Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

Most Brooklyn beers are made with a blend of hop varietals. As a chef does with spices, we look to get the best qualities of each hop and create a harmony of flavors and aromas. However, a few years ago, our brewmaster ran into a hop unique enough to deserve its own moment in the sun. A large Japanese brewery first developed the hop variety “Sorachi Ace” in 1988. A cross between the British “Brewer’s Gold” and the Czech “Saaz” varieties, it exhibited a quality that was unexpected – it smelled really lemony.

The unique flavor of Sorachi Ace was bypassed by the big brewers, but we thought it was pretty cool. So we made a special beer with it, and added the beer to our Brewmaster’s Reserve special draft beer program last year. Most Brewmaster’s Reserve beers are only available for a short time, and then they’re gone. But we liked this one so much, we decided to bring it back and give it the star treatment. Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a classic saison, a cracklingly dry, hoppy unfiltered golden farmhouse ale, but made entirely with now-rare Sorachi Ace hops grown by a single farm in Washington. We ferment it with our special Belgian ale strain, and then add more Sorachi Ace hops post-fermentation. After the dry-hopping, the beer emerges with a bright spicy lemongrass / lemon zest aroma backed by a wonderfully clean malt flavor.

It tastes like sunshine in a glass, and that suits us just fine, especially with seafood dishes and fresh cheeses. It’s just the thing on nice summer days and beyond.

Find this beer.

Pairing Recipe

Goat Cheese & Apple Omelette

Spec Sheet

Style: Single-hop Farmhouse Saison
Malts: German two-row Pilsner Malt
Additions: Brewer’s white sugar
Hops: Washington-grown Sorachi Ace
Yeast: Our special Belgian strain (primary); Champagne yeast (secondary)
Alcohol by Volume: 7.6%
IBUs: 34
Original Gravity: 15.7° Plato
Calories: 208 (per 12oz)
Food Pairings: Pork buns, fish tacos, shrimp, smoked salmon, sushi, prosciutto, curries, salads, grilled meats and fresh goat cheese (such as Westfield Bulk Chevre.)
Availability: Year-round
Format: 750ml cork-finished bottles and draft
Awards
  • 2011 Australian International Beer Awards Silver Medal
  • 2011 World Beer Championships: Gold Medal
  • 2011 Australian International Beer Awards Silver Medal
  • 2011 World Beer Championships: Bronze Medal