K Is For KriekFind it near you
“B” is for “Brooklyn.” We all learned that in school, yes? But “B” is also for “Belgium”. And when our brewmaster first visited Belgium in 1984, he learned that “K” is for “Kriek”. “Kriek” means “cherry” in Belgian Flanders, where for centuries Kriek beers have been made by adding cherries to lambics and other sour beers. Here in Brooklyn, we based our distinctly American take on Kriek on our dark abbey ale, the estimable Local 2. To this beer’s subtle marriage of malts, dark candi sugar, local wildflower honey and zing of orange peel, we added tart dried whole Montmorency cherries from Michigan. Around this, we wrapped a barrel of charred American bourbon oak. The sugar of the cherries began to ferment away. The barrels hissed. And we waited.
Six months later, the beer emerged with a glowing red color, vibrant acidity, complex fruit aromatics, and a foundation of oak flavors, its strength moving past 10%. Its transformation almost complete, the beer joined priming sugar, Champagne yeast and wild Brettanomyces yeasts in the bottle and underwent a third fermentation. And we waited yet again.
Now, a full year after we brewed it, this beer is ready for your table. K is for Kriek is dry, fruity, tart, full-bodied, and expansive, able to be enjoyed now or after years of cellaring. This beer is wondrous with poultry, duck and pork dishes, tremendous with goat cheeses, and a fine pairing for desserts. We originally made this beer just for ourselves, as part of our unreleased Ghost Bottle series, but it was too tasty to hoard. Beer is for drinking. And K is for Kriek.
Given this beer’s higher ABV and sturdy character, we think it’s a prime candidate for cellaring. Find a cool, dry spot away from light sources, and see how it changes in the years to come. You never quite know what will happen when you age a beer: perhaps the body will smooth out, notes of vanilla, oak, and tannins will come to the front, or hints of leather and soy sauce will make themselves known. No matter what, remember that beer is meant for drinking, so don’t keep it to yourself for too long.
Malts: German Pilsner, English Chocolate Malt
Additions: Belgian dark candi syrup, New York State raw wildflower honey, sweet orange peel, dried pitted Montmorency cherries
Hops: Perle, Aurora, East Kent Golding
Yeast: Brooklyn House Belgian Yeast strain, Pris de Mousse Champagne, Brettanomyces bruxellensis
Alcohol by Volume: 10.1%
Original Gravity: 18.5° Plato
Food Pairings: Poultry, duck, pork, goat cheeses, desserts, and rich cheeses.
Availability: Q1 2015
Format: 750ml cork-finished bottle