I’ve never claimed to be a beer aficionado, beer enthusiast, most certainly. Like most people I’ll buy whatever is on offer but I have some standards; it must be bottled and contain at least 4.3% alcohol. I’ve had too many misspent days lying around wishing I was dead after some truly wretched swill and now that I’m older I fear that the great 6 for €7 bargain I was such an ardent supporter of may actually kill me. Drinking reminds you of how old you’re getting, as you age you learn to appreciate flavours more and desperately try to avoid getting very drunk for fear of the day after. If you don’t understand, you will some day and I’m glad about that, if I must suffer then so should you. Don’t you just hate those people who bound out of bed bright and breezy and tuck into a fry while you’re lying in bed praying that God actually does exist and promising you’ll live a better life if you survive the day. What fickle people we are.
On the plus side you get to experience alcohol like never before, alcoholic drinks can actually taste good and be pleasurably in small quantities. I was as shocked as the next guy, after 26 years of mindless drinking I was bound to be. About 2 years ago while in New York I did that thing that you noticed your dad doing when you were a kid, asking for local brews in pubs/bars. I suppose I wanted to immerse myself a bit more in the culture, get a real feel for the place, all that crap. But I’m really glad I did because I stumbled across my now favourite beer and opened a world previously unknown to me, that of craft beer. Surprisingly it’s not completely pretentious but there are the cretinous drinkers who will only drink a 6 month barrel aged Gulden Drach out of a 6 inch diameter chalice. I made some of that up but I think you get the picture. Anyway, while taking shelter on a freezing february evening in a downtown Manhattan Bar I came across Brooklyn Lager. I was intrigued as the barman explained that it was the only remaining beer actually brewed in NY city (though most is probably done up-state) and it suited my paltry budget so I took a punt. The robust malty and sour flavours that immediately hit you were a perfect antidote to the extremity-numbing cold outside. Unlike lighter beer it gives you a sense of warmth and has a deep, warm spice and floral aroma that reminds me of cold crisp winter days.
Mid shelf brand lager we drink in volumes doesn’t remind me of any particular place and time. That’s exactly why I love this drink, every time I drink it I think of cold winter days in New York, snow piled high on footpaths, wind howling through skyscraper lined streets and that warm bar where I took refuge. Hopefully you might like it and it will open the floodgates of craft beer.