‘What the L?’ helles-style lager has become even more fitting since the governor got involved this month.

By Mike Pomranz
January 25, 2019
Courtesy of Blue Point Brewing

Hip Brooklynites often like to talk trash on Long Island, but even though colloquially-speaking “Long Island” refers to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, geographically-speaking, Brooklyn is also on Long Island. They’re all in the same boat — or at least they would be if there wasn’t a bridge from Manhattan. So Long Island and Brooklyn should really have each other’s backs — a concept the Suffolk-based beer brand Blue Point apparently supports: They’ve announced plans to release a beer dedicated to all the drama surrounding Brooklyn’s proposed L train shutdown… fittingly called “What the L?”

For all you non-New Yorkers, a quick (as possible) recap: The L train is a subway that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, but more importantly, it connects Manhattan’s major Union Square stop with the Bedford stop located in the heart of one of Brooklyn’s most popular neighborhoods, the uber-cool Williamsburg — keeping the line extremely busy. Sadly, the already old tunnel underneath the East River was further damaged during Hurricane Sandy leading to the need for significant repairs. The city originally decided on a “rip the Band-Aid off” solution: shut down the tunnel entirely for 15 months, leaving the fate of the neighborhoods along the L line to fend for themselves. A start date was even announced: April 27. But this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stepped in to alter the plans in an effort to keep some form of service going — and now things are once again up in the air.

What the L indeed!

Too long; didn’t read: Many Brooklynites had either mentally or even physically (by moving) prepared themselves for a total shutdown, but now their lives are in limbo again. Meanwhile, Blue Point says they were already planning on releasing this beer as an antidote to the shutdown, but with the recent confusion, the beer is even more apropos now. “We strive to support our New York community through everything we do at Blue Point. So when frustrating things like a huge disruption in public transportation happen — majorly impacting people’s everyday routines — we want to do something,” Blue Point President Jenna Lally told us via email. “When we then heard about the plans for the L Train shutdown, we wanted to let New Yorkers know we had their backs as we all go through these week-by-week changes together.”

Set to be released in cans only across New York City in April (shutdown or not), What the L? is billed as a 5.7 percent ABV “traditional easy-drinking Munich style Helles Lager” that “is your straightforward and dependable relief from the confusion and uncertainty of the L train shutdown.” As an added subway-themed touch, the can art is courtesy of Winston Tseng, best known for working with the skateboard company Enjoi, but who has also created street art in NYC subway stations in the past.

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