Saturday, 11 August 2012

Beer Review
Brooklyn Brewery - Summer Ale 5.0%

Canned beer.
Last month Gareth Jones @gareths121 wrote an interesting post about canned beer to which I made some disparaging comments (about the beer, not about Gareth). If you want to read the article and my comments you can do so here.
You'll have seen that I'm not a huge fan, so why am I reviewing a canned beer.
The answer is simple : The Olympics.
Let me explain.
Last Saturday, 4th August, I was fortunate enough to be at the Olympics in Stratford. More precisely we had tickets to the Handball at the Copper Box in the morning. The atmosphere was fantastic and the whole thing was a wonderful experience however, perhaps inevitably, late in the afternoon we 'found' ourselves in Tap East.
We were there a while, sampling many beers including the fantastic Brewfist Spaceman IPA and Tap Easts excellent selection of own brews as well as several plates of pizza.
The atmosphere in Tap East was pretty good too. The television was on, showing the action unfolding a few hundred metres away (it was Super Saturday) but we couldn't stay there indefinitely and I wanted to get some beer to take out.
The Brooklyn Summer Ale cans were strategically placed by the end of the bar and had been catching my eye all evening.
Perhaps it was the beer I'd drunk, perhaps it was the brightly coloured packaging, perhaps it was the atmosphere, maybe it was all of them, but before I knew it I had bought six cans (and a couple of bottles of Cantillon beer) and we were on our way.
I'd done it ! But what had I done ? Would I regret it ?
Brooklyn Summer Ale, is billed as a modern interpretation of a "Light Dinner", "Luncheon" or "Family" ale, as they were called in the 19th and early 20th centuries because they were both light (in alcohol and/or appearance) and refreshing. This beer is given a twist with the addition of German Perle, American Cascade, Fuggle and Amarillo hops on a Two-Row British malt base.
The only thing to do is open it (no bottle opener required - *gulp*).
It pours a glorious golden orange sunset with a gorgeous fluffy white pillow of a head.The aroma is soft grassy lime and lychee, underlined with some juicy peaches. It skips and dances over the tongue at first, then in rushes a refreshing wave of prickly floral hoppiness, sweet and beautiful in its subtlety. In the taste there's a hint of lime, a little hay, some soft white bread and a touch of mango juice all combining to make some delicate liquid gold. The finish is crisp and slightly sharp, quickly fading with some cream soda/vanilla notes.
A big beer this most certainly isn't, but a wonderful, tasty, fresh and refreshing summer ale it most definitely is.
Has this single offering changed my mind about canned beer?
Well, not totally, but it has made me more open to them and I will certainly be trying more. I think it is the freshness of the beer that impressed me most, with some subtle flavours neatly captured and encased in a 12 fluid ounce can.
Give it a go.


  1. I will try my hardest to bring a couple of US cans with me to the CAMRGB meet up at the end of September for us all to try. I actually found this beer pretty lacking and dissapointing myself but that was from a bottle, maybe I should try the can!

    1. Excellent, looking forward to it. Have heard mixed things about this from the bottle version (which I've not tried) so would love to be able to do a comparison.