Friday night I had a beer dinner with the brewery that started my love for craft beer: Brooklyn Brewery (more on that in another post). We had five beers pairs with five small plates at the Buffalo Wing Factory in Chantilly.
- Brooklyn East India Pale Ale – 6.9% AVB, 47 IBUs, 200 calories. I thought it was odd to start with the IPA but it was enjoyable. It had lasting carbonation with moderate head retention. For an IPA it did not taste too hoppy. Some members of my group who aren’t IPA fans were quite surprised that they enjoyed the beer so much. It was paired with spicy crab buffalo boneless wing bite. The heat of the spicy crab sauce was brought out by the hoppiness. Score: 6/10
- Brooklyn Brown Ale – 5.6% ABV, 30 IBUs, 190 calories. The maltiness of this beer is it’s most obvious characteristic. It has a strong hint of chocolate. It was paired with a smoked chipotle Gouda cheese. I thought the pairing went well together. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer (it’s my favorite brown ale, period). Score: 10/10
- Brooklyn Winter Ale – 6.1% ABV, 25 IBUs, 205 calories. This was the only beer I haven’t had before. It was easy to drink and was paired with a BBQ slider. I wasn’t thrilled with the pairing even though Brooklyn’s website says BBQ is a good match. Duck wasn’t on the menu but I feel like that would have been a better pairing. Score: 5/10
- Brooklyn Lager – 5.2% ABV, 33 IBUs, 170 calories. This beer isn’t overpowering at any level but is quite enjoyable. I’d choose it over a Yuengling any day. Most of my group seemed to like it as well. It was paired with a tomato-basil cheddar cheese. Score: 7/10.
- Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout – 10% ABV, 51 IBUs, 320 calories. For having 10% ABV this beer goes down incredibly well. My sample did not have much head retention and poured a deep black color. It was paired with a brownie. Score: 6/10.
This was one of the better beer clubs I’ve been to. I do have two complaints though. First was the beer rep. He wasn’t the most engaging and didn’t tell much about the individual beers (how they’re brewed, types of hops, etc.). My second is that the food was paired too complimentary to the beers. Regardless, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Overall score: 8/10
Have you been to any beer dinners recently? What’s your favorite Brooklyn Brewery beer?