* Prices may differ from that shown
I used to drink this lager all the time and then Tesco stopped stocking it. After a few years of thinking this would be one of those drink that I never see again I found it in the Micro Bar which is situated in the Arndale Market in Manchester. This set me back £1.99 which I think is OK value for 335ml bottle but I was more then happy to pay this as I really enjoy this drink.
Although this is called a Lager upon checking their website it is brewed in the Vienna style. This style of brewing definitely comes across in it's taste as it's a smooth drinkable drink that isn't too fizzy and the first time I tried this without knowing any information about it I described it to a friend as very similar to a Pilsner lager.
The actual drink itself is amber coloured and pours out into a glass with a frothy head. It has a definite floral aroma which is not overpowering. The taste has a citrus hint to it with a slight sweetness. Although that probably makes the drink sound girly it is anything but. It is very smooth and moorish and has a taste that lingers but not in a bad way.
I've drank this with all kinds of foods and find that it goes with anything because it has strong taste and aroma but does not overpower the food at all.
If you've not tried this I recommend you give it a go. If there's any real ale fans reading this who have been put of by the term lager, then don't let it and give it a go I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised.
***************PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE DRINKING*****************
Ok so I may be being slightly over dramatic here but every time I have enjoyed a night of Brooklyn Lager, apart from a worryingly empty wallet the next day, I have suffered some of the worst hangovers imaginable. As I rapidly approach 30 I appreciate that they will become more intense and last longer, but 2 days of wishing I was dead is not something I particularly look forward too.
Established in 1987 in Brooklyn, New York this is a fairly unheard of drink and I have only ever found it in bars where they are quite picky in what they serve. Ask for a pint of Carling and you are quite likely to be shown the exit. As with Guinness it is a very heavy drink and it can feel like you are eating a meal, for this reason I would not recommend having it with food. Dark gold in colour and very fizzy it does not look as attractive as its lighter, cheaper brothers such as Stella or Carling. Not that you can compare this to them. It has more in common with Birra Moretti or even some ales. It is strong and smooth in taste and something that is best enjoyed slowly rather than drank at break neck speed.
At 5% it is classed as a premium lager and this is reflected in the £4 a pint price. Available in supermarkets for around £1.50 for a 330ml bottle you are still paying a premium to drink at home but if you enjoy one or two bottles after a hard day's work then this may be just the thing for you.
FACTOID: If it were not part of New York, Brooklyn would be the fourth largest city in the United States.
The tourists notion of New York in fact is Manhattan Island (indeed my trusty guide book the DK Eyewitness Guide to New York devotes 220 pages to Manhattan and a mere 22 pages to the other boroughs: the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn). It was one of the first residential suburbs of New York, approached by the famous Brooklyn Bridge, including the historic Brooklyn Heights.
Historically I have also tended towards the old colonies rather than Europe or even the homeland for my supplies of beer, ale and lager. I always try at least one new brew when I find myself on the other side of the pond. I have been gratified to discover that one supermarket chain at least has led the facilitation of a wide diversity of brewed invaders for sampling at home.
The Brooklyn Brewery is located in the historic Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, home to thousands of working artists and an exciting array of new art galleries, restaurants and pubs. Williamsburg is the largest creative community in New York, and perhaps the world. From its founding in 1987 by a former foreign correspondent and a former banker, The Brooklyn Brewery has been a leader in the introduction and marketing of good beer in metropolitan New York and a supporter of Brooklyn's new cultural renaissance. The company's copper-banded, stainless steel brewhouse, opened in May 1996 by Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is set in an 1860s era former steel foundry in Williamsburg. Williamsburg once was home to dozens of pre-Prohibition breweries, including the famous Brewers Row, a 10-square-block area containing 11 breweries. North 11th Street, the location of The Brooklyn Brewery, recently was renamed Brewers Row by the Mayor and City Council.
[Reprinted from the Brewery website: http://www.brooklynbrewery.com/home.html]
What they say about Brooklyn Lager: Malts: 2-row pale malt, caramel malt, carapils (A type of very pale crystal malt produced by Briess in Chilton, Wisconsin) Hops: Hallertau and Cascade. Bitterness: 28-30 IBUs
The website also features an online shop where you can order your promotional T-shirt, jacket or baseball cap.
Brooklyn lager is delivered in the protective custody of a standard dark brown bottle which has no distinguishing features. It is bedecked with two labels (sporting green, black and gold colouring with white lettering). The main label includes a trademark B of the brewery. Its origin in New York is confirmed. It is imported into this country by James Clay & Sons (who also deal with many other US microbrewery products). The bottle contains 355mls of lager beer brewed to a strength of 5.1%ABV.
The neck collar recalls the revival of the brew (as I noted above). There is also an invitation to make a tour of the brewery (Saturday afternoons only please!!)
I stored my Brooklyn Lager in the fridge and poured it while still cold (8ºC). The green crown cap which also bore the Brooklyn B came off with a gush of gas. It poured a cloudy amber colour with a good carbonation and produced a reasonable head. There was an initial scent of blossoms which was overtaken by a strong nose of malt. There was no deposit left in the bottle.
The first taste is quite complex. It is a modest bitter with slightly sour overtones. There are hints of fleshy fruit (peach, apricot) and again a strong malt presence. Unlike many of its Stateside colleagues it is not a sweet brew. The bitterness slowly develops after swallowing leaving a refreshing aftertaste on the palate.
I drank my bottles by themselves. I guess Brooklyn would be quite happy accompanying a prime steak, scrod**, chowder or a bucket of all-you-can-eat crab claws.
Would I raise my glass in salute of the flag, the C-i-C, the Statue of Liberty? While this is not a bad brew, again I find the level of bitterness somewhat harsh to my palate. If you were offering I wouldnt refuse. I would however feel more at home with the fuller bodied, fuller flavoured, slighter sweeter Ybor Gold (or if you cant find that Anchor Liberty).
It is worth pointing out that, while the bottle calls this a lager, it is not the pilly-wally colour or the ultra-bland taste of a Bud, Miller or most of the other mass-produced effluent of the larger conglomerates. This brew would sit more comfortably in the alehouse or bitter stable. The term lager refers to the fermentation method of the yeast used. The cloudiness suggests carbonation from secondary fermentation in the bottle although this is not declared on the label or the website.
Brooklyn Lager Morrisons Supermarkets. 335 ml bottle £1.19
[POSTSCRIPT: Factoid 2: **Scrod is a New England term for a young fish that is in cod family (cod, haddock, pollock). Scrod can be cooked in the same manner as cod either baked, sauted, fried, poached or pan fried.]
Excuse the brevity (or should that be bevity) of this review, but I first wrote it as a challenge. The challenge being to write a review without all that padding and waffle...like this. However, I've taken the liberty of pausing for an interlude in the middle...a bit of a joke
So, without further ado, let's dive right in......
Brooklyn Brewery was founded in 1987 and brews about a dozen different styles of beer. Their flagship brand, BROOKLYN LAGER, the so-called pre-Prohibition beer, is a throwback to the days when Brooklyn was the brewing capital of the East Coast. It has won numerous accolades and awards, including the 'Best Craft Lager in America'. (Bud lite was only just pipped at the post!)
A Saudi, a Hindu, a North Korean, and a New Yorker are walking down the street. A reporter approaches and asks them, "Excuse me, what's your opinion about the meat shortage?"
The Saudi says, "What's a shortage?"
The Hindu says, "What's meat?"
The North Korean says, "What's an opinion?"
The New Yorker says, "Excuse me?!!! What the feck's an excuse me?!!!"
Back to the beer...
BROOKLYN LAGER is brewed with Pale, Caramel and Carapils malt, and with Hallertau and Cascade hops.
Brooklyn Lager pours to a beautiful, dark golden-to-amber colour with lots of carbonation and a thick white head that last well and leaves plenty of lace. The nose is flowery, grassy and hoppy with some citrus, and has a caramel, biscuity, malt aroma.
Tastewise, it's firm and smooth with a touch of sweet malt but a stronger, spicier flavour from the hops shines through. There's a little citrus kick in there, and some biscuit flavour before it finishes with a grassy, hoppy bitterness and a slightly dry, bitter aftertaste. It IS bitter, but it has enough of a malt flavour to keep it just about balanced.
* THE VERDICT *
At 5% ABV, this is a nice beer and more like an ale than a lager - in looks and in flavour. It has won many awards and I can see why, it's very easy to drink. Probably best with snack food but I think it could hold it's own with just about any type of food.
I'd recommend trying this beer if, for no other reason, to show that not all lager from the USA is of the standard of Bud, Coors and Miller etc.
This beer is available in most supermarkets and is usually around th £1.50 mark for a 330ml bottle.
Would I drink it again? - You betcha, I ain't no schmeboygah.