My search for the best beer in New York continues….

Everybody wants to be from Brooklyn these days. It may just be the hippest place in the world. It’s so cool, trendy, and unique that a few years ago The Brooklyneer opened up in Manhattan serving food and drinks from the neighboring borough to the south. You can get every other type of cuisine in Manhattan – from Ethiopian to New Englad – so why not Brooklyn cuisine?


Maybe because it’s literally just 5 train stops away!!! Even though I love to imbibe as locally as possible, this idea reeks of gimmickry and pretentiousness. The menu serves hot dogs from Mile End, pickles from Brooklyn Brine, and dishes inspired by certain BK neighborhoods. There’s cold brewed coffee, spicy bar snacks, and plenty of kombucha! Not to mention exposed brick and a retro photo booth.

I didn’t have the food when I visited (I can easily go to the source, thank you!), but instead stuck with the beer. They advertise the draft beer as being all brewed in Brooklyn or NY State. Um. We got some talkin’ to do here…

First off, they have a house brew called the Brooklyneer Pilsner. I was eager to review it but when I asked the bartender she told me it’s brewed at Lion Brewery in Pennsylvania. Turns out that’s the same place good ol’ Sixpoint has been brewing the majority of their beers. And just for the record, Pennsylvania is not in Brooklyn.

This has been a sore thumb with lots of people in the beer world recently. Sixpoint, which is based out of a small facility in Red Hook (definitely in Brooklyn), brews most of their beers with a contract brewer out of state. So technically, it’s not a Brooklyn product.

Well, I’ve still been reviewing it because culturally it is most certainly Brooklyn and they want you to believe it’s part of the hipster movement. So I guess I’ll continue to perpetuate the myth.

The only major Sixpoint brew I have yet to review is the Bengali Tiger IPA. This might be their most popular but I was never a huge fan of it back in the day thinking it sort of tasted like everything else they make.

It’s a well-made beer. Pouring a vibrant golden orange with a strong consistent head, it smells floral with some mild tropical fruit notes. There was also a funky aroma coming out of the glass. It didn’t taste off, so I’m sensing it may have been a slightly dirty glass (those dirty Brooklyn hipsters – in Manhattan!)

This is an approachable IPA with a mellow grassy hop character balanced with a bit of biscuit sweetness. It may have been too balanced because once the initial hoppiness settled, it almost tasted like nothing. The major flavors mellowed out and made this a very passive, drinkable IPA.

To me the Bengali Tiger is the epitome of Brooklyn – it has an apathetic mellowness with a complex backbone. Too bad it doesn’t actually come from the over-exposed borough.

Is Sixpoint’s Bengali Tiger IPA the best beer in NY? People love it, but I find it to be a little too passive with not enough hop flavor. It still gets a 7 out of 10 for its balance.

SIXPOINT CRAFT ALES
sixpoint.com
THE BROOKLYNEER
220 West Houston Street (between Varick and Bedford Street),
West Village
(646) 692-4911
brooklyneer.com
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Category: Beer

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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