I first drank Brooklyn Lager last November across the Hudson in Manhattan (see American Beer Special) but having spotted it on offer in my local Sainsbury this week I decided to give it another spin. I’m usually suspicious of the “L” word, but this only truly applies to “those” brands and other closely related liquids on nearby shelves, not the craft variety or German/Belgian types.
I’m a massive fan of the US craft beer movement and as soon as I hear that a beer has been dry-hopped (i.e. fresh hops are added during maturation) then I know I’m likely to enjoy it. Staying true to a Viennese style lager, Brooklyn Lager is has a deep caramel hue stemming from its American two-row malts. The nose has that New World hoppiness to it – floral from the Cascade hops, clean lagerness from the Hallertauer hops.
It’s smooth and well-balanced and even has a hint of raisin about it. It’s a good, clean beer and shows how far the bar has been raised by US beer producers in recent decades that it’s not even amongst my favourite American beers.
Colour: Deep caramel, amber
Nose: Fresh and floral
Taste: Sweet citrus and a little dried fruit
Our verdict: A great session beer and potential cross-over for the lager drinker who wants to build a palate for craft ale. Very contemporary taste.