Saturday, 20 March 2010

Brooklyn Brewery Part 1: Garrett Oliver's Dark Matter

I'm not given to hero worship... I try to avoid celebrities if I come near them, as I always like to speak to people on a level which is difficult when said people are interesting, inspirational or extraordinary. Also I have a tendency to trip them up, trip myself up, spit in their face or make fumbling, embarrassing remarks about their shoes. Despite this, oddly enough I seem to meet them quite regularly.
The head brewer at Brooklyn, Garrett Oliver, is an absolute legend and the foremost authority on beer in the US so i was a touch nervous. Mr Oliver's beers are renown throughout the world and his collaborations with brewers, chefs and fancy cocktail types are the stuff of beer legend. Moreover I was in a bit of a state from the silly amount of strong beer and rye whisky I consumed the night before so the whole meeting heroes thing was on my mind a little.

We had brilliant tour with Carla at the Williamsburg brewery who was utterly wonderful to us and took us through some lovely beers - in particular a cask of Brooklyn Summer that was a year old and tasted really fresh which was remarkable for the low alcohol level. Then Garrett rocked up and showed us things in a bit more depth.

I had a butchers at the conditioning rooms and some of the stuff that they have been working on recently. Garrett, luckily for me, was tremendously affable and interesting and had some unique insights into some great great beers which I try and incorporate in the next few posts. In particular on Dark Matter, Blast, Local 2 and Wild 1.

Brooklyn Dark Matter is a brown ale aged for four months in bourbon and rye whiskey barrels. Some barrels previously held a beer called Black Ops, some contained a beer called Manhattan Project, others came straight from the distilleries as soon as the whiskey was decanted.

It's a great brew with that wonderful bourbon vanilla cask-ness but with a soft milky chocolate sweetness and a rye beer oiliness that coats the mouth. Not too much mind blowing alcohol taste which means that it creeps up on you a bit. Bearing in mind that it is 7.5%... Yes... It creeps up on you a bit... Bearing in mind that we had tasted pretty much everything else available it was probably time to get on the road before I did anything daft...

1 comment:

  1. A new beer from Garrett's always a bit of an event. Glad you kept your head, matt! Nice pics.