Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Owl Farm: Brewing Network Meet-Up

Retired potato chip salesman.
On Tuesday July 2, 2013 we ventured to Park Slope to a Meet-Up organized by our pal Fritz for The Brewing Network, an on-line beer and homebrewing website resource that features articles, podcasts and, in general, seems to strive to be informational and entertaining.
Unlikely list -- in best possible way.
B.R. had been to Owl Farm before, one of a family of Brooklyn bars that include Bar Great Harry and Mission Dolores, but it was my first visit. I was surprised by the eclectic draught list. I've been to plenty of good bars with great lists, but there was a quirky randomness to their tap list. I don't think that I've ever seen anything from Beer Here, Emelisse or Alvinne on tap before, but here they were, among a wide range of breweries and styles represented on the 28 taps, plus one cask. And Owl Farm's Steven took good care of us!
Beer networkers.
I had to get the Beer Here beer, naturally. Their Dark Hops looked and drank like a Baltic porter, with a slight cocoa note in the finish and a clean, bitter aftertaste. B.R. went for the Pretty Things ¡Magnifico!, a "3.4% rustic session pale ale", which had a hazy dark golden straw color, a very hoppy, grapefruity nose (thanks to Simcoe, Horizon, Citra and Bravo hops), a very light body, with some citrus flavor up front and some graininess in the finish. The finish was extremely clean and trailed off to oblivion.
Beer Here's Dark Hops left, Pretty Things ¡Magnifico! right.
Next, B.R. tried the Oskar Blues Pilsner, Mama's Little Yella Pils, which was aged in chardonnay barrels. It had a tart, cidery aroma and flavor, and, seemingly, a very light body, though the wine attributes could have pushed perception in that direction. The wine barrel really imparted a lot of wine character -- it was quite refreshing.
Créme Brulee by Emelisse.
I, on the other hand, went to the opposite end of the scale, with a Créme Brulee Imperial Stout from Emelisse Brouwerij of the Netherlands. It had the darkest brown color with a garnet highlight when backlit with a candle, topped off with a thick, dense, tan head, which retreated rather quickly. The nose was rich and sweet with marshmallow, cream soda, and caramel notes. A bitter note peeked out from under the sweet, creamy, malt-dominated flavor, and reasserted itself in the finish and aftertaste with roasted malt flavors. It started out creamy and ended with roasty bitter finish. It's a real piece of art!

Cask version of Perennial's Aria Belgian Ale with brett.
I finished the visit with a Perennial Aria, a Belgian style ale with brett, which was on cask. The Aria had a medium golden color, and an almost pumpkin pie spice-like note in the aroma. The flavor had a hint of pleasant sourness cutting through a somewhat creamy, soft malt quality in the mouthfeel and in the flavor. Perennial is known for making beers with bold barrel aged characteristics, but this one was quite subtle and understated -- much smoother and softer in flavor than any other of their beers I've had. Perhaps being on cask, with the lower carbonation, rounded out the edges a bit. It was a good one to end with!
Three's a parliament.

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