Classic Series – A Review of Brooklyn Lager

One of the things I’ve committed to doing more often is visiting those classic, long lived beers that have been around for quite some time and likely have had a decent influence on shaping of the beer industry we know today. In my Classic Series of reviews I’ll be looking at beers that have existed in a similar recipe format for at least 10 years and have stood the test of time in the market to still exist on the shelves and taps today. The first one of those I am reviewing is Brooklyn Lager, a beer that’s been around for almost 30 years. It was actually contract brewed in Utica, NY and would continue to be for its first 8 years of its existence. In 1996 they finally opened up a brewery in Brooklyn, but still continued with a lot of contract brewing throughout the years to keep up with packaged beer demand. Brooklyn Lager, which is a Vienna style lager brewed to a strength of 5.2%, is still their best selling beer by volume and is worth revisiting from time to time.

Aroma and Appearance: It pours a clear copper amber like colour with one finger of foam and some sporadic carbonation that pops up from time to time in the glass. It has a subtle and simple aroma of toffee, hay and lemon.

Flavour: It starts of very clean with a little bit of earthy hops and hints of hay malt up front that extends into the refreshingly crisp middle. The beer finishes with floral overtones and a strong toffee malt aftertaste.

Overall Impression: This is a pretty straight forward beer, something that really would have shined back in the day compared to other terrible lagers on the market and still stands with the crowd today in more muted, yet clean fashion.

Rating: I gave it a solid good rating of 6/10, not overly exciting but well made and enjoyable. A true gateway beer in my mind, one that can appeal to geeks and new craft customers alike.

Food Pairing: This is a beer made for pub food, burgers, chicken strips, chicken pot pie and of course New York style pizza.

I look forward to trying more classic beers, including some locals that I haven’t had for a long time. These beers were the original work horses of the craft beer industry and still deserve some attention from us craft beer geeks.

Has there ever been a more beertiful sight than this?

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