Brooklyn Brewery is the day job of brewmaster Garrett Oliver, who may be better known globally as editor-in-chief of the comprehensive Oxford Companion to Beer. In fairness, Oliver, an eloquent beer scholar if ever there was, did not create the recipe for this fine lager; a guy named William Moeller did back in the mid-1980s, just as Brooklyn Brewery was helping to get the craft-beer party started in North America.
Amid today’s nerdy, bearded-hipster obsession with massively bitter West Coast pale ales and dark stouts and porters, it’s sad to think we may have overlooked craft brewing’s subtler achievement. Lager, the venerable style figuratively and literally watered down by decades of Corporate Beer abuse, was reclaimed, too. This is a good example. It admirably delivers two things most big-brand lagers don’t, malty-rounded richness and solid bitter backbone. It’s also got an earthy undercurrent reminiscent of dry foliage, a reminder that beer ultimately comes from living plants, not just industrial plants; $15.18 in B.C., various prices in Alberta, $14.85 in Saskatchewan.