Thursday, July 1, 2010

366. Brooklyn Summer Ale

This beers marks the start of a new year, and since we had so much fun last year, we’ll at least give it the ol’ college try of doing it again. And what better way to set the pace of summer than with something from Brooklyn Brewing? This is our fifth beer from them, including Sorachi Ace, Black Ops 2010, East India Pale Ale and Pennant Ale ’55. Ah yeah. Beertastic.

Summer Ale is a clear must gold with a creamy white head that laces the glass rather well. With a grainy and bready nose that carries both a slight bitterness and sourness, the beer starts out smelling something a bit more like a lager than an ale (albeit a malty lager). There could also be some mustiness in the nose. Flavors begin bready with just a touch of sweetness; the middle has a touch of sourness mixed with low levels of bitterness, and the finish brings with it some musty and grainy flavors couple with slight sweetness and creaminess. There is also a return of some of the bready flavors from the start, and a bit of lingering bitterness to close things out. Summer Ale has a medium body with a soft, creamy, and bready body that is just short of chewy, while the carbonation is low to medium; it is generally soft on the palate, with a bit of a bite as the beer transitions into the final third. Pretty good as summer beers go, although the slight sourness makes this beer less thirst-quenching—if it was nice and hot, we’re sure it would go down smooth, but as is, it is a bit distracting. As well, the hop levels do fall short of what is indicated on the bottle—unless mustiness and sourness are new hop aromas we’ve missed, the “bright hop aroma” appears to be incognito. Nonetheless, as with all things Brooklyn, a well-crafted beer.

From the bottle: “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. Please write or visit the brewery Saturdays noon to 5 p.m., at #1 Brewers Row, 79 North 11th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211, or our web site as”

From the Brooklyn website: “Available from April through July, Brooklyn Summer Ale is a modern rendition on the ‘Light Dinner Ale’ brewed in England throughout the 1800’s right up until the 1940’s. They were also called ‘luncheon ales,’ because they were refreshing and flavorful without being too heavy. We brew our Brooklyn Summer Ale from premium English barley malt, which gives this light-bodied beer a fresh bready flavor. German and American hops lend a light crisp bitterness and a citrus/floral aroma, resulting in a beer with a very sunny disposition.”

ABV: 5.0%
Malt: British 2-row
Hops: German Perle and American Cascade, Fuggle, and Amarillo
OG: 11° P
Best Before: Sept. 2010

Merciful matching glassware!


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