So those who are aware of the goings on in the beer world are undoubtedly aware at this point that the summer beer season is very much upon us. As the numbers of porters and stouts begin to recede and are in turn replaced with session IPAs and lighter lager cousins such as pilsners and kolschs, the sensation that one should be outdoors with friends sipping beers, as opposed to, as your author is known to do, dwell quietly at a desk with a heavy black beer is hard to ignore. So then we come to brews such as this – the Summer Ale from Brooklyn Brewing.
Now my first impression of Brooklyn Brewing came during my time in Philadelphia when their flagship lager landed in my glass in a bar in central city. Though weightier than the watery piss Budweisers I was used to at the time, I found it altogether enjoyable and maintained a happy impression of the brewery from then on. Then, as of the winter of early 2015 when I was blessed to enjoy the exotic and intense black chocolate stout, my favorable impression only grew stronger.
Before me now is what might be the lightest offering from them that I’ve sampled thus far, their Summer Ale. As to be expected, it is a transparent amber color with a subdued and demure head. Well hopped with both American and German hops, it possesses just enough bitterness to be pleasurable and palatable, without stepping too far off into the worlds of IPAs and pale ales. At a sniff, the scents of lager malts and mild hops waft through the nose giving an impression of balance within the beer itself.
This sense of equilibrium is nicely accented I find by the use of British 2-row barley, which lends to both the flavor and texture, a sense of weight and breadiness that works nicely with the aforementioned notes of hops and malt. All in all, such presents itself largely as being a hopped lager, despite in fact being a pale ale. Envisioned easily as working in most any summer spot as an ice chest filler, the beer is something that is both gracious in its flavor profile offerings, while also remaining approachable and inoffensive enough to where most anyone can enjoy it.
Summer is perhaps the optimal season to introduce friends to craft beers in that it is within their somewhat light and even handed approach to crafting during such a time that the realities of bolder flavors within the brews on hand serve as a gentle yet pleasant introduction to such. At 5.0% ABV, this Summer Ale is one which should offer up a more standard impression in terms of effect on the senses to where two or perhaps three will allow the fledgling good-beer drinker to fully embrace the flavors without too much ill effect. Friends, after all, don’t let friends drink shitty beer.
So it is to this, to Brooklyn Brewing, to the forthcoming days of summer and of course to you that I say as always…
While the brand may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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