“No, Sir: There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.” — Samuel Johnson, English Poet, Essayist 1709-1784
“Where’s Brooklyn At?” – Christopher “Notorious B.I.G” Wallace, American Poet, Musician 1972- 1997
I do believe it's possible they were both talking about the Office Lounge on the corner of Main Street and Rt. 37, and more specifically Mr. Wallace above was probably talking about where he could find Brooklyn Brewery’s fantastic libation Brooklyn Lager on tap. Wait, what’s that you say? He wasn’t referring to beer at all? He was looking for people in the crowd at his concerts that were also from Brooklyn? Hogwash! Balderdash! It was definitely the beer. (You can quickly see how my mind pretty much relates most things to beer, however incorrect or nonexistent the connection actually is.)
The Office Lounge is an excellent spot in town for people looking to have a beer outside of the Mega-Brew category. They offer 21 different draft selections, many of which are scarcely found in other local taverns. (Possible Office lounge sequel in the future? Maybe I’ll call it Office Lounge: Temple of Doom or Office Lounge: The Keg Strikes Back? First sequel and George Lucas lawsuit wrapped in one!) Though there were many appetizing selections, I knew I was going to choose the Brooklyn Lager as soon as my eyes gazed lovingly at that Green B Logo behind the bar.
The weather is changing and the warm weather is going to start rolling in with more consistency soon, and this drastically changes my beer preferences. I enjoy a lighter style of beer like the Lager chosen here in the summer weather. Typically, they can be more refreshing than a heavier, maltier style of beer such as Stout or Porter. Malt is definitely present in Brooklyn Lager, much more so then the Long Trail IPA covered in my previous column, but where IPAs are heavily hopped, this beer shows a nice balance between the sweetness and rich flavor of Malt and bitterness of hops.
Many breweries will begin rolling out their “Summer Seasonal” lines in the coming weeks and many of those varieties are light and easily drinkable, but often times to differentiate them notes of lemon and citrus are featured.
A beer such as Brooklyn Lager is a nice alternative for those who are not interested in this lemon flavor in their beer. It is smooth with a fairly dry finish, and goes down easily with plenty of flavor but will not weigh down the stomach of someone who is settling in for an extended drinking session at a BBQ or dining outside in The Office Lounge’s patio area.
An added bonus that may give it an edge over the upcoming Seasonal beers is that The O-Lounge has had it available for over a year consistently, so once the leaves start to change color it won’t disappear like a summer romance at the start of the fall semester of college.
An overlooked aspect of drinking quality beer at your favorite pub is that these breweries are often small operations. Supporting these small businesses actually makes an impact on their ability to do what they do instead of the Mega-Brews who pump out hundreds of millions of cases per year.
According to BrooklynBrewery.com, their official website, the Borough of Brooklyn was home to no less then 48 active breweries 100 years ago. A large influx of German immigrants to the area in the 1800s brought a taste for good beer and knowledge of the Art of Brewing.
By 1976, all of the breweries were closed down, losing the battle versus the Mega-Brews. Brooklyn Brewery was founded in 1989 to fill the void.
While it is not around the corner, I still consider this somewhat of a local brewery. Located on North 11th Street in Brooklyn, it is a reasonable distance away and free tours are offered every weekend and their in house bar offers the freshest beer possible at very reasonable prices (especially for anything in New York City).
But, my fellow beer lovers, there’s no reason for a public transit adventure to enjoy Brooklyn Lager thanks to The Office Lounge.