Good Beer Hunting

no. 294

“When it comes to rare beer launches, we'd rather get you guys in a room together and chat instead of making you wait in line for a couple of hours," says Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery's ebullient traveling brewmaster.

He was in town this weekend for the Brooklyn Beer Mansion, a party the brewery was throwing for its second year running in Dalston, East London. Brooklyn's been importing its beer to the UK for more than a decade now, and events like Beer Mansion are a highly effective way of ensuring its brand remains in the UK beer consumers' collective line of sight.

Part of the event was a private tasting of some of Brooklyn's "Ghost Bottles." They only pop these highly limited releases at special events like this one. At the tasting's crescendo, Oliver brought out a few bottles of Late Bottle Vintage Black Ops, which had spent four years maturing in bourbon barrels before aging gracefully for another seven years in the bottle. The beer had developed flavors closer to a Port or Madeira, complete with notes of leather, tobacco, and allspice that mingled with a molasses sweetness before warming alcohol in the finish.

Meanwhile, the dude can throw down on the dance floor just as gracefully as he constructs a beer recipe. If we can catch him busting moves in a room with better lighting next time, we'll post that photo, too.