BASKETBALL, hot dogs and beer! It was in an Irish bar on East 33rd Street, just opposite Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan, that I was introduced to the locally brewed Brooklyn Beer.
It became the drink of the trip, a break from the norm. It’s a pint that’s not too readily available this side of the Atlantic, so I was intrigued to find myself invited to a Brooklyn Brewery Ghost Tasting, at Spit/Fire Bar on Dublin Street, last week.
Brooklyn is, as the name suggests a very American craft brewery, and their brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, was in town to share some of their rarest drinks at a beer tasting.
Described as ‘a trove of experimental Ghost Bottles not found outside the Brooklyn walls,’ this session featured bottles of beer that money can’t buy.
As bar manager Graham explained, “Many of these beers never go on general sale.”
Ranging in strength from around five per cent up to in excess of 13%, it’s perhaps not too surprising that a number of them only make guest appearances - and never in pint glasses.
For me, however, two stood out; Chichicapa (abv 9.2%), a Belgian-style golden ale aged in mezcal barrels - perhaps an acquired taste - and Galahad, which weighed in with an abv of 9.8.
A ‘Champagne’ style beer aged on cider lees in bourbon barrels, it was quite simply untouchable.
Brooklyn’s brewmaster might have only there for one night, however, Spit/Fire are currently hosting a selection of Brooklyn Beers, while stocks last - which is expected to be the start of next week.
So, if you fancy taking in the New York vibe this week, a trip to Dublin Street might just be the thing - there’s up to 12 different beers to sample. Cheers.