Today was a bad day, and I opened my tasting fridge hoping for something good. And I lucked out.
In the door, I forgot that I had purchased the Brooklyn Local 1 because it resembled a firefighter’s logo on the label, and I was hoping I could convince my brother, the volunteer fire lieutenant to drink it with me. (He’s slowly expanding his drinking habits to move beyond frat-house 30 packs in cans…)
But, to introduce someone to good beer is to find it, and so trying this was on my list. I poured it out of the great bottle which had simple colors and lines, but stood out for being different. I was honestly not sure what type of beer it was, described as a “refermented ale” which, frankly, could be anything! I was pleasantly surprised to find on their website that it was a “Belgian-inspired golden ale” which, unlike many Belgian style ales, was actually made with Belgian hops, and was definitely worthy of the label.
Upon pouring, a wheaty smell was surprising (remember I didn’t know the type of beer) but strong and wonderful. The head dissipates quickly, but the smell doesn’t. On tasting, you’d quickly forget that this comes from Brooklyn brewery, and could easily be fooled into thinking that it had a much more traditional pedigree.
The key here is really in how they do it. According to the Brooklyn brewery’s website, the uniqueness of this brew isn’t really the ingredients so much as the process involved. The ale is 100% bottle conditioned – meaning that it’s poured into the bottle flat, allowed to sit for a week to develop its own carbonation, then shipped out as is. The result is a really subtle carbonation, a gorgeous, complex wheat taste and a pretty high ABV to boot. If you’re intimidated at all by the brews that are imported and written in different languages, a great stepping stone to their tastes might be this beer right here. It’s complicated, wheaty, pleasant and warming all in the first sip, and gets better as it settles to room temperature. You can go onto the Brooklyn brewery’s website and even watch a video about how it’s made, so you can impress your friends with your beer geekdom.
It’s a fabulous choice from a brewery that I previously underestimated. I’m curious to know what else the boys in Brooklyn can brew.