beer. new york style.

18 May

whenever we travel, we seek out local beers to try, and this trip was no different. we were particularly committed to this since the beer scene in new york is totally different from when we lived there. it used to be difficult to even find brooklyn brewery beers on tap in brooklyn. now, new york and new england have a bunch of burgeoning micro and nano breweries. we sought them out. we found some. and this is a review of what we tasted.

***Sixpoint’s Righteous Ale: a rye ale, this was a very solid, easy drinking beer. good balance of the malt and strong, bitter hops with a medium body. could have drank this all afternoon.

Sixpoint’s Otis: an oatmeal stout, this was a decent representation of the style. however, lacking in comparison to Ninkasi’s Oatis. I wanted this to have a heavier body.

Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold: a filtered Saison, this was a good beer, but the flavors seemed subdued. nothing surprising and not nearly as good as the Harbinger from Six Point.

Pretty Things’ ‘jack d’or: a farmhouse / saison style beer, we really enjoyed this with our meal @ Resto.

***Victory’s Yakima Glory: this IPA was a smooth, well-balanced, very quaffable beer. the strong fresh hops are balanced well with the malts they used.

Captain Lawrence’s Reserve (double IPA): this beer came recommended, first taste was all sweet, but it was followed by a nice edge. this beer had decent body. good, not great.

Chelsea’s Alpha 5: the front of this beer was very nice, but it did not finish as well. a nice english-style beer that was a bit too bitter and not as well-balanced as it could have been.

Barrier’s Lights Out Stout: a hoppy stout, nice roast, but thin mouthfeel. while drinking this beer, i just thought they chose the wrong hops for the malt profile. it didn’t work for me.

***Schmaltz’ Lenny double IPA: a rye IPA, it has sweet, slight pepper notes, and a grassy finish. this is a delicious, well-rounded beer.

Brooklyn Brewery’s Main Engine Start: a light, belgian ale, this was one for the masses. a solid, drinkable beer, typical of the style, but nothing to write home about.

River Horse’s Tripel Horse: from across the river in New Jersey, this was a huge wheat beer, with strong alcohol, which helped balance the sweetness. a nice winter warmer.

***Sixpoint Sweet Action: an excellent, sessionable beer that was also very delicious with food. a medium-bodied beer, it brought a strong maltiness and hoppiness, keeping it well balanced. not a weak beer. it gave you a nice, slightly sweet malt up front followed by a nice crisp bitterness.

Ommegang BPA: a belgian-style pale ale that we didn’t feel was remarkably good or bad. it was somewhat dry with a flavor profile that included fruit, spice and hop.

Sixpoint Brownstone: had a slight butteriness. a nutty, slightly roasted flavor, this beer was light on the hop, but remained fairly balanced. a nice, solid brown ale.

***Smuttynose Winter: a delicious winter warmer that was perfect for some of the cold days we had while on our trip. this beer had a nice complexity to its flavor profile, a solid body, and was very smooth to drink.

***Captain Lawrence 5 years later: an american strong ale that used five hops and five different malts to make this anniversary beer. a very solid, well rounded ale.

Weyerbacher’s Winter Ale: dark and roasty, but too thin and without enough alcohol. this did not warm me from the winter chill.

Southhampton Porter: this beer was completely overdone. the roast was way too strong, overpowering everything else about this beer. disappointing.

Chelsea Brewing IPA: a good IPA, better than average, but not remarkable.

Fire Island Lighthouse Ale: really light body, lightly hopped, this beer was a little too light in body and flavor for us.

***Night Stalker by Goose Island: a dark, rich imperial stout. the kind of beer served at room temperature and sipped all evening long. super smooth, there were coffee and chocolate malt notes, but a strong hop profile to balance it out. that made this beer absolutely delicious. this was my favorite beer on the trip. reminded me of Deschutes XXI.

Soutern Tier 2X IPA: smells awesome, but it was way too sweet for an IPA. not our style.

Captain Lawrence Pale Ale: good, american style pale ale, nice strong hop, good drinking beer.

Southhampton IPA: low on hop, definitely more english in style, some spicy notes, but generally not impressed, not bad, but not impressionable.

***Harbinger by Sixpoint: an american-style saison, delicious, with green specks in the foam from the dry hopping process. traditional, but more citrusy, piney hop than normal. this might have been Michael’s favorite beer on the trip, or at least the most memorable. since we have been home, this has been the beer we have mentioned the most to our beer friends. 

*** denotes standout beers that we would like to drink again.

overall, i would say we were a tad disappointed over the beer scene. by reading up on the new scene we expected a lot more local taps all over the place. and there was a definite change in that no matter where you went there was one or two choices of local beers. but it seemed that there were still a lot more imported beers, particularly england and belgium. and those are great beers, but they don’t show off the local talent. even restaurants focused on local food weren’t fully representing on the local beers.

as far as the local talent, the beers were good. but we were looking for more creativity. apparently, we are oregon beer snobs. but we felt like they didn’t always choose the right hop for the profile of the beer. the IPAs could have used more American hops and the stouts should have used less. but coming from beervana, our judgment is definitely skewed.

standout breweries were Sixpoint (as good as suggested) and Captain Lawrence. I’m also hoping I can find some Goose Island back home in Portland.


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