Brooklyn Improved Old Fashioned
Here at Brooklyn Brewery, we are, of course, beer people. But we are also “drinks people,” and many inspirations come to us out of the deep and wondrous world of cocktails. While surely invented earlier, the modern cocktail emerged in the 19th century. The original—the ur-cocktail, if you will—was the Old Fashioned. A deceptively simple drink consisting of whiskey, sugar, and bitters (stirred, not shaken), usually with a bit of citrus peel, a good Old Fashioned remains a thing of austere beauty. By the 1860s, some bartenders, Jerry Thomas (aka “The Professor”) chief among them, became household names in America. A mixologist (believe it or not, the moniker is actually old) looking to make a name for himself would often make a change to an existing cocktail, perhaps adding absinthe, or curaçao, or a dash of maraschino liqueur. This new version would be rakishly referred to as “improved,” as the upstart barman fervently hoped to eclipse his predecessor.
Well, we’ve gone this idea one better. We have “improved” the Old Fashioned by making it into a beer. Witness our strong rye beer, suffused with various spices and peels! Wonder at its long blissful rest in WhistlePig Rye Whiskey oak barrels! Marvel at its clever infusions of bitter gentian root and enticing botanicals! And then enjoy, as you are greeted by the silky spice of rye, the firm herbal bitterness, the brightness of citrus, and the sweet warmth of oak. Sit in your favorite chair, surround yourself with your favorite people, and imbibe this, our latest Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment. We can nearly guarantee that you shall feel that your day has, in fact, improved.
Given this beer’s higher ABV and sturdy character, we think it’s a prime candidate for cellaring. Find a cool, dry spot away from light sources, and see how it changes in the years to come. You never quite know what will happen when you age a beer: perhaps the body will smooth out, notes of vanilla, oak, and tannins will come to the front, or hints of leather and soy sauce will make themselves known. No matter what, remember that beer is meant for drinking, so don’t keep it to yourself for too long.
Style: Barrel-aged rye ale with botanicals & bitters
Malts: Glen Eagle Maris Otter, Canadian 2-row, Weyermann Rye, Fawcett Rye, Fawcett Crystal Rye
Additions: Demerara sugar, Belgian candi syrup, bitter orange peel, lemon peel, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, bitter gentian root, cloves, and aging in WhistlePig Rye whiskey barrels
Yeast: Our House Ale Yeast
Alcohol by Volume: 12.8%
Original Gravity: 21° Plato
Food Pairings: Game meats, rich desserts, citrus fruits, your fanciest clothing and an overstuffed leather chair.
Availability: Q1 2016
Format: 750ml cork-finished bottles
The Brooklyn Brewery
Like our namesake borough, The Brooklyn Brewery is made up of a rich collection of characters from all over the world. In our Williamsburg home, these characters are dedicated to brewing and selling great beer and enriching the communities we serve. Together, these Brooklynites have assembled the skills needed to transform a home brewing hobby into an independent brewery with a brand that has become an international beacon for good beer.
Among our team is Garrett Oliver, a prolific author and James Beard Award-winning brewmaster, and cofounder Steve Hindy, author and beer industry commentator. It’s more than just a collection of relevant résumés. That dapper brewmaster of ours is also a talented chef with an impressive collection of swords and pop culture witticisms, each sharper than the next. Our CEO first honed his sales skills selling metal mixtapes in Cairo as a teenager. Our technical director owns the upstate farm she grew up on, producing maple syrup and growing crops and the hops used in our Greenmarket Wheat. Our Warehouse & Logistics Manager closes his computer each day to go play in a Ween cover band. Our brewing and packaging teams include people who speak English, Arabic, Urdu, Spanish, Mandingo and French; all of them line up during early morning shifts to buy tamales from the back of Maria’s bicycle when she stops in front of the loading dock. We have musicians, actors, writers, crossword enthusiasts, directors, athletes, home chefs and scientists that converge in Williamsburg every day to work on one thing: making Brooklyn Brewery beer delicious, adventurous and available to all.
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