I was never much of a beer drinker until I moved to England… There, I gradually came to appreciate the taste of beer when I accompanied colleagues to the pub for a post-work pint or when I would meet friends for an evening out. Still, I never bought beer and kept it in my fridge – it was just one of those things that I would occasionally have when I was out. Brooklyn Brewery changed that.
I could say that it was a gradual process beginning with my first Brooklyn beer – Brooklyn Local 1. However, it culminated with one fell swoop last summer in the form of Brooklyn Summer Ale. A friend of mine introduced me to their Local 1 when I lived in New York – it made such an impression that I actually remembered the name of the beer (I have an unbelievably poor memory when it comes to remembering the names of wines and beers). After that, I began to buy the occasional bottle of Local 1 and also tried their Local 2…
Then, I moved up to Boston and began working at Formaggio Kitchen. About six months later, it was summer time… Working in the bakery, imagine the heat of summer multiplied several times over. I was hot and sweaty after a satisfying day baking teacakes and cookies when I tried the Summer Ale. Boy, did it hit the spot! Finally, I understood why folks often hanker for a cold beer at the end of a long day!
Since my beer “epiphany,” I now stock my fridge with beer and occasionally pop one open when I get home at the end of the day. I have discovered how tasty it is as an accompaniment to BBQ (in particular, Eric’s pulled pork, his pulled lamb and my newest favorite, his chicken!) and, it may sound odd, but I have discovered that Serrano ham is also amazing with a good beer.
When my supply of Summer Ale dried up (true to its name, it is entirely seasonal), I began to explore some of the other beers on the shelf here in the shop. This past winter found me most commonly drinking Stone Pale Ale from California and Long Trail Ale from Vermont. Of the larger format beers, I gravitated to Pretty Things’ Jack d’Or and, of course, Brooklyn’s beers – experimenting with Brooklyner-Schneider (a joint effort of master brewers, Garrett Oliver and Peter Drexler) and their Black Ops.
The weather is such that it finally seems believable that summer is just around the corner. Eric (beer buyer as well as BBQ master!) assures me that an order has already been placed for a shipment of the Summer Ale as soon as it is ready… Like peaches and cherries which really only taste good in the summertime, Brooklyn Summer Ale is now another reason for me to look forward to the warmer months!