Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn beer’

Kelso IPA

Friday, July 15th, 2011

The smallest brewery in Brooklyn is known as Kelso. Tonight I will be drinking their India pale ale from a growler I got at Bierkraft. This IPA is made with the New Zealand hop variety Nelson Sauvin which imparts an interesting floral or fruity character. It is also a cask ale, meaning the carbonation level is relatively low (as compared with modern beers) and it’s unfiltered.

Kelso’s IPA is a very hazy goldenrod beer. Due to the low carbonation there is almost no head. It almost looks like a cider. The aroma is very strong with floral and fruity hops and a strange fruit character that I cannot identify, but am very interested by. There is also just a bit of a pale caramel malt sweetness to the aroma.

The flavor is likewise pretty hoppy. There is a significant floral hop flavor, as well as more of the strange fruitiness. This IPA isn’t all that bitter, but rather quite balanced. The caramel malt makes itself known in the flavor as well, contributing breadiness and a faint taste of caramel. It actually may be a little too sweet, especially since there isn’t much carbonation to provide balance. Overall this one is a very drinkable yet flavorful India pale ale.

+Kelso IPA

3.8 (4-8-7-3-16)

Two More Sixpoints

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Yet another post of beers made here in Brooklyn, though a purist would point out that these cans were not. Kelso, the smallest of the three Brooklyn breweries (and necessarily the subject of my next post), is the only one making all their beer within the borough limits. The selections I’m trying tonight were made by Sixpoint, the bigger of those “other” two Brooklyn breweries, but brewed in a facility in Pennsylvania. I’m not opposed to contract brewing, but as adamant as Sixpoint is on the superiority of Brooklyn it sure seems out of character to brew out of state. Anyway, on to the beers.

Sixpoint The CrispThe Crisp is Sixpoint’s lager, a brilliantly clear straw colored beer. The off-white head is ample, largely because it is supported by a serious effervescence. The hop nose is significant. A loud wet-hop character is joined by the herbal aroma of noble hops. Though not entirely unpleasant, it leaves no room for the malt to come through, a major detriment to any lager.

For a beer whose name is “The Crisp” the flavor is anything but. A lingering sweetness makes the body too full, even from the first sip. But that’s the only real influence of the malt. The promise of the nose is wantonly fulfilled — the strong herbal and wet-hop flavors are almost overpowering. There is virtually no hop bitterness to balance, nor malt flavor to justify, the thick body, though warming it becomes somehow a bit more balanced.

Sixpoint Bengali TigerNext up, Bengali Tiger. Though Sixpoint makes no effort to pigeonhole their beers into standard styles, by the name and numbers this is clearly an India pale ale (with a Blake reference on the side). The Bengali Tiger is a beautiful persimmon color and barely translucent. The off-white head is so creamy it’s left a lacing on my glass before I’ve even taken a sip. The nose is richly hoppy, but never sharp. It forms a gentle tapestry of a multitude of hop flavors from several varieties as well as significant malt character. The hops are mostly that Pacific northwest citric, with mango and orange and lime. But a significant earthy and pine character is present, too. The malt adds biscuit and caramel to the picture, and there may also be a yeast fruitiness.

The taste follows rightly from the nose. Rich malt flavor and a hearty hop character appear at first, blending in to the serious bitterness. But the full body and malt keep it from ever seeming sharp. Herbal and floral hops as well as pine back up the bitterness, supported by the faintest citrus flavor. Caramel and toast malt and earthy hop flavors linger, so the lasting bitterness and sweetness are not without company.

It is hard to imagine a greater polarity among beers made by the same brewer.

+Sixpoint Bengali Tiger

4.2 (4-8-8-4-18)

+/-Sixpoint The Crisp

3.0 (3-7-6-2-12)

Sixpoint Righteous Ale

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Tonight I will continue to represent my new town with a beer from one of the “other” Brooklyn breweries, Sixpoint Craft Ales. Sixpoint is one of those places that’s two parts good beer and three parts mystique. But they know how to hide a good pun. And they have cans. I’ll taste the Righteous Ale, a beer which marries the flavor of hops and rye.

Sixpoint Righteous AleRighteous Ale pours a ruddy caramel color, quite hazy, with some creamy tan head. The spicy rye character is prominent in the aroma. Fruity and herbal hop notes compliment it well. Just a hint of caramel malt sweetness adds to the remarkably complex nose.

The flavor is likewise quite complex. The rich spiciness of the rye blends assertively with the hop bitterness. A solid malt backing supports with bread, caramel, and toast flavors. The herbal hop character leads the tongue right back to the rye, forming something of a flavor cycle. The body is just a bit too heavy, with a sweetness that lingers on the tip of the tongue, where the rye bite should be.

+Sixpoint Righteous Ale

3.8 (4-8-7-3-16)

Brooklyn Local Two

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Tonight I will continue tasting my local Brooklyn beers with another numbered selection from Brooklyn Brewery, this one called Local 2.

This Local pours a barely hazy, deep copper color with a thick, off-white head. The nose is lightly spicy. Coriander and cinnamon aromas meld with the nuttiness of the dark malts, and just a bit of alcohol spiciness rounds it out. Overall pleasant, but just a bit mild for a nine percent beer.

The light spiciness seen in the aroma is more fully featured in the taste. Caramel and toast flavors from the malt and brown Belgian sugar form a springboard that the yeast character jumps off of. Black pepper, coriander, and nutmeg flavors explode in your mouth, accompanied by a significant alcohol warming. This is a big, rich beer, wholly unlike its little brother One. The palate is just right: full enough to support the flavor, light enough to stay out of the way, and dry enough to drink another glass.

+Brooklyn Local 2

3.8 (4-6-8-5-15)

Brooklyn Local One

Monday, May 16th, 2011

I haven’t posted for a while. I apologize. In my defense, I have been busy. I’ve moved from my idyllic residence on College Green in Iowa City to an apartment in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. In honor of my new home, tonight I will be tasting a beer brewed by my local Brooklyn Brewery called Local 1. For extra credit I’ll be drinking it out of my Peace Tree glass.

I don’t know if it’s just cause I brought it home on the subway, but this beer is very active. It pours a hazy pale straw with plenty of head (maybe due to the carbonation). The nose is rich with herbs and fruit from the hops. The malt lends a mild sweet character. Unfortunately, that herbal note ends up seeming just a bit soapy.

The flavor is sweet. Rich herbal hops and a yeast spiciness add to the complexity, but ultimately, the pale malt flavor and sweetness pervade the flavor. This is a drinkable beer: refreshing, yet flavorful. But it is neither flavorful enough to drink very much of nor dry enough to drink very much of. Perhaps given the price tag that’s not much of a problem.

+Brooklyn Local 1

3.6 (4-7-7-3-15)