer label for each menu, and Thommy watercolored the final prints, which we framed for each station. Miami Associations/Concepts: Brightly colored condos, beach shirts, muscle dudes, night clubs galore, sunglasses, spray-on tans, neon nightlife… Austin Associations/Concepts: Cowboys, ranch life, “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirts, college football… Chicago Associations/Concepts: Deep-dish pizza, old Italian restaurants, old Italian men, red & white checkered table cloths (the plastic kind)… London Associations/Concepts: Imperial elegance, spice trades, lavish theaters, old architecture, London’s famous Indian food scene… Stockholm, Sweden Associations/Concepts: Scandinavian folk patterns, lingonberries, country cottages, forest folklore… New Orleans Associations/Concepts: Intricate iron work on balconies, ornate tombs, funeral dirges, pageantry & costumes, performance, historical details… Post Script Client: Brooklyn Brewery in conjunction with Dinner Lab Location: Pioneer Works, Red Hook, Brooklyn Photography by Quelcy. Illustrations by Quelcy. Floral Arrangements & Paintings by Thommy Conroy. Event Design & Custom Goods by Quelcy and Thommy Conroy.