Friday, July 15, 2011

Brooklyn Summer Ale (Brooklyn Brewery)

On several occasions I have enjoyed Brooklyn Brewery's pricey but delicious Black Chocolate Stout. On one very memorable occasion I had a couple of their Brown Ales over coal-fired pizza at Arturos Restaurant in the West Village. This will be my first time sampling their Summer Ale. I know these cats do good work, and I am at the beach for a week in full summer mode, so expectations are high.

This beer's character seemed to cry out for a pilsner glass, but all I had was a heavy mug. Not that I would let that stop me. So I poured it into my mug, and the beer was a bright yellow gold, with two inches of tight foam that settled down to a half inch. The nose is of lemon and yeast, initially detectable at about ten inches. Lacing throughout the quaff was negligible.

The taste is so much like a lager you'll do a double take. Only the slightly more substantial body -- which, don't get me wrong, is still quite light -- sets it apart.

Brewed from a single barley malt variety, there is a pilsner-like simplicity and directness to the flavor contour, which cuts straight to a light, bright malt taste, supported closely with lemony hops. (The recipe uses Perle, Cascade, Fuggles, and Amarillo, according to the webpage.) The ale features a light body and appropriately crisp carbonation. Just a trace of pungent quality. A delightful subtle floral aftertaste lingers on the palate.

On the whole, the beer tastes and functions exactly as advertised: a perfect light ale for carefree consumption during the months of intense heat. Another success from Brooklyn Brewery.

From the bottle's label:

Brooklyn Summer Ale is a summer refresher with difference. The difference comes from the malt -- 100% British two-row barley, prized for superior taste. Our Summer Ale is gold in color, with a soft, bready flavor, snappy clean bitterness and bright hop aroma, and will taste best before the freshness date indicated.

Featured beer:
Brooklyn Summer Ale

Honorable mentions:
Black Chocolate Stout
Brooklyn Brown Ale

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