Brooklyn Lager is a beer that is extremely difficult to define. Even the producer, the excellent Brooklyn Brewery, alternates between claiming this beer is an Amber Lager and a Vienna Lager, and also occasionally adds phrases such as British dry hopping and American Original.
It’s all very vague and could be confusing – however the beer itself is anything but. This is one of the most well-balanced new world beers I’ve had, despite its unique and indefinable style. It’s a hard beer to define, but here is my best attempt at a Brooklyn Lager review:
Alcohol Content: 5.2% ABV
IBU: Not Given
Style: Umm… New World Pilsner?
Despite the description from the Brooklyn Brewery, this is not really all that amber. It’s more of an attractive deep gold, with a dense, dazzling white head that fades fairly fast but leaves traces of lace clinging to the glass. There is a light haze present which can be reduced through careful storage and serving techniques.
Sweet malt and clipped grass. The forward aroma is very slight when chilled, but builds significantly as the glass warms to ambient temperature. Not much of a hoppy aroma, just enough to invite a taste.
The first sip instantly immerses the drinker in a full-bodied, malt-driven lager – not quite an Oktoberfest, not quite an amber ale. The malt profile and subtle hop presence really cry out for a style of their own. It is full-bodied like Czech strong pilsner, but deceptively so at only 5.2% alcohol. The spicy hop palate is instantly notable, with the robust hop flavors of an American pale ale, yet spicy and grassy in the Noble Hop vein of artisanal German lagers.
Considering the rich first impression, the finish is surprisingly dry, with an excellently balanced bitterness that is light but lingers on, crying out for a second glass.
This is an excellent offering from the Brooklyn Brewery. It combines the best of the old world lagers with modern tastes, creating a perfectly balanced beer that is suitable for most occasions.
This beer goes with almost any food match. Personal favorites include soft cheeses with plain crackers, German style meat platters, summer salads, oysters, and other rich seafood.
I hope you have the chance to try one of these for yourself, and that my review has proven useful to you. Please do leave a comment, and be sure to check out my other reviews here.