The beer gods are smiling on Greenpoint. The guys who own Brouwerij Lane on Greenpoint Ave. today unveiled Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co., the brewery arm of Dirck the Norseman. Dirck has 8 new brews on tap and we tried them all. Here are our thoughts.
1) Wallabout Wit – a fairly traditional wheat beer in the Belgian style, the Wallabout boasts local malt from New York state. I tasted citrus and a surprising amount of clove. Fun fact: Wallabout is the name of one of Brooklyn’s oldest neighborhoods in what is now Fort Greene. It’s also a good beer!
2) Helles Gate – an unfiltered golden lager. Looks like I forgot to take a picture of the Helles until I was halfway through it. Oops. The Wallabout must have been stronger than I thought. Anyway, Dirck brews the Helles with malts smoked over beechwood, giving the beer a distinctly smoky flavor. As far as I can tell, Helles Gate is an archaic name for Hell Gate, a tidal strait in the East River that separates Astoria from Randall’s and Wards Islands.
3) Clifford PL – an American Pale Ale. It tasted quite fruity to me. I distinctly smelled grapefruit and orange, but I was two beers in at this point and hadn’t had anything to eat. As far as I can tell, it’s called Clifford after the name of a street in Greenpoint. If you like Dogfish Head 60 Minute, you’ll like this beer, too.
4) Fisticuffs – this beer tastes like breakfast, and I mean that in the best way possible. According to the menu, it tastes like “brown sugar, coffee, bread crust, and honeyed nuts,” which are all quite delightful. And it’s only 2.9% ABV so you can drink it in the morning without feeling bad. According to the bartender, this one’s a “session” beer, which means you’re supposed to drink it all day long. Will do.
5) Fisticuffs Dry Hopped with Amarillo – this beer is the same as the Fisticuffs, but it’s served out of a cask, meaning it’s not carbonated. And, as the name says, it includes Amarillo hops, similar to the Clifford. It tastes like a cross between the Fisticuffs and the Clifford and looks exactly like the Fisticuffs (I only asked for a little bit of this one because they only had one cask on hand and I didn’t want to monopolize all the beer).
6) Ol’ Ironside – the Ironside’s name is a tribute to the USS Monitor, which was built in the Brooklyn Navy Yards for the U.S. Navy in the American Civil War. It was the first ironclad steamship. This dark porter is described as “earthy, nutty, tobacco, and dark chocolate.”
7) Ash St. IPA – named after Ash Street, which sits just below Newtown Creek and passes under the Pulaski Bridge. This IPA is strong at 7.6% ABV. It smelled and tasted very floral and reminded me of Stone Ruination IPA. My personal favorite of the bunch! I only asked for a half-pour since I was six beers in and it’s pretty strong.
8) Tupelo IPA – the menu describes this beer as “hazy,” “dank,” and “resiny.” It turns out that the hop plant Humulus Lupulus is a relative of the cannabis plant, and that relationship is quite evident when you get a whiff of this brew. Clocking in at 9% ABV, this one will put you on your ass if you’re not careful. My bartender said this was his favorite of the bunch, and with good reason. It’s definitely the most flavorful of Dirck’s offerings.
All in all, I was very pleased with Dirck’s new beer offerings. You should go try them!