Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Brooklyn Lager

It strikes me that, since the My Favorites post, I haven't discussed beer at all, so it's time to rectify that!

After Stone Brewing Co. and Dogfish Head Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery is probably the best the country has.  From their Black Chocolate Stout (quite sadly only a seasonal, it has rapidly moved into my top five beers, and is featured in my Pulled Pork recipe) to the Brown Ale to the subject of this post, the simply named Lager, this is a brewery that puts out a top quality product day in and day out, at a reasonable price (you're looking at about $10 for a six pack) and without giving in to the temptation to put out a more mainstream product in order to find more customers.  Hell, this is the best thing to come out of Brooklyn since Sandy Koufax.

Brooklyn Lager is everything that Budweiser claims to be, but isn't; a strong, bold flavored pale beer, satisfying but not filling.  You get a definite flavor of hops, the barley taste is strong without being overwhelming, and it is smooth.  Is this a beer for a cold winter's night?  Not at all.  But if I had to pick one beer to take fishing or golfing (beer+golf cart=happy Jeremy...I know, bad boy), it would be a tough choice between this and Dogfish's 60 Minute IPA, but I think this would win out, as it has such a wonderful lightness that you normally don't get from beers this packed with flavor.  At 5.2% ABV it's not a wimpy beer, by any means, but it's not a major hangover inducer the way, say, Dogfish's 90 Minute IPA is (still a great beer, but goddamn, my head hurts the next morning after drinking just a few).

One point I would really like to emphasize is that while this is a true lager, it is nothing like what most Americans think of when the word is used; this is not Budweiser, or one of those super light Czech beers many of us are fond of.  This is a substantial beer, that for all its refreshing qualities, is exceptionally flavorful.  It holds up well against food, though I wouldn't recommend it with a super heavy meal; give me a couple of these and a basket of wings from Wings Over Amherst or Buffalo Wild Wings and I will be even happier than with the aforementioned beer/golf cart marriage.


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