There aren’t many British breweries who could put on a shindig quite like Brooklyn Brewery’s Beer Mansion last week. A multi-room adventure in a rickety old warehouse in Dalston, with a chance to try some of the New York giant’s exotica and hang out with brewing royalty like Garrett Oliver.
And if a brewery could be said to be a band, then Brooklyn are surely the Rolling Stones, and Oliver their Mick Jagger. I’d like to imagine the Beer Mansion team flew over the Atlantic in a private 747 decorated with Brooklyn livery.
It was my privilege to be there as a guest of Original Gravity Magazine which also got me into the event-within-the-event, a tasting of Brooklyn’s colab with Thornbridge, Serpent.
Anticipation was heavy as Oliver popped open the first bottle with Jim Harrison, Thornbridge’s MD. Serpent is a Belgian golden Ale, aged on cider lees in bourbon barrels for over a year. It was sharp, tart and zingy with a very dry, gripping finish of green apples. It was astounding – I’ve never tasted anything quite like it.
Later, I cornered Garrett for a portrait. As you’d expect – and despite being confronted by a tipsy, starstruck Yorkshireman – he was an absolute gentleman.