Category Archives: Beer Reviews


Art of Beer 2010

From New York Ale Project

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout ’10-’11 is a go!

Happy days are here again, as one of my all-time favorite beers, Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout, is beginning to land on store shelves. Black Chocolate Stout comes out around this time every year, and it’s an amazing chocolate bomb. Sweet, smooth and boozy (you can read more about it in my guide to the world’s top 100 beers).

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It will be pretty common in 4-packs on NYC beer store shelves for the next month or two, and will be easy enough to find on tap at beer bars. You should do what I failed to do last year — buy a few 4-packs to last you throughout the year, because once it’s gone, it’s gone. Also, last year the girlfriend convinced me it was a good idea to make a beer float with Brooklyn BCS and vanilla ice cream. I was skeptical to say the least, but it turned out to be great. It’s definitely a once-a-year treat, though. Give it a try.



Imbibe Magazine did a nice piece on experimental hops and the delicious beers they turn into.  The story goes from England to Boston, West Coast to East Coast. And, here’s the shocker, there’s even a little interview with Garrett. Read on, friends.


Each year, in the lush fields of the Pacific Northwest, dozens of experimental hop breeds are planted, most only identified by a string of numbers like a shadowy government project. These fledgling varieties are often the result of crossing existing strains in hopes of, say, increasing mildew resistance, amping yields or devising unique flavors. Each year, large craft breweries examine these numbered hop breeds not yet in the marketplace, hoping to answer a single question: Can this hop make a great new beer?

Often, the answer is no, but every once in a while, a hop shows serious promise. In this case, the hop is named, it graduates from lab to brew kettle and the experimentation begins. Just in time for warm weather, a handful of new hop varieties have proven their mettle and made their way into a crop of refreshing beers. With notes of earthy citrus, tropical fruit, white wine or floral tea, they’re adding distinct complexity to everything from IPAs to ESBs, and they’re inspiring brewers to craft a whole new style of summertime brews.

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Sorachi Ace In The Place

Sorachi Logo

Hopefully you were able to enjoy the most patriotic of weekends with friends, family and a bottle of Sorachi Ace. We’ve been getting lots of laudatory reviews for our summery saison, brewed with the Japanese-bred hop, Sorachi Ace. This one below, from Tasting Table, is written particularly well. Do read on if you feel like getting this humid-as-hell Tuesday off on a positive note:


Wild Card: Brooklyn’s latest experiment is Summer in a bottle

Though a local craft-beer movement has grown up around the Brooklyn Brewery, that doesn’t mean it’s rested on its laurels.

For the past few years, brewer Garrett Oliver has been tinkering in Williamsburg on his current passion: a line of lovely 750 ml, bottle-conditioned beers with names like Local One, Local Two and Black Ops.

The most recent is Sorachi Ace, a stellar saison named after a variety of rare Japanese hops that give this unfiltered farmhouse ale its dry, citrusy flavor and its hazy golden hue.Some of Sorachi’s charm comes from slow secondary fermentation, which occurs when a bonus dose of yeast is added to the beer as it’s bottled. But its main appeal is the genius pairing of Belgian saison yeasts with the lemongrass notes of those heady hops, grown by an Oregon farmer Oliver met on his myriad travels. (He was so enamored with the hops, in fact, that he reintroduced them to a Japanese brewer on a recent visit to the country.)

As a result, Sorachi is perfect with seafood and Asian takeout (especially Thai and Vietnamese food) or merely for battling those ever-rising temps. It’s already our favorite summer beer–and we think it might just be Oliver’s ultimate ace in the hole.

Sorachi Ace, Reviewed

Sorachi Ace Rendering


Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace Saison

About a year ago, we found ourselves at Sunset Grill in Allston, MA with Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace Saison on tap. A new hop strain called Sorachi Ace? Saison? Lemony hops you say? We couldn’t resist ordering and were quickly bowled over by this beer which, as you can probably tell, showcases Sorachi Ace hops.

Sorachi Ace are a new and rare hybrid of hops that was developed in Japan. They characteristically have a very lemony/lemongrass aroma and flavor. Since they’re so new and still rare, they are only recently able to be found in many commercially produced beers. We hope to see more!

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Beer Blogger Does The Thinkable: Blogs About Beer

I Drunk That stopped by for our Brooklyn Dark Matter release party and did what I Drunk That does best. Drunk beer and wrote stuff. See the post below.


From I Drunk That

Last night, New York received another great opportunity to visit the Brooklyn Brewery for the invite-only release of Dark Matter, their latest in the Brewmaster’s Reserve series. Brewmaster Garrett Oliver was on hand along along with a laundry list of the city’s finest pub owners, food editors and beer bloggers. Once again, the tap room flowed with some of brewery’s best drafts: Cookie Jar Porter, Monster ‘09, Blast, Black Chocolate Stout ‘09, Pilsner and more. The Bedford Cheese Shop and The Meat Hook were on hand to supply a nice meat and cheese compliment Dark Matter’s vanilla-oaked, sweet palate of flavors.

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A Brewmaster's Reserve Preview

Tom Pavlich did some sleuthing and wrote a piece about our next Brewmaster’s Reserve, which should be shipping in a couple weeks.

dark matter space

By Tom Pavlich for

Anywhere you go in the country you are bound to find a craft brewery or brew pub serving up fresh beers for the local public, but here in North Brooklyn we are very privileged to have one of the best. Brooklyn Brewery is located right in our back yard near the border of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, and it is very easy for New Yorkers to take such a great institution for granted. Everyone knows their beers, especially Brooklyn Lager, but occasionally you find one on tap, or cask that you have never seen before…and this weekend that beer is Dark Matter.

A couple months ago Garrett Oliver, the brew master of Brooklyn Brewery, spoke to the New York City Home Brewers’ Guild at one of their monthly meetings. He discussed the the brewery’s beers, told stories, explained that they are not relocating but expanding their operation right here on North 11th Street in Williamsburg, and he also brought beers for everyone to taste.

Most people are familiar with Brooklyn Brown, one of the flagship ales that the brewery makes. Brooklyn Brown is a fine American Brown Ale with hints of caramel, rich chocolate undertones, just a hint of coffee, and balanced perfectly with hops. Brooklyn Brewery originally only made this ale as a holiday specialty, but it has since become a year-round offering…and for good reason. One of the beers that Mr. Oliver brought to share with the Home Brewer’s Guild was a beer called Dark Matter. He explained that it was a beer that was brewed specifically for himself and the other members of the brewery team to enjoy. Dark Matter is the Brooklyn Brown ale aged 9 months in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels. The already delicious brown ale picks up hints of vanilla, a touch of bourbon, and a bit of booze during this aging creating one of the most drinkable bourbon aged beers out there.

Previously the only way to taste Dark Matter was to go to home brew event where someone from Brooklyn Brewery was speaking or attend one of the beer dinners that Garrett Oliver does around the city, but tonight the only cask of Dark Matter in existence will be tapped at the Brooklyn Brewery!

Brooklyn Brewery’s very rare Dark Matter will be available throughout the weekend until the cask runs dry. I recommend getting there Friday night or early Saturday if you wish to get a taste. Brooklyn Brewery is located at 79 N. 11th St in Williamsburg. They are open to the public Friday 6pm-11pm, Saturday 12pm-8pm, and Sunday 12pm-6pm.

One Blogger's Anticipated Year of Drinking

From Ambassador of Fine Craft Beer

Local 2 Glory Shot

“The loveable Rich Nowak of Brooklyn Brewery was there, Greg assisting, as every ear-pleasing pop of the cork sent goose bumps crawling up my arms. Right now you are envisioning the Local 1…and you are wrong. The equally tasty and far too underappreciated Local 2 was flowing profusely into eager glasses such as mine, Ryan’s, and Tim’s. Our gourmet accompaniment was the finger-licking Grilled Lollipop Lamb Chops. Marinated in chimichurri and topped with Local 2 glazed onions, caramelized brown sugar sweetness met succulent and spicy for a chart-topping flavor explosion.”

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