My search for the best beer in New York continues….
Ah, the power of persuasion. I remember laughing hysterically during the film Sideways when Paul Giammati’s character exclaimed he smelled asparagus in the wine. The pretension and specificity was absurd. Of course, I stopped laughing when one day at a pre-shift meeting at The Modern, I too smelled green vegetables in my wine. Did that happen because those aromas really existed in the glass or did I smell it because the wine director suggested I would?
The beer world uses similarly surprising aromas to explain how a beer smells and tastes. But after tasting my way through many different styles, it’s not too far off. Beer can smell like chocolate or grass or pepper or bananas or even smoke.
And maybe even strawberries. I was looking for a local beer that I hadn’t tried on tap at the spacious Pine Box Rock Shop, a cool and lively rock-themed bar and performance space in the heart of hipster Bushwick. Local craft beer is their thing and I was pleased to order the Kelso Saison. This is different than the Spring Saison, which I reviewed a few seasons back.
Saison refers to seasons and can vary greatly from one beer to another. Unlike Kelso’s spring beer which had more spicy, citrusy notes, this one was full of strawberries. It was on the nose and it was on the palette and it was a pleasant surprise.
Along with the strawberries, the beer had a very nice smell of herbs and grass, following with a smooth drinkable creamy flavor and mouthfeel. The alochol was low and the hop muted, so this was a very mild and easy to drink beer. I imagine it fits more into the world of summertime brews, but I’d be happy to drink this throughout the year to remind me of sunny possibilities.
As a note, the strawberries were definitely subtle – this is not a fruit beer by any means. And the truth is, I’m not even sure I’d have fully discovered the flavor if it wasn’t one of the descriptive words on the beer menu. But I did pick it up and it couldn’t have been in my imagination? Could it?
Is Kelso of Brooklyn’s Saison the best beer in NY? It’s a great summer and fall beer with plenty of fruity freshness with a low hops bite. I give it an 8 out of 10.
|KELSO OF BROOKLYN|
|PINE BOX ROCK SHOP|
|61 Bergen Street (between Smith Street and Boerum Place)
Boerum Hill, Brooklyn