Brooklyn Local 1

This beer has been on my list of beers to try since I started the blog. Eight years later, I finally got around to it.

ABV: 9%

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, we forge barley malt and hops from Germany, aromatic raw sugar from Mauritius and yeast from Belgium into our latest beer, Brooklyn Local 1. Behind the full golden color you’ll find an alluring aroma, a dynamic complex of flavors, Belgian flair, Brooklyn fortitude and a dusting of our special yeast. To create this beer, we use the old technique of 100% bottle re-fermentation, a practice now rare even in Europe. It gives this beer a palate of unusual depth. Enjoy it locally or globally, as an aperitif or with your favorite dishes.”

Random: This is a year-round, corked and caged offering.

The beer poured with a thick, three finger, off white head. It took a long time to dissipated and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was murky and an orange color. There was no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. The nose started with a lot of yeast and white grapes. The taste had more depth than the nose. It had the same Belgian yeast note, but also had some candi sugar and cola. There was some clove spice as well. The alcohol was insanely well-hidden. The body was smooth and silky with just enough carbonation. The finish was sticky and lengthy with candi sugar. I picked up this bottle for $10.99, which came to $.50 per ounce. This beer was just outstanding and I should have picked it up years ago.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Brooklyn Wild Horse Running Porter

This was the second beer that I had at the bar to pair with my spicy chicken sandwich. It’s also part of Brooklyn’s special draft only selections.


ABV: 6.5%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Centuries ago when brewers were first learning to wrangle wild yeasts, many came to prize the staid and predictable Saccharomyces yeast that worked such wonders in bread, beer and wine. But Saccharomyces had a cousin that could not be saddled named Brettanomyces, or ‘the British yeast.’ Brett instead made beers that smelled like tropical fruits and horse blankets, imbued with a leathery, earthy funk. This yeast had no interest in being ‘normal.’
Brett gained praise for the extra complexity it brought to the dark porters that built the great breweries of Britain and powered the American Revolution. It lingered in the sour beers of Belgium. But after the 1800s, tastes became mild, and people shied away from Brett’s funky kick. Brewers and winemakers alike banished it back out into the pastures whence it came. Now, Brett comes thundering back home. Our Wild Horse Porter starts off with a full Brett fermentation, which is then finished with a late addition of our house ale yeast. The result is an intriguing, full-bodied beer with a hay-forward funk on the nose preceding flavors of chocolate, coffee, fruit and caramel. We’re riding on the wild side. Are you ready?”

Random: I’m binging on “Jeopardy” as I update the blog. The cats keep getting woken up by me yelling at the tv.

The brew poured with a quarter finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black color, with no visible carbonation. On the nose, I picked up a lot of funk from the Brett and nothing else. This was serious funk and muted any porter notes. The taste was just as much funk as the nose. This was more like a funky foot smell rather than a horse blanket note. It had a red wine characteristic as well, which made this a bit more interesting. At the end of the sip, some smoke and chocolate came through. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy and funky finish. I wasn’t a fan of this beer. I appreciated that they wanted to highlight the funk, but it needed more flavors for me and not just yeast.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Brooklyn Oktoberfest

Early on in the blog, I reviewed a lot of Brooklyn beers, but somehow missed reviewing this one. I needed to fill out a mixed six-pack and this was hanging out on the shelf. Keep in mind, I reviewed this one in October, so the bottle wasn’t that old. Hopefully it lives up to the hype of being one of the more solid Oktoberfest beers.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “When Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria wanted to celebrate his wedding engagement in 1810, he did what any good Bavarian prince would – he threw a beer festival. Both the festival and the special beer served there became known as Oktoberfest. Brewed from the finest German malt and hops, Brooklyn Oktoberfest is true to the original style, full bodied and malty, with a bready aroma and light, brisk hop bitterness.”

Random: This is available August through October.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated almost instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with light carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of toffee malt and hazelnut notes. It was definitely sweet. The taste also had a lot of nuttiness with caramel malt sweetness and almond skins. The body was think with high carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with caramel. A bottle of this was $1.83, which came to $.15 per ounce. This was a great example of the style and one that I would go back to year after year.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Brooklyn Improved Old Fashioned

I heard about this beer on one of the beer podcasts I listen to. I love whiskey cocktails, so despite the high price tag, I knew I needed to give this a shot.


ABV: 12.8%

Style: Rye Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Here at Brooklyn Brewery, we are, of course, beer people. But we are also ‘drinks people,’ and many inspirations come to us out of the deep and wondrous world of cocktails. While surely invented earlier, the modern cocktail emerged in the 19th century. The original—the ur-cocktail, if you will—was the Old Fashioned. A deceptively simple drink consisting of whiskey, sugar, and bitters (stirred, not shaken), usually with a bit of citrus peel, a good Old Fashioned remains a thing of austere beauty. By the 1860s, some bartenders, Jerry Thomas (aka ‘The Professor’) chief among them, became household names in America. A mixologist (believe it or not, the moniker is actually old) looking to make a name for himself would often make a change to an existing cocktail, perhaps adding absinthe, or curaçao, or a dash of maraschino liqueur. This new version would be rakishly referred to as ‘improved,’ as the upstart barman fervently hoped to eclipse his predecessor. Well, we’ve gone this idea one better. We have ‘improved’ the Old Fashioned by making it into a beer. Witness our strong rye beer, suffused with various spices and peels! Wonder at its long blissful rest in WhistlePig Rye Whiskey oak barrels! Marvel at its clever infusions of bitter gentian root and enticing botanicals! And then enjoy, as you are greeted by the silky spice of rye, the firm herbal bitterness, the brightness of citrus, and the sweet warmth of oak. Sit in your favorite chair, surround yourself with your favorite people, and imbibe this, our latest Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment. We can nearly guarantee that you shall feel that your day has, in fact, improved.”

Random: I loved Garrett Oliver’s book. It really opened my eyes to beer and food pairings.

This beer poured with a quarter finger of white head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with high carbonation. The nose was incredibly fragrant and complex. It started with rye spice and orange zest. Oak came through as well with maraschino cherry juice and orange oil. The taste started with warm vanilla and oak. It quickly went into orange zest and orange oil. Rye came through as well, but not as strong as the nose. There was a spice to it that was assertive. The maraschino cherry juice was there too, but not as strong as the nose. The body was thick, but the high carbonation made this really drinkable. It had a lengthy finish with rye and oak. A bottle of this was $23.99 ($1.09 per ounce), which I found to be quite expensive. This was a really unique, interesting beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Brooklyn Insulated Dark Lager

When I popped this beer open, Val said that she was disappointed with the brewery when we visited, and I have to agree. Although it’s not a production brewery anymore, the interior is a lot of picnic tables and nondescript, without any charm. It didn’t make me want to go back, to say the least. Despite that, Val picked up this beer for me to try and I hadn’t heard of it until she brought it home.


ABV: 5.6%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brooklyn Insulated Dark Lager is your protection against biting wind and soggy weather. German Munich, roasted Carafa, and Pilsner malts create a nimble, racy body, while a helping of American black barley adds just a hint of roast coffee. A light dry hopping of American and German hops pitter-patters across the nose and dives into the dry, warming finish. Try it with dark breads, hearty meats, and sturdy cheddars. If you still feel the chill, just add another layer and enjoy your insulation.”

Random: This is a seasonal beer that is available from November through March.

The beer poured with a one finger, tan head. It went away quickly, but left a small amount of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown that was almost black. Because of the color, I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose had notes of strong, roasty, black coffee. Ash was there as well, with some smoke. It also had brown bread. The taste surprised me because I got some hop character that was moderately bitter. It then went into the same roasty coffee note with toffee and bready malt. The body was a bit too thin for me with carbonation that needed to be dialed up. The finish was quick with roasty coffee. A single of this will set you back $1.67 ($.14 per ounce). Despite the relatively cheap price, this beer was only alright to me. It was too thin and needed more flavor and smoke.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Brooklyn I Wanna RyeIT

The other half and I had a very productive holiday weekend. We stopped for a snack after buying a mattress for the guest room. I never purchased a mattress before and lying on a bunch in the showroom was not any bit of fun. After about 20 minutes, we decided on one and were out of there. Anyways, I had this in South Jersey when we finished up there.


ABV: 7.5%

Style: Rye Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In the ‘old days’ (days you may recall from movies like ‘High Noon’ and ‘True Grit’), when people drank whiskey, it was almost always rye whiskey. And in the ‘old country’ (which you may remember from countries like ‘Estonia’ and ‘Germany’), when people ate bread, it was often rye bread. So what’s so great about rye? Look at it this way: rye is the bad-boy cousin to those two better-known grains, barley and wheat. There’s nothing delicate about it; it’s tough and it grows where it wants, when it wants. Rye is fun, but it has an edge to it, like a gruff antihero riding into town. It’s got complex, spicy, nutty flavors, and that makes it exciting, but it sometimes gets a little out of hand, especially when it hangs out with equally edgy American hops. Don’t get us wrong, rye can be silky smooth and seductive when it wants to be, making it pretty irresistible at times. Brooklyn I Wanna RyeIT takes that wayward grain on a little joy ride through spicy flavors, a little smack of caramel, an explosive pop of hops and a sharp dry finish. And when your pint is finished, we think you’ll pick yourself up, dust off your jacket, smile and ask us for another one. You’d better ask quick, though – rye doesn’t like to be kept waiting.”

Random: I was really not into buying a mattress, at all. It was not nearly as bad as I thought.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head that was very thick and dissipated slowly. It left some lacing on the tulip glass. The body was a hazy red color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of rye and then bitter hops. The rye gave it a lot of spice. The taste also had a lot of spice from the rye. It also had pronounced nuttiness. It was mildly bitter, which allowed the rye to take center stage. It had a very thick body with lots of carbonation. It had a long finish with rye. I really enjoyed this one and would have it again if I was in the mood for a rye-centric beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Brooklyn K Is For Kriek

Happy Saturday. For me, this means the last workday before a day off (since it’s end of quarter). I’ve always found Brooklyn’s big bottles interesting, so when I saw this one at Canal’s, I picked it up. Let’s see how it is.


ABV: 11%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “‘B’ is for ‘Brooklyn.’ We all learned that in school, yes? But ‘B’ is also for ‘Belgium’. And when our brewmaster first visited Belgium in 1984, he learned that ‘K’ is for ‘Kriek’. ‘Kriek’ means ‘cherry’ in Belgian Flanders, where for centuries Kriek beers have been made by adding cherries to lambics and other sour beers. Here in Brooklyn, we based our distinctly American take on Kriek on our dark abbey ale, the estimable Local 2. To this beer’s subtle marriage of malts, dark candi sugar, local wildflower honey and zing of orange peel, we added tart dried whole Montmorency cherries from Michigan. Around this, we wrapped a barrel of charred American bourbon oak. The sugar of the cherries began to ferment away. The barrels hissed. And we waited. Six months later, the beer emerged with a glowing red color, vibrant acidity, complex fruit aromatics, and a foundation of oak flavors, its strength moving past 10%. Its transformation almost complete, the beer joined priming sugar, Champagne yeast and wild Brettanomyces yeasts in the bottle and underwent a third fermentation. And we waited yet again. Now, a full year after we brewed it, this beer is ready for your table. K is for Kriek is dry, fruity, tart, full-bodied, and expansive, able to be enjoyed now or after years of cellaring. This beer is wondrous with poultry, duck and pork dishes, tremendous with goat cheeses, and a fine pairing for desserts. We originally made this beer just for ourselves, as part of our unreleased Ghost Bottle series, but it was too tasty to hoard. Beer is for drinking. And K is for Kriek.”

Random: I haven’t had a cheese plate in awhile. I think that needs to be rectified soon.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head into a snifter. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a really cloudy, mahogany color with lots of carbonation visible despite the cloudiness. The nose was potent with sour cherries and yeast. The taste was completely different than what I expected from the nose. It started with lots of bourbon and intense vanilla. Then, candi sugar came through next, followed by light, sour cherry. There was orange peel at the end with light booze. I am definitely a bourbon fan but the bourbon flavor was too intense and the cherries were almost lost in it. It had a thick body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with bourbon, vanilla and a sour cherry note. This beer was $22.99 for the bomber, which broke down to $1.05 per ounce. Although this beer was decent, it was too off-balance and not worth the price tag.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0