Those of you who visit the liquor store on a fairly frequent basis may have noticed that Brooklyn Brewery beers are now available around these parts. On my last trip to the Hop Shop, I noticed a few six packs of BB product sitting on the shelves. I started to swoon with joy as I recalled memories of sitting in Manhattan last summer nursing a few Brooklyn Lagers at an Upper West Side watering hole. The Lager, which is BB's flagship beer, is a hearty American amber that would serve as a good gateway beer to other microbrews for those new to the whole craft beer thing.
BB offers five other core beers, though I've seen only the Brooklyn Brown and the East India Pale Ale available here in Indianapolis (I've had both brands, which are excellent). In addition, BB offers several seasonal beers. Almost out of season is the Black Chocolate Stout, which BB releases every winter. This is a rich imperial stout, which at 10.1% ABV is made only for sipping. There's also the Monster Barleywine Ale, which is distributed on a very limited basis. I haven't seen it anywhere in town except for the Wild Oats store on 86th Street, so if you know of any other locations, please chime in.
BB's offerings are fantastic stuff, so if you get a chance, check out their wares. I'm sure that we'll be reviewing a BB product at a roundtable in the near future. And, bonus--their beers are certified kosher! So, if you've had the missus on your back because you keep eating cheeseburgers, at least you can tell her that the new six pack in the fridge is okay to consume.
Speaking of kosher beers, one of my favorite brewers, Shmaltz Brewing Company (home of the outstanding He'brew brand), has just released a new beer that replicates the original He'brew imperial amber ale that Shmaltz founder Jeremy Cowan began with in 1996. The unique ingredient in this beer, called Origin, is pomegranate juice. Studies have shown that pomegranate juice is wicked good for your health, so if you ever wanted an excuse to drink beer for its health benefits, this is the one, folks.
In Indianapolis, you can find Shmaltz brands at a bunch of places, including Kahn's, the Hop Shop, and MacNiven's.