321-324. New York City: Brooklyn Brewery Tour

On Saturday we went to the Brooklyn Brewery for a tour. The tours are free and occur hourly beginning at 1 PM on Saturdays. The tour lasts about half an hour, and is one-half history of the brewery and one-half about how beer is brewed. The entire tour takes place in a single room where the wort is made and where the fermenters are. I was surprised how open the access was. None of the equipment is roped off or behind glass. There was a tub of iodine solution for sterilizing equipment in the middle of where the tour group stood.

Brooklyn Brewery Logo

The tour setup was surprisingly focused on drinking beer. There is an open access bar area with a large amount of seating, art on the walls, and fairly 'hip' music playing. You can get full-sized beers at the bar by purchasing tokens for $3 each. The brewery opens at 12 PM and closes at around 5 PM. There is no limit to how long you can drink there, they just kick everyone out when it closes. There's also a happy hour from 6-11 PM on Fridays. There were 8 beers on tap: Brooklyner Weisse, Brooklyn Lager, Saison de Brooklyn, Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55, Brooklyn Pilsner, Brooklyn Brown Ale, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Brooklyn Smoked Porter.

Brooklyn Smoked Porter, Brooklyner Weisse & Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

A cat that seems to be a brewery resident.

321. Saison de Brooklyn

I had this on tap, obviously at the brewery, in a plastic Brooklyn Brewery cup. This is a Saison, which is a farmhouse ale typically brewed in the winter for summer consumption.

Appearance: Pours a hazy pale golden, with persistent carbonation. The white head diminishes to a thin layer, and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: Major notes of bananas and cloves, with an earthy aroma as well.

Taste: There are flavors of pepper, cloves and bananas at the front of the palate. The center has acidic tartness with some malts. The finish is slightly sweet, with bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: This beer is light-bodied with some tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: This beer is light and refreshing and pleasantly flavored.

Overall: This reminds me of a dry Hefe Weisse.

322. Brooklyn Smoked Porter

I had this on tap in a plastic Brooklyn Brewery cup. This is an American Porter that uses smoked malts to achieve a smoky flavor.

Appearance (4.0): Pours a dark brown, bordering on opaque. There's a yellowish-brown tint through the light. A thin beige head fades into a thin layer.

Smell (4.0): Aromas include smoky roasted malts, coffee and chocolate.

Taste (4.5): The front of the palate is sweet followed by coffee and dark chocolate flavors from the roasted malts in the center. There is a smoky aftertaste. There is bitterness from hops and roasted malts, which is balanced by sweetness and some acidic tartness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Carbonation is mild. The beer is very thick and creamy.

Drinkability (3.0): This beer drinks like a meal.

Overall (TC: 4.05, BA: 4.1): This is an exceptionally well balanced porter. Very nice.

323. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Once again, served on tap at Brooklyn Brewery in a plastic Brooklyn Brewery cup. This is a Russian Imperial Stout.

Appearance: This pours a dark black, with some ruby tints when held to the light. There's a one-half inch brown head that sticks to the glass nicely.

Smell: There's a sweet almost berry-like aroma.

Taste: The beer is sweet upfront. Dark chocolate flavors fade into bitterness from roasted malts and hops. The 8.5% abv is very evident in this beer.

Mouthfeel: This beer is smooth and full-bodied, with light carbonation.

Drinkability: This would go nice with a meal, but is way to heavy to drink several of.

324. Brooklyner Weisse

Had on tap at Brooklyn Brewery in a plastic Brooklyn Brewery cup. This is a Bavarian style Hefe Weizen. I had some water between the Black Chocolate Stout and this to cleanse the palate.

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy golden, with moderate carbonation. A creamy white head persists as a quarter-inch layer, with nice lacing.

Smell (3.5): There are light clove and banana notes, though not as pronounced as the Saison. The most obvious aroma is a yeast, musty smell.

Taste (3.0): This is lightly sweet at the beginning, with cloves and bananas at the center. There isn't much bitterness or flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel (2.0): Strong carbonation up front. Other than carbonation this beer is very light-bodied, almost watery.

Drinkability (3.0): This beer is light and easy to drink, what flavors there are, are pleasant.

Overall (TC: 2.975, BA: 3.2): This was a pretty disappointing beer. The fruity and spicy flavors and aromas of German Hefes are present, but the flavors just fall flat. Look to Live Oak Hefe Weizen for one of the best American made German style Hefes.

"For a relaxing time, make it Santori Time"

The following pictures were taken while saying the above phrase.



Thom (note: definitely the worst picture of the three)

Next entry, two more beers that I had elsewhere in NYC.

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