Brooklyn Lager: Simplicity at its best
Anyone who cares an iota about the quality of the beer they drink probably steers clear of the tasteless scumwater cynically produced by the behemoth breweries. Many of the micro breweries offer interesting and flavorful alternatives, but sometimes they seem more concerned with winning medals at beer tasting events than satisfying customers. They gussy up their beers with everything but the kitchen sink, and they often come out too heavy and sweet. Fine for tasting, but not for drinking. The imports, from people who know how to brew a proper beer, are so expensive it makes beer drinking seem like a luxury. So, what should a typical American beer drinker hoping for a bit of easy drinking quality at a reasonable price reach for?
Try a Brooklyn Lager.
This is what American beer should be. No fancy gimmicks. No pretense. It doesn't bother trying to mimic some obscure foreign style that can't really be duplicated. It isn't flavored like a juice box. It doesn't require fruit on the rim. Brooklyn Lager is just a quality beer in the style most popular with American palates, and is versatile enough to fit almost any casual occasion.
Right from the pour, it's apparent that the beer stands above the masses of the American super-sellers. The copper amber color is a bit darker, the head a bit larger. It fades to some lacing, but doesn't disappear altogether like in the lesser cousins. The aroma is sweeter. Floral. It might be a lager, but it dresses like an ale.
This may sound as if it's heading toward another ham fisted American stab at a cutesy, European beer after all, but the taste is all American. The hops nicely balance that malty aroma, and the whole flavor is soft and very smooth. More on the bitter side than the sweet, just as a lager should be. There is some caramel, raisins, maybe some corn, but they don't shout to be heard. This isn't a micro brew wanting to show off. The little bite at the finish gives it the pleasing edge all lagers should have. The low carbonation makes it easy going down and doesn't add to the sharpness.
I generally prefer ales to lagers, so I tend to like the more ale-like lagers best. Brooklyn Lager is definitely along those lines, but not so far as to turn away the pure lager drinkers. This is still a good hot weather beer but would be just as welcome in the dead of winter. The body edges toward the medium scale, but it's definitely not heavy.
I'd pair Brooklyn Lager with any moderately priced food. If you're having something special, go ahead and spring for a special beer, but the Brooklyn will handle just about anything else. Not surprising, given its New York City origins, this beer almost screams for simple Italian fare. It would be perfect with any red sauced pasta, and is one of the best pizza beers I've had. It's also a great session beer. Not too sweet, not heavy, and the alcohol level is only 5.2 percent. For the money, it's a tough beer to beat for just kicking back on a bar stool and knocking back as many as you like.
Brooklyn Lager is an everyday kind of beer. The price is only pennies more than the typical American swill and well below most decent imports. The flavor might not wow the snobs, but it won't put anyone off. The quality easily surpasses that of the macros without being overly fancy. Any Bud drinker will feel right at home with one of these. Just because lagers are simple little beers doesn't mean they have to be rubbish. Brooklyn Lager is just what a standard American beer should be.