I have lived in Upstate NY for my whole life and I visit the City frequently. This is why it was weird that I have never visited Brooklyn before. It is especially shocking considering how much I enjoy Brooklyn Brewery beers. This Spring, I decided to rectify the situation.
After wading through a sea of flannel and wool hats despite the warm weather, we came upon the image above. Not necessarily an oasis, because Williamsburg has more than enough great places, but for me, it was certainly where I wanted to be. We arrived just after noon on a Saturday and it was like a club at midnight, meaning that we had to wait outside for a bit because they were too close to capacity. We only had to wait for a couple minutes, and soon we had our tokens and waiting to get ourselves some beer.
We didn't have enough time to wait to get beer before the tour started, which was unfortunate but acceptable. I would say that the tour, at least while I was there, was about half tour, half lecture. There was some construction being done, so we were unable to see all of the rooms, so they just chatted with us for a while, going over history of the brewery and talking about the production. I find that stuff really interesting, so I had a great time. I won't go out of my way to give anything away. I will just let you go and hear it for yourself. The guide was extremely friendly, hanging out afterwards to just chat. While I was excited to do the tour, because each brewery has its own charm, part of Brooklyn's charm is the tasting.
Brooklyn's tasting is not your standard brewery tasting. First, you have to buy tokens, which go for $5 a piece or 5 for $20. $4 for a Brooklyn? Hell yeah! This is particularly awesome because they have beer at the brewery that is extremely rare. I drank beer there that I didn't even know existed. If you are trustworthy of your friends, I would say that the best method might be to share a few different beers so that you can try a bunch of beers without committing. On the other hand, you could just get a bunch of beers. Take your time and enjoy your beers. Don't go with teetotalers because you will feel rushed.
The beers that we decided to go with were: Gold Standard, Ama Bionda, Oishi, Radius, and East India Pale Ale. If you asked me what they tasted like right now, I would probably be hard pressed to remember. I do remember that the Radius and the Oishi were my two favorite. They are session beers and I have been really into those as of late. The EIPA is a very solid English style IPA, having a more reasonable (subtle?) hop balance than most American IPAs. The Gold Standard is a malty kellerbier, which is a medium body German lager. The Ama Bionda is a beer designed by Garrett Oliver, but brewed by Amarcord Brewery in Italy. It is a blonde beer with some fruitiness and a malt backbone. The Radius was the one I wanted to try the most when I heard about it. It is a Belgian-inspired session saison, which in itself reminds me of one of my favorite beers. It is flavorful, dry, and wonderfully refreshing.
Go hang out at Brooklyn with friends. That's what I did and it was a great time.