Saturday, February 16, 2008

Brooklyn Local 1

I've talked about the Brooklyn Brewery before; they've pretty quickly become my favorite beer label in the United States. One thing I always thought was a little annoying about them, though, was their name. It's kind of a lie. All of their mass production is done in Utica. When they print "brewed in New York" on their bottles, they're technically correct, but I'm sure "New York" to most people means the city, not the state. Especially when "Brooklyn" is the name on the bottle.

I don't really blame them, though; their Brooklyn brewery (yeah, there is one) just doesn't have much capacity. They produce limited editions and draft beers there and that's about it.

Well, here's a real Brooklyn-brewed Brooklyn beer. It's fairly new, and it's not a limited edition. (At least not that I know of.) One of my wife's friends gave it to us as a little gift; I don't know where we can actually buy it around here. Well, outside the brewery, that is.

This is Brooklyn Local 1.

Not for nothing, it comes in a Champagne bottle.

This is basically a Belgian style "strong pale ale", though it doesn't taste quite like any I've ever had before and the brewery claims it's really got its own style. It pours deceptively light, cloudy like a Belgian beer should be, and with a pure white head. Its aroma is pretty immediate; very floral. Looking at it, I imagined something sweet and crisp and watery.

I love a beer that makes me go "hooooooooo!" after my first taste. I wasn't expecting to get hit so hard. It's not overpowering or heavy like an Imperial Stout - don't get me wrong - but it's pretty much a taste explosion. It's got an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kinda thing going on, but not in a bad way. Nothing really seems out of place. There's tons of citrus, florals, coriander and hops going on. It's very peppery. They've somehow managed to make it both bitter and sweet at the same time - I've really never experienced that in a beer before. And yes, being a strong beer, you can taste a little of the alcohol - though it's not unpleasant in context, like a good wine.

(By the way, you see up there that I finally bought some proper beer glasses. There are different types of beer glass, but I like steins the best because their design and heavy construction keeps the beer at a decent temperature all the way to the end. There's nothing worse than taking that last sip of warm, skunky beer from the bottom of a pilsner glass.)

One thing that's amazing about this beer is that it's naturally carbonated. It's old-school. Supposedly, they don't even make beer this way in Belgium itself anymore. I've seen reports that "very little" CO2 is added - I'm not sure what that means, but the majority of the carbonation comes from warm room fermentation. That might explain some of the complexity and seemingly impossible flavor combinations that you just don't find in other beers.

You will get drunk from a 750ml bottle of this beer, no doubt. That's a pretty big bottle, and it's 9% alcohol. And you will enjoy every sip getting there.

Look for this stuff. It's worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:59 AM

    That'd be pretty much like drinking a bottle of wine.



About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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