The theme of this past weekend was New York/New Jersey breweries and the two-fold highlight was that I scored a four-pack of Grimm Artisan Ales’ Afterimage at the Growler and Gill and my friend scored me a four pack of each of the Other Half releases at the Brooklyn brewery.
Brooklyn has established itself as an artisan community and it seems like hand-made craft culture has made its way to a number of critically acclaimed brewers that call the borough home. It begs the question – is Brooklyn the new Vermont of the craft beer world?
Both Brooklyn-based breweries featured here are clearly on an upward trajectory. Other Half was started in 2014 by Samuel Richardson and Matt Monahan. I fell in love with this brewery after having just one of their offerings – All I See is Green – 93 points. It just dripped of fresh resinous, dankness. Their reputation grows with each can release.
Grimm Artisan Ales was started in 2013 by a husband and wife team – Joe and Lauren Grimm. This Brooklyn couple are currently “nomadic” brewers and they took the craft beer world by storm with their surprising silver medal in the 2014 Great American Beer Festival for their stout Double Negative – 93 points. In an era of stout aged in bourbon-rye-whiskey-tequlia-rum barrels with vanilla-coffee-pepper-coconut added, Double Negative is just straightforward awesomeness. This can release has also created quite the buzz in the craft beer community.
Let’s have some beer!
Other Half: All Green Everything
Tasting: September 26, 2015
Style: Triple IPA
Beer #: 814
Wow – this one from Other Half is an absolute monster – massive flavor bombards – raw dank hops, sticky and resinous. Rich with mango, pineapple and grapefruit. The real story here is the massive wave of boozy heat. It’s a love hate thing and I’m in the camp that it somewhat detracts from the experience. Could have been a classic but the booziness tempers the experience – 93 points.
Grimm Artisan: Afterimage
Tasting: October 3, 2015
Beer #: 815
An afterimage refers to an image continuing to appear in one’s vision after the exposure to the original image has ceased. Think of the area that float in your vision after briefly looking into a light source. I’ve stared at the can and nothing. Maybe better results after emptying the can.
Afterimage has wonderful nose and my first impression is that this Imperial IPA has a beautiful texture. Fresh, green hops, wonderful but mellow citrus. My only knock is that the flavor is a bit demure for such a rich body. Don’t get me wrong – this is an awesome beer and I’d love to have a fridge full of Afterimage. 95 points.
Other Half: Citra
Tasting: October 6, 2015
Beer #: 816
Citra hops hit the craft beer world in 2008 and are a dual purpose hop with high alpha acid content of 11-13% (strong bitterness qualities). A flexible hop that can be used for bittering and flavor/aroma. It imparts aromas/flavors of passion fruit, tropical fruit, and citrus.
Other Half has been producing a number of single hop ales and Citra would seem to be a perfect ale for this versatile and popular hop.
I love Citra hops – so crisp and tart. Citrus rind in the background along with honey, melon. Herbal, peppery finish. Solid effort 92 points.
Other Half: Cascade
Tasting: October 6, 2015
Beer #: 817
Another single hop ale, this time using a craft beer classic – Cascade. First used commercially in 1976, cascade imparts a pleasant, flowery and spicy, citrus-like quality with a slight grapefruit characteristic. The hop is good for both flavor and aroma uses.
Not much up front as the hops kick in on the tail end with some muddled citrus bitterness. Not a well-balanced beer 86 points.
Other Half: Green Diamonds
Tasting: October 7, 2015
Beer #: 818
Acquired in a deal for some other Other Half beers. It seems my trade partner had made it a point to get all of the single hop releases from Other Half but he missed Citra and Cascade. Definitely sticky and dank and raw with green hops. Nice tropical fruits. While All Green Everything was a bit too boozy, Green Diamonds delivers some boozy heat, it makes its presence known but doesn’t detract from this well-balance imperial IPA – nicely done 94 points.
Other Half: Hop Showers
Tasting: October 8, 2015
Beer #: 819
Acquired as a bonus beer in my Green Diamonds trade. Not sure if it was bargaining positioning but my partner swears this is his favorite beer from Other Half. Crisp and citrus bitterness up front with a diminishing herbal finish. Entirely drinkable and before I know it the entire sixteen ounce can is gone. Nice beer 90 points.