Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New York State Of Mind

I'll start off by saying that if there is one "season" that could accept responsibility for an extraordinary number of seasonal beers it would have to be Winter. From "Samiclaus" to a "Winter Warmer" to one "Very Bad Elf" the "Winter Welcome" has allowed us "Celebration" in that "Old Jubilation" we have come to know as Christmas. Today the snow has fallen on Brooklyn, and as we sit is some snowed-in, over crowed airport wondering if we will ever get to St. Barths, our thoughts go back to a quieter time (only last night) snuggled up by a fire (not in an old oil drum) sipping on a Brooklyn Winter Ale. Amid the onslaught of beers meant to warm your soul with heavy malts, spices, and whatever was left in the Thanksgiving Day cupboard, along comes a beer which is nothing more that an a superbly balanced malt ale which could be enjoyed in any of the other three seasons. But the story wasn't always this way was for Brooklyn Winter Ale. Trying to find an identity in the most popular brewing season of the year was difficult. So in 2006 Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn's Brewmaster, completely overhauled the recipe. The result was nothing less than "Pimp My Beer". Garrett opted for a Scottish Ale profile using Scottish Floor-malted Maris Otter, English crystal malts, Belgian Aromatic malt, American roasted malts, American oats and then hopped it with Willamette. The result was very crisp amber ale with a very tasty malt balance. Winter Ale pours with little head and even less lacing. But don't let this fool you as the natural carbonation remains in tact all the way to your last draw from the pint. At 6% ABV, with a gravity of 16.5 degrees Brooklyn is a very session-able beer. I only wish it was brewed all year long. But if it was, then would the only thing to look forward to at Christmas time be "Santa's Butt"?

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