Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, New York
The Tour de Northeast continues!
|This ain't your average fizzy yellow lager.|
From the hippest neighborhood in the hippest borough in the hippest city in America comes Brooklyn Brewery's Brooklyn Lager, which, despite its geographic advantage in hipness at nearly every scale, retains an utterly unpretentious air about it. It’s a lager, the simplest and most popular of all styles of beer. Its name isn’t cryptic or clever or allusive (though it is very geographic!). And unlike the oddly-dressed and coifed girl at the dimly lit bar in Williamsburg---exuding an air of creativity and urbanity, but who is actually a cashier at a Hot Topic in New Jersey---it’s exactly what it claims to be.
|Dear Williamsburg hipsters: You look stupid. Brooklyn Lager does not.|
Fortunately, it’s also much more than that. We’ve been conditioned to think of lagers as flavorless, fizzy yellow beers, and many of them are. Brooklyn Lager is darker, hoppier, and fuller-bodied than your average lager. Unlike other symbols of hipsterdom, it doesn’t relish in being undiscovered either: Brooklyn Brewery is the 16th largest craft brewery in the United States. Like a hipster, it does care about its appearance: all of the brewery’s packaging and design elements were done by Milton Glaser, who is not a household name, but who my graphic designer father describes as “his hero.” (You may have seen his work elsewhere). And those are indeed some sharp duds: understated yet classic, with the script ‘B’ evoking the old Brooklyn Dodgers uniforms.
|Brooklyn Brewery's B: sorta, kinda evocative of the old Brooklyn Dodgers' B. Maybe.|
In addition to their flagship Lager, Brooklyn Brewery also makes a bunch of other tasty styles, a few of which I’ve tried. I chose the lager simply because I’ll probably be having very few good lagers as part of this endeavor, and the style deserves a little more respect than it gets. I hope it’s available on the West Coast at some point (I got a six pack while back home in Connecticut), because it’s nice to take a break from the usual IPAs now and then.
And finally, a bit of awesome trivia:
When I wrote my introduction to this blog, I wondered if an American oil company worker might be homebrewing in Saudi Arabia, which would be the only beer brewed in that country due to hard-line Islam’s disdain for booze. It turns out that one of Brooklyn Brewery’s founders, Steve Hindy, learned how to make beer in the 1980s under just those circumstances! In a bit of poetic justice, the current brewery is located in a former matzo factory. Take that, militant Islamists!