One of the greater things about watching football in America is that most matches, especially those of the EPL, are early in the morning American time, giving people an excuse to day drink. This is part of our series discussing exactly what to drink when you’re at the pub, presented by our resident homebrewer, Keith
The Beer: Bronx Pale Ale, The Bronx Brewery, The Bronx, New York
The Pub: The Black Rabbit, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
What You Need to Know: The Bronx Brewery is a new addition to the burgeoning NYC brewing scene, launching in September of 2011. The brainchild of former Red Hat engineer Damian Brown and ex-Heineken consultant Chris Gallant, they’ve released three beers thus far: a Pale Ale, Black Ale and Rye Pale Ale.
As I wrote last April, the English Pale Ale is a close cousin of the Extra Special Bitter. Like a bitter, the style is very malt-forward, as opposed to the more hop-forward American pale ale, and in the case of St. Peter’s, the on-site water source imparts a certain amount of clarity. Where it differs from the bitter is in the alcohol content (usually higher in the pale ale), and that the pale ale is often sent through a cold-filtering process rather than casked. Bronx Brewery claims their Pale Ale to be a mix of an English malt bill with an American hop bill, though as we’ll see, the hop flavor really manages to come off less prominent than I think they planned.
So, About This Beer: Pours a pristinely clear copper with an almost nonexistent tan head. Grassy, biscuity aroma. Round malty sweetness up front, a medium body with VERY light carbonation. The hop flavor on the back of the mouth tastes like sweet lemon peel. There’s even a slight banana aftertaste. A very interesting and very delicious debut beer indeed.
The Verdict: As I said, this beer is really closer to an English Pale Ale than its brewers proclaim. This is a very good thing, as it makes it distinct from most American-brewed pales, and it more than holds its own against the better English Pales. If you’re in New York, and you can find it, order this beer.