Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn Brewery’

Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery

Posted by jwpiper on February 17, 2009

I find it amazing how few African Americans seem to be remotely concerned with craft beer. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of stereotypical references to malt beverages in black culture. But in my experience, craft brewing can be a pretty pasty environment even among the ever growing mass which contributes only with consumption, such as myself. The number of black brewers or even visible black people in the beer industry as a whole is even smaller.

There exception which proves the rule is Garrett Oliver. This brewmaster and author is the most notable of only a couple of black brewmasters that I have ever heard of, let alone met. And let’s be clear: he is not noteworthy only because he’s one of the only black brewmasters or because he is brewmaster for one of the larger, more respected American craft breweries. Indeed, Garrett Oliver is author of the most referenced book on the subject of food and beer pairing, recognized as the foremost authority on American brewing styles, and is even up for the James Beard award for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional for the second year in a row.

I had the opportunity to meet him this week at a Brooklyn Brewery event at Buckeye Beer Engine in Lakewood, OH. It gave me an excuse to finally purchase his book, The Brewmaster’s Table, which is now at the top of my reading list.


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Black Chocolate Stout

Posted by jwpiper on January 6, 2009

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is calling my name for dessert. I picked up a stash of it this year based on my previous tasting and in anticipation that this beer will age well. Straight from the cellar, the label is just as inviting as my memory of the beer. It opens with a pop and a hiss, and I pour it straight away into the waiting snifter. The smell immediately fills the room, and thus begins the saga.
Once poured, my snifter becomes a solid, glossy ball of delight. It’s extra-black with not a hint of light coming through – like an eight ball with a tall tan head. The head slowly recedes, leaving a thin layer and some foam on the edges of the glass which is repeated with each sip.
The smell is delicious and inviting. There’s tons and tons of chocolate, some roasted malt, raisins, and booze. The alcohol is pretty apparent – even in the aroma. But it still makes me want to bury my nose into my snifter.
The flavor is very, very rich and pretty complex. It completely coats the mouth with warm, roasted malts. There’s dark chocolate and coffee mainly, but with other roasted flavors. Also a little tartness in the front. There’s a good bit of bitterness on the finish, which is accompanied by a warm maltiness and a boozy flavor.
Thick, smooth, and clingy. Not chewy, but somewhat heavy – not quite like drinking an 8 ball.
The booze contributes to making this a sipper, but there’s not much else holding this back from being an extremely inviting sipper.
Quite a beer from Brooklyn – an excellent winter warmer. I’ve had it several times before, but am thoroughly impressed. I look forward to revisiting this beer in 6 months. I’m sure I’ll drink several between now and then.
$10/6pk ($1.67/12oz). This is an incredible bargain – especially if it ages as well as I anticipate.

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