I love Brooklyn Lager and Black Chocolate Stout, so I thought it was odd that I hadn't really explored the Brooklyn range further in my blog's (ongoing) infancy. As such, I picked up two of their ales on a rare sunny day this past week. I was hoping to finally try their Summer Ale that I've been seeing all summer, but it seems I left it too late, as the bugger was nowhere to be seen.
I settled for the Brooklyn East India Pale Ale. This IPA pours a hazy light orange with a single finger of white head. The aroma is full or waxy bitterness but also packs lots of fruity hops in. Citrus is strongest, followed by a fresh, grassy smell that I love in a pale ale. There's a hint of malt, and all in all it reminds me more of an English IPA than the explosive hops of an American version. The taste has the same characteristics as the aroma, but with a more pronounced biscuit malt flavour, especially in the finish. Resinous hops remind you you're still drinking an American IPA, but the malt maintains a static balance on the palate.
It's tasty and enjoyable, but altogether not as good as I'd hoped. If I was looking for a nice IPA to go with a nice sunny day, there's no reason I would opt for this over a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Torpedo.
Next up is a beer that was always next to the Summer Ale, and that I've also been seeing all summer long. Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55 is packaged to make it very clear that it's a beer for baseball, and that's fine with me. I was looking for something light and drinkable with a bit of flavour and this seemed to fit the bill.
It pours pale copper in colour, and supports just a small slice of creamy head. On the nose, I get the same hoppy notes as in the Brooklyn Lager, but with a caramel and biscuit malt backbone. The taste opens with English hops and leads into a fruit and toffee-malt flavour, not unlike an English ale. The finish gives strong notes of grapefruit and metal, while the mouthfeel here tapers into something akin to water. There's not much flavour going on in here, but that's something I'd get over if it was a nice drinker, but ever here it falls short. It's flat and unexciting and I wouldn't recommend it.