Category Archives: Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment

The Hunt for Hand & Seal: Ohio Edition


By now you already know that our third Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment, the notable barleywine-style ale Hand & Seal, has been released into the wild. A good many of you are likely out right now, scouring the shelves and calling bottle shops to hunt down this limited release. Unfortunately, the deck is stacked against some of you: the proud – but beleaguered – beer faithful in the great state of Ohio.

Despite the ongoing efforts of brewers and enlightened politicians in the state legislature, beer cannot be sold in Ohio if the alcohol content is above 12%. As Hand & Seal bubbled away in the tanks we did our best to explain this to the yeast, but they proved to be poor listeners. When the beer finally came out of the barrels at 13.3%, we realized we had blown past that limit and wouldn’t be able to share this creation with our friends in Ohio. It upset us so deeply that we were forced to have a few bottles of Hand & Seal to ease our pain. (Hey, we said it was a limited release. We never said why.)

Ohio, you’ll have to travel a bit, but we hope you can track down a bottle. When you find it, try to remember that good things come to those who cellar, but we’ll understand if you drink it right away. We don’t hesitate to say that it’s worth it.

All Rise for Hand & Seal


The Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment is a small batch of specialty beers that reincarnates every three or four months. These are beers we spend altogether too much time on in an effort to reach something transcendent. Released in terribly small quantities, if seen in the wild these 750ml bottles should be approached while armed with care and an open palate.

Limited quantity. Unlimited possibility.

For Q3 2014, we are pleased to introduce Hand & Seal. In celebration of Garrett Oliver’s 20th year as Brewmaster here at Brooklyn Brewery, he and the Brooklyn brewing team put their heads together to create a massive yet surprisingly smooth barleywine. It’s delicious right now, bringing the rich complexity and assertive sweetness that barleywines strive for to the palate, but the true beauty of the liquid, as with all of our BQE releases, will come to bloom as the bottle ages over time. Flavors will blend and deepen, the sugars will dry out and you’ll find yourself in awe in the presence of brewing magic that stretches back for generations. Pick up one to celebrate today and a couple for occasions down the road. Future you will be grateful. Check out our beer finder to track it down, and read the full story from Garrett below.

Want to get your First Taste before anyone else (plus an open beer bar, breakfast from Ovenly, and the opportunity to buy a second bottle)? Get your tickets here.

From the Brewmaster himself:

In the 20th season of his reign, the year Anno Brooklynius 26, our Brewmaster brought forth a new wonderment for the People. Barleywine-style ale, once the exclusive drink of the British nobility, would be produced anew in Brooklyn. Linking together their twin brewhouses, the Brooklyn brewing team toiled a great many hours to create the most robust beer they had ever produced. Then it was set to rest for months in casks of Bourbon oak, and finally re-fermented in the bottle.


The result is one of the richest, tastiest beers to ever emerge from our brewery. The deep flavors of floor-malted Maris Otter barley shine through layers of vanilla, coconut, toast and floral notes given by aging in Four Roses bourbon wood. Hand & Seal is complex without being perfumey, subtly sweet without becoming cloying. Its naturally gentle carbonation suits a contemplative drink. The size of the bottle connotes a spirit of generosity, for it is an ale to be shared with friends and family.


At dinner you will find it a fine partner to pates, game meats and sausages and a wonderful accompaniment to cheese. And if your evening should involve much laughter around a fireplace, all the better. Hand & Seal is ready to enjoy now, yet good things shall also come to those who cellar it.


Hereupon witness both our Hand and our Seal, both of them demonstrations of our promise that this fine ale shall be worthy of your table and all the brilliant times that you bring to it. So say we all.

Introducing Brooklyn Cuvée Noire


The Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment is a small batch of specialty beers that reincarnates every three or four months. These are the beers we spend altogether too much time on in an effort to reach something transcendent. Released in terribly small quantities, if seen in the wild these 750ml bottles should be approached while armed with care and an open palate.

Limited quantity. Unlimited possibility.

For Q2 2014 we’d like to reintroduce you to an old flame of ours, Cuvée Noire. First appearing as a Brewmaster’s Reserve in 2010, we were so enamored with this sultry Belgian stout, we had to bring her back. After aging in bourbon barrels for nine months this dark and brooding liquid beckons to mind the mysteries and discoveries of a foggy Brooklyn night. As with all BQEs this bottle won’t be available long. Check our beer finder for availability in the dark corners of your world before she disappears forever. Read the whole story below.

From the Brewmaster himself,

Once upon a time, we created a beer called “Cuvée Noire”, and this beer lived beyond the strictures of beer styles. It had a stout-like malt structure, Belgian fermentation, and an irresistible personality. We loved Cuvée Noire, but here in Brooklyn our admirations have never been limited to beer. So our brewing team quietly introduced this beer to one of our other enthusiasms – Kentucky bourbon oak. After many months of aging, those six bourbon barrels produced a “Ghost Bottle” nicknamed Cuvée Elijah, some of the tastiest beer we’ve ever made. And then, of course, we drank it all. Ummm…yeah. Sorry about that.

But you will forgive us, because now we’ve made some of this beer for you as well. Brooklyn Cuvée Noire starts with a solid base of German malts, builds color and flavor from British and American roasted malts, gains rum notes from Mauritius raw sugar, grabs a hint of citrus from sweet orange peel, and then ferments under the flag of Belgium. Our Belgian house yeast lends the beer a gentle spiciness on a dry, brisk palate displaying notes of chocolate, coffee and citrus. Then follows six months in oak barrels, which marries all the flavors while adding overtones of vanilla, coconut, and flowers. Finally
the beer is bottled completely flat and undergoes a full refermentation in the bottle. If this all sounds like way too much, let us assure you that it is, in fact, just right. Cuvée Noire is big enough to take a steak to dinner, roasty enough to love Mexican molé sauce, and complex enough to enjoy with nothing more than a good conversation. You’ve never had anything quite like it.

And as for the style thing, well, we sometimes believe in beer styles, but we’ll all just have to relax about this one. After all, Brooklyn Cuvée Noire is delicious, and it’s from Brooklyn, not Belgium. We don’t have a king, and no one’s gonna fence us in.

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First Taste: Wild Streak

Introducing our Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment, a quarterly limited bottling of the special and secret brews Garrett and the brewhouse have been hiding from the public for years. Released in terribly limited quantities, if seen in the wild these bottles should be approached with extreme caution, and an open palate.


After the first box of Peter Pan donuts was opened, I came to a startling realization; this is what it must be to live in a zombie apocalypse. Standing behind the last remaining barricade against the hordes of thronging bodies, watching them reach for what they had been lusting after, already red cheeked from the cold morning winds and reflection of Wild Streak’s hyper glow label. Needless to say, I loved it.


The First Taste of Wild Streak was a fantastic morning, filled with friends and loved ones, sweets and experiments. Everyone left with a bottle of our newest concoction, and nearly half of you left with two. We thought it was a lovely way to give everyone a chance to get their hands on this extremely limited-quantity bottle. Between the liquid and the donuts there was barely room for all our specialty draft going on right now in the Tasting Room. We’ll see you next quarter bright and early, or who knows maybe we’ll do it really late at night, for the next Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment. See below, for a list of potential Wild Streak spottings in New York City.


Wild Streak Potential Locations

Whole Foods- all Manhattan and Brooklyn accounts

Bierkraft- 191 5th Ave
The Sampler- 234 Starr St
Stinky Brooklyn- 215 Smith St
Beer Boutique- 497 Union Ave
Hops & Hocks- 1031 Flushing Ave
Eastern District-1053 Manhattan Ave
Brooklyn Harvest Market- 34 North 6th St
Eagle Provisions- 628 5th Ave
Khims Millenium- 260 Bushwick Ave and 265 Bedford Ave
Associated- 229 Knickerbocker Ave

ABC Beer Company- 96 Avenue C
Beer Culture- 328 West 45th St
Beer Pantry Table- Grand Central Terminal
Gastronomie 491- 491 Columbus Ave
Top Hops-94 Orchard St
Good Beer- 422 East 9th St
City Swiggers- 320 East 86th St

Astoria Beer & Cheese- 34-14 Broadway
Superior Supermarket- 40-08 Queens Boulevard


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NYC Beer Week Returns

beer week logo 2014

Now under the direction of the New York City Brewers Guild, the 6th Annual New York City Beer Week happens February 21 – March 2, and will bring together 16 NYC craft breweries, nationally & internationally renowned breweries, over 100 venues with more than 300 events, celebrity chefs, and acclaimed restaurants for the premier craft beer spectacle of the year. We’re proud to be a founding member of this organization, so we planned a few fun evenings:

Opening Night Bash @ Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal
7pm, Friday, February 21
$75 Tickets Available Here

A spectacular setting for New York City’s premier craft beer spectacle of the year, the New York City Brewers Guild hosts its Opening Night Bash at the iconic Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal featuring rare and obscure beers from 30 breweries from NYC and friends around the region and across the country.

The $75 ticket gets you unlimited samples from your favorite breweries, with some of the finest food vendors NYC has to offer providing light snacks through the night. We’ll be bringing Hammarby Syndrome & 1/2 Ale.

The Brooklyn Brewery Mash Bash with Dinner Lab @ The Brooklyn Brewery & Brooklyn Bowl
8pm, Saturday, February 22
Sold Out; Tickets For Soul Clap & Dance Off Nationals Available Here

Brooklyn Brewery Chef Andrew Gerson and Dinner Lab Dinner Lab Chef Brandon Byrd come together for the first time since their collaboration during Mash New Orleans to create a multi-course beer feast with Mash Chef Hiyaw Gebreyohannes.

Guests can expect pairings of Brooklyn Brewery’s most popular beers, rare brews, and some added surprises to complement each dish dreamt up by the evening’s culinary stars. The experience will be illuminated by projection artists Nuit Blanche New York.

Immediately following Mash Bash will be The National Championships of Mr. Jonathan Toubin’s Soul Clap & Dance Off, next door at Brooklyn Bowl (open to all Mash Bash Dinner Lab guests). At each Mash stop during our 2013 tour we crowned a different Soul Clap winner and we’ve brought them in from all 11 cities to see who will rise above the Brooklyn fray. A portion of proceeds will help support Slow Food USA, co-founded by Garrett Oliver.

Brooklyn Tap Takeover & Tasting @ Top Hops
6-8pm, Wednesday, February 26

We’re bringing out our best at Top Hops for a tap takeover. Sample our newest Brewmaster’s Reserve, Hammarby Syndrome, and our first ever Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment, Wild Streak, alongside past Brewmaster’s Reserves and perennial favorites. We’ll even be raffling off 6 bottles of a highly whispered about beer that doesn’t exist at the end of the night. Check out the beer list here.

NYC Brewer’s Choice
6pm, Wednesday, February 26
$65 Tickets Available Here

NYC Brewer’s Choice returns on February 26 from 6-10pm as a featured event of NYC Beer Week. This year’s event, which will be held for the first time at The Wythe Hotel here in Williamsburg, has an all New York focus. More than 16 NY state brewers, including our own Garrett Oliver, will be on hand to pour and discuss some of their most special beers, all of with will be served alongside a loving food pairing provided by some of the city’s best restaurants. Jeff O’Neil of Peekskill Brewery will deliver the keynote address.

Cold Comfort: Lagers in the Historic Nassau Brewery Lagering Caves @ The Historic Nassau Brewery
1-5pm, Saturday, March 1
Sold Out

Join Josh Bernstein, author of The Complete Beer Course and host of the NYC homebrew tours, as he hosts Cold Comfort: Lagers in the Historic Nassau Brewery Lagering Caves. These caves have remained largely untouched and unseen since their 19th century hay-day, but on March 1st, you can descend, partake in pretzels, and learn about the history of the former brewery. We will be pouring Brooklyn Silver Anniversary Lager,  Brooklyn 1/2 Pils, and Brooklyn Lager.

Brooklyn Tastings
Sample new releases Wild Streak & Hammarby Syndrome.

The Sampler
234 Starr Street, Brooklyn
6-8pm, Wednesday, February 26

Hops & Hocks
2 Morgan Ave, Brooklyn
6-8pm, Thursday, February 27

Stinky Brooklyn
215 Smith Street, Brooklyn
7-9pm, Thursday, February 27

Brunch Finale @ Houston Hall
12pm, Sunday, March 2
$15 Tickets Available Here

After a long and relentlessly enthusiastic New York City Beer Week complete with revelry, comradeship and delicious beer, you know need a more relaxed setting. Celebrate the awesomeness by coming to a meet-some-brewers closing brunch at Houston Hall! Beer selections from each brewery member will be available along with an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet. Your ticket includes one beer plus the buffet.


Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment


The time has come for each bottle to get its due. For too long have we been treating some of our beers like flowers in the attic, aging them for years in barrel rooms or shelving them to mature in bottle conditioning crates. But would they ever see the light of day? Other than a handful of back alley handouts and the ever rare and always overly-attended Ghost Bottle Nights, most of these brews have never been available to the public. With our new bottling line expansion we can now let you guys in on the little secrets we’ve been brewing up, here in Brooklyn. Quarterly, we’ll release one of our specialty brews that require a little more incubation and a whole lot of tender love and care. We’ll only be able to make a few thousand cases of each, so seeing more than one style at a time will be rare. Bigfoot sighting rare. As such their production will be very limited, not unlike a certain fabled brew that doesn’t exist. If you see any of these bottles in the wild, drink it.

Wild-Streak-Release v2

(UPDATE: This party is sold out. Like the Brooklyn Koala bear it will fade into myth and infamy. Check back next quarter for a first taste of the next Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment.)

For our first release we’ve decided to leak the bottles early. 11am early. We’re throwing a FIRST TASTE release party. Less of a party and more of a gallery. A private hour to pick up your bottles for home and sample the first bottles off the line with your fellow foamy friends. There will be a cap on how many bottles we can sell so get your ticket early. The ticket will get you early admittance to the tasting room, a beer token to enjoy at the taps, a sampling of Wild Streak, some coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company, donuts from Dough (because 11am), and of course, a bottle of Wild Streak all your own. Click here for tickets.

But enough about us, and how much delicious liquid we’re going to enjoy, let’s get to our first BQE release, Wild Streak. in the words of Garrett Oliver:

There was a time when all beers were aged in wood, and yeasts ran wild and cavorted together. Modern brewing is wonderful, of course, but sometimes a little cavorting is a fine thing. Sometimes it gives you a chance to reveal your funky side. We have to admit it – we’ve been cavorting for years…and sorta holding out on you. We didn’t want to do that, but the fact is that up until now we only had enough room to make this beer for ourselves and some close friends - we didn’t have enough beer to put it out on shelves. We actually make a lot of beers like this – we call them the “Ghost Bottles”, and we’ve enjoyed pouring them for you at tastings and dinners.
Now we’re very pleased to finally give one of our “ghosts” the opportunity to materialize in your hands. Brooklyn Wild Streak starts off as a Belgian-inspired golden ale. After fermentation and a brief conditioning, we then age the beer for several months in second-use bourbon barrels, giving it a soft, round character infused with nicely balanced oak flavors. Finally we bottle the beer flat and re-ferment it with blend of priming sugar, Champagne yeast and the wild yeast strain Brettanomyces. As the two yeasts do their cavorting, the beer gains its natural carbonation. The “Brett” takes many months to do its thing during bottle aging, but once it does, Wild Streak is enlivened by a wonderfully complex earthy funk.
This beer is almost one year old when released, but it will age beautifully for many more. It’s particularly great with washed rind cheeses, game meats, steaks, and a few more things we probably shouldn’t mention here. You’ll figure it out for yourself, and that’s half the fun. So go ahead – unwind that cage, pop that cork, and reveal your Wild Streak. You know you want to.


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