Blog: Brooklyn Brew Shop Holiday Preview
The art of home brewing beer has gone through a major of sea change over the past couple of years. No longer is it just a hobby for men with boiling beakers and intricate tubing systems. The process of the home brew has been simplified to the point where anyone with a desire to create their own ale can do so even in the tiniest of New York apartments. A lot of the credit for this current renaissance should be pointed at a company right in our backyard, no stranger to the very pages of this outlet. It’s the Brooklyn Brew Shop, the creator of an immensely popular kit and a well received book that teaches the ways of the sudsy road. As reported in the past, this writer is a huge fan of their “Jalapeno Saison,” a beer with all the character of a crisp summer ale but with a burst of heat so unique it surpasses simple definition. But alas, the warmer months are behind us. Fear not, the good people at the Brew Shop have a perfect selection of wintery themed brews you can make to warm up your home. On Monday night, the LocalBozo crew was invited to a great space in Dumbo, Brooklyn to sample these choice brews several times with cheese pairings.
The first table provided an excellent entry into these seasonal flavors. First up was the, “RYE P.A.” (6.5% ABV), a highly original take on the Pale Ale category. The first sip brought with it a full body, easily matching the beers warm amber appearance. Any fan of rye breads will find notes of it throughout each tasting, while its finish provided the recognizable Pale Ale kick of bitterness but in a subtle way. Between tastings, we noshed on some super stinky and creamy cheeses of the blue variety, as both a fan of the over the top cheese and as a bit of a palette cleanser. This was quickly followed by a hearty pour of their “Bourbon Dubbel” (7% ABV). If you love bourbon or simply like tasting the liquor in mixed drinks or desserts, this is a beer you have to try to make in your home. With each sip the beer morphed flavors, beginning with a medium bodied Dubbel before changing moments later toward a bourbon sensory overload in the best possible sense of the word.
If you are in the holiday spirit already, may I also suggest the “Chestnut Brown Ale” (6%). The beer sat at a table all its own, and was poured right from one of the Brew Shop’s personal filled and labeled bottles. The dark ale has all the character you want out of a seasonal. It’s sweet while being warm to your taste buds all at once. Basically it’s like playing in the snow then coming inside and sitting by the fire (NYC Version: sitting by the radiator). They paired this personal favorite with some hearty Manchego and Swiss style cheeses. Let’s just say the gentlemen pouring the beer at this table saw my face a lot on Monday night, so I made sure to keep the conversation fresh and lively.
The final tasting table was upon us, sadly. But hey, what a boozy ride it was beginning with the “Everyday IPA” (6.8% ABV), one of the company’s most popular home kits for a reason. The beer is a super easy drinker and is perfect for those of us like myself who aren’t die hard IPA fans. Once again, the bitterness level is way down here, which increases drinkability. Finally, we handed our glasses to the very friendly pourer for the “Smoked Wheat” (5% ABV) which offered the lowest alcohol by volume of the evening, but its flavor went unmatched. Paired with a creamy smoked Gouda cheese, the combination agreed with my taste buds right away.
The LocalBozo.com crew would like to thank the great people at Brooklyn Brew Shop for having us to this spirited and highly educational tasting preview. We highly recommend that if you have ever had the urge to home brew, this is the company to get you started. And with the holidays right around the corner, why not pick one up as a gift for friends and family? It’s the gift that keeps on giving: beer. Head over to their website to find out more information. Cheers!
- Jay Rubin