Tonight Barcade, a bar based out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn that boasts 25 craft beer taps and walls of 80s style arcade games, hosted Brooklyn Brewery for a night of new or rare releases as well as some of the standard favorites.  The list was as follows:

Backbreaker – 7.0% ABV – Extra malt-y Strong Ale
Black Chocolate Stout 2004 – 10.1% – aged at Barcade since our first winter
Blast (cask) – 8.0% – A very large IPA, served on cask
Brown – 5.5% – Their classic English Brown Ale
Cookie Jar Porter – 7.8% – Oatmeal cookie, anyone?
Cuvee de Cardoz – 8.5% – Belgian style Strong Pale Ale
Dark Matter – ABV ? – Brown ale aged in bourbon barrels
Lager – 5.2% – Brooklyn’s finest
Monster Ale 2004 – 11.8% – barleywine, aged at Barcade as well
Sorachi Ace – 6.5% – Belgian style Farmhouse Ale
Weisse – 5.0% – German style Hefeweizen
Wild One – ABV ? – Wild yeast version of Brooklyn Local One

(List from Barcade).

At these sort of Barcade events (they often host breweries or themed beer nights) the early bird gets the beer (I learned this at last week’s Sixpoint event in which I missed out on some great brews!)

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a glass of Wild One first thing upon arrival.  With about only sixty cases available, the brew was only being poured from the 750mL unlabeled bottle.  An American Wild Ale, Wild One looked to be quite a normal pour, but proved to be something completely different!  Smelling slightly of bananas, the first sip indicated fruit and a carbonation like that of a fine champagne (not that I’ve taken part in many fine champagnes, but you catch my drift).  The best part of this beer is the sour overtones- something that occurs due to the “sour mash” technique involved with in making American Wild Ale.  I almost didn’t make it to Barcade tonight but decided to make the trek for this brew alone, and I’m certainly glad I did- it was very worth it.

Next on my list was the Cuvee de Cardoz, a golden wheat beer with an Indian flare.  Inspired by a cooking class he took with Chef Cardoz, Garett Oliver created this brew for the Brewmaster’s Reserve series.  With an ABV of 8%, it’s stronger than your average wheat brew, but not enough to knock you over.  The smell was strongly liquorice- an indicator of what was to come.  I took a small sip at first to let the beer hit my palate, and found I just couldn’t stop.  It was a rush of different flavors- fruity with many, many spices, such as ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, fennel and especially a nice chili kick.  The combination of sweet and spicy really drives home the Indian feel, and this brew was the highlight of Brooklyn Brewery for the night as far as I’m concerned (although I did not try the Dark Matter yet due to the fact that I will be attending the launch party this upcoming Monday- check back here for that.  I am hoping the suspense will make the first taste even sweeter!)

Lastly, I went with Troeg’s Nugget Nectar from a suggestion by review master Lee Williams.  A great thing about the brewery events at Barcade is that they still hold some taps for other breweries so that you’re not pigeon-holed.  The Nugget Nectar poured a deep golden amber with a bit of sediment to it.  At 7.5%, this Amber Ale smelled like a pine tree in a glass, suggesting just how hoppy it would actually taste.  Without fail, that is just how Nugget Nectar tasted- like drinking a sappy pine tree out of a glass.  Gross, you say?  Not in the least bit; Nugget Nectar is a little spruce of heaven in the forest of craft beers.

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