Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brooklyn's "Ace"

Garrett Oliver is well known in craft beer circles.  He is the brewer at Brooklyn Brewery, which is located in all places, Brooklyn, New York.   No doubt you have seen bottles of Brooklyn Lager or Brooklyn Pilsner on store shelves.  The core beers of Brooklyn are very good, but, for true craft beer connoisseurs, Garrett's seasonals (like his Blackout Stout and Monster Ale) are special.  

Not only is Garrett an excellent brewer, but his knowledge of beer and his insight into pairing beer with food is unmatched.  He is the author of the Brewermaster's Table, which is a book that any craft beer lover/foodie should read.  Also, Clare and I have benefited from Garrett's knowledge of beer.  We both have attended beer tastings led by Garrett, where we learned about Italian beers (Birrificio del Ducato, Birra Baladin and others) and Scandinavian beers (Mikkeller, Nogne O and others).

Yet, this post is about one of Garrett's greatest contributions to the craft beer world (at least in my opinion) -- the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace.  Brooklyn describes it as a "classic saison" or an "unfiltered, hoppy farmhouse ale."  The hops are the key to this beer.  Brooklyn uses Sorachi hops, which are a cross between the British Gold and the Czech Saaz hops.  The Sorachi  hops are noteworthy for the lemony flavors they impart into the beer.  These hops are only grown in Oregon.  Not only are hops used during the brewing, but also post fermentation.  

Some more about the process.  Brooklyn uses champagne yeast and two-row German pilsner malts.  The beer also goes through a secondary fermentation in the bottle.  The beer registers at a 7.6% ABV.

According to the label, one should be able to experience the smell of lemon zest.  And, I can definitely smell lemons.  But it is the taste that is truly remarkable.  It is hard to put into words, as you can experience the taste across your mouth.  There are definitely citrus notes, but, when drinking the beer, one can definitely taste pepper or coriander.  

Although a bit pricey at $15.99 for a large bottle, it is definitely worth the experience.  I was able to find it at Whole Foods.

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