Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beer from Brooklyn

It's a beautiful thing when the guy from my beer store sends me a text message letting me know what latest and greatest beers have arrived in the store.  It’s always something good since he knows what I like and what I normally buy.  So when I received a message from him the other day letting me know that something I've been waiting for had come in, I rushed right over there when I got out of work.

Often there are distributors or other representatives set up near the front door offering samples in an effort to sell you there wares.  This day it was Brooklyn.

I make no bones about the fact that I am not a fan of beer that comes from Brooklyn - the place not the brewery. There’s just something about it that I don't like; but more on that later.

The man manning the kiosk offering samples asked if I wanted a sample. I simply replied "No" and walked right by him and went about my beer shopping business.

Having met up with my beer guy and made my acquisitions, I continued to browse for anything else that my strike my fancy. My travels took me back to the front of the store where the seasonals were on display.  And the Brooklyn sample guy. 

I walked by pushing my cart load of beers in front of me. As I passed him something occurred to me so I put the brakes on and backed up.

I asked the guy, "Do you work for the brewery or are you with a distributor?"

"I'm with the brewery, actually", he responded.

"Ah," I said. "I don't like your beer and let me tell you why."  Yeah, I'm obnoxious like that. 

I suspect the guy inwardly groaned and rolled his eyes but he was quite professional and remarkably self disciplined.

I  proceeded to explain. "There is a specific aftertaste in beers that comes from Brooklyn that I don't like.  This aftertaste is not exclusive to beer brewed at Brooklyn Brewery. I’ve detected a similar if not the exact same exact flavor from beers that come from Six Point Brewery, as well.  So, I have deduced that the most probable common element associated with both of your breweries is most likely the water." Yep, I talk all fancy like that.

He agreed that the water is the most common element in their beer.  But, then went on to add, "the water in Brooklyn is very good water."

"Mmm." I replied. "I've noticed that this strange lingering aftertaste on the back of the tongue.  It is more pronounced in the lighter beer and far less noticeable in the darker beers like the dark chocolate stout.  However, even with the darker beers, it’s still present."

He was handing out samples of their Winter Ale, which is a Scottish Style copper ale, and the dark chocolate stout and asked if I’d like to try either of those.  I’ve had the Black Chocolate Stout, which is pretty good if you can ignore the weird aftertaste thing, so I opted to try the winter beer.  Like most of Brooklyn Brewery’s beers, it was tasty going down but then it there it was - that taste.

Well, even though the guy listened intently to what I was saying, he just didn't get was I was trying to explain.  He wasn't buying what I was selling so, therefore, I want going to buy what he was selling. So, I went on to buy a bomber of Rogue Double Chocolate Stout instead - delicious.

Back to the water . . .

If you’ve ever had one then you know that the best bagels in the world are made in New York City.  It's pretty much established that it is the NYC water that makes the bagels so distinctive.  So, much so that someone invented a proprietary water filtration system that "Brooklynizes" water from any source by stripping it of its native properties and infusing it with chemicals and minerals found in New York City water.  Thereby, being able to recreate the wonder of New York City style bagels anywhere.  And, people are paying good money for this!

My opinion is that the element that makes Brooklyn bagels so uniquely awesome makes Brooklyn beer distinctly off.

That's all I'm saying. And I think my theory holds water - quite literally.

Coincidentally, as I was writing this piece, my husband directed me to an article about Brooklyn Brewery opening a brewery/restaurant in Stockholm in the coming year.  I wonder how the Brooklyn beer brewed in Sweden will taste.  Will they have specialized equipment in place to "Brooklynize" the water?  Curious.

No comments: