Friday, 3 September 2010

Now Drinking: Crown Brewery Brooklyn Heights

Damn. Forgot to ask them to take the sparkler off.

For me, one of the most exciting trends in British brewing in the last few years has been the resurgence of the hop, or more specifically, cask ales with big American C-hop character. I've said it before, but the transatlantic conversation between American and European brewing culture has never been more excitable or exciting. Despite not getting to the pub as often as I'd like, I still think cask ale rules.

Brooklyn Heights wears its affiliations proudly on its pump clip. It's an unashamedly ballsy interpretation of an American Pale Ale. Most American Pale Ales (and IPAs) are designed to be drunk cold and force-carbonated - nothing wrong with that, but when you serve them on cask, that lack of dissolved CO2 makes the whole thing slightly sweet and sticky.

Happily, Stuart Ross of Crown Brewery (for it is he) knows what he's doing when it comes to cask ale. So rather than making a beer better suited to a quick bit of chill and zizz, he knows how to meld the hop-forward character of an APA with just the right fullness of malt body. The end result is a classic English ale that is both traditional and modern. It's trad because there's just enough earthy bitterness to it to please your old man, but at the same time, it's modern in it's marmalade-pith fruity character. There's just enough sweetness to it to balance the big, spicy bitterness in the finish.

Another classic from Crown Brewery. Great work, Stuart. And great work North Bar.


  1. Sounds very much like my kind of tipple - bit far for a Friday afternoon drink today mind.

  2. Velky Al - according to Google maps, if you'd started walking 8 days and 22 hours ago, you could have met me for a pint. Think on.

  3. I've never had BH on cask but the bottle (with added hop) Stu sent me was sublime, probably my favourite beer of Stu's followed by the always delicious yet simple Sam berry's pale ale.

    I take it you will be attending the tasting meal on the 16th oct??

  4. Thought the cask version was great but on tasting the beer from Stu's own force carbonated 'corny keg' at the brewery I was just blown away. So much so that I bought my own corny and have filled it twice. The finished product, is un-cannily American and extremely moreish. Real Keg, it's the future!

  5. Andy - There's nothing like a hand-stuffed hop to enhance your enjoyment. Re: the dinner, I haven't got a ticket yet, but hope to go, yes.

    mybrewerytap - that's interesting, I'll have to get a cheeky snifter of that at some point. I guess what I had in mind was all the great American APA/IPAs at GBBF that just don't show their best on cask. If Stu has brewed something that is good in both forms, then double bonus.

  6. woohoo! mostly Apollo, Centennial & Summit in the copper and then a big whack of Summit for dry hopping in the FV.


  7. I've drunk this both on cask and keg...well I say keg. It was from myBrewerytap's corny keg but dispensed into an old Ribena bottle. I drank it stood in Brighouse Train Station car park, but it still tasted great.

    On cask at North Bar it was amazing! So bright, bitter and assertive.

  8. It's a winner, for sure. Wonderful, as always, from Stu/Crown. And I agree North deserve a round of applause for being (what seems like) a regular outlet in Leeds for Crown's wares.

  9. Sounds good. US flavour meets UK session drinking.



Sorry about the word verification - the blog was getting spammed to bits.