Imperial IPA

Other Half, Brooklyn NY

There's few places in New York, that has seen the same level of success as the good folks over at Other Half. After less than three years, they've risen to success as a stand-out in the ever expanding beer scene. With an intense focus on hoppy quenchers and the importance of being a local brewery, they haven't seemed to slow down, since their doors opened to the public.

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My visit this February marks my second time coming through the doors in Brooklyn. Contrary to last visit, there's a beer release on this particular day - a collaboration with Russian Zagovor Brewery.

It's a long time coming as the Imperial Stout has been sitting on French Oak Red Wine Barrels. Those same barrels has then been stuffed with birch staves soaked in Armenian Brandy. If that's not enough, some of the beer have gotten raspberries and cocoa nibs added, hence a double release. I grabbed one of each to take home.

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More on Space Soyez Sauce (as it's called) later...

The warehouse and the bar is as packed as ever, with very few places to stand and even fewer to sit. I fight for a place just next to the bar, perfect view for the taplist and not getting in the way of the line, that seems to stretch out the door. Today there's even a door man, who suggest I get a Motueke + Galaxy.

I obliged!

I obliged!

It may or may not have been a good idea. Starting with an Imperial IPA could seem counterintuitive, as I would like to try more than one beer. None the less, it lives up to the name with tons of fruit, as I've come to expect from Other Half. Slight note of citrus evens it out a bit, and only the bitterness seems to be slightly missing.

The missing bitterness seems to have fled to 3rd Anniversary, I had the day before. 

But as my day has already included two other breweries (Interboro + Finback) and I'm not yet done for the day, I find my last beer on the board, Small Green Everything. Not straying far from the usual, with massive amounts of fruit and citrus. Would've been even better as a starter, but none the less it convinces me I need to bring home some more beers from Other Half.

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Before heading home I get a hold of a can of Hop Showers, in a surprise trading for one of my Finback cans, and a bottle of Cane Life, a collaboration with J. Wakefield. They all fit nicely in my suitcase.

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2016: Best New Beer

For the second year now, the danish beer bloggers are doing a "best of..." series. Started by Stovt last year, it's being done all over again, with some minor changes in the titles, but still with a view at the difference in beer bloggers views and experiences.

There's no denying that my tastebuds have evolved over time. A good solid 5 gets rarer and rarer by the year. Usually when I do my yearly tally I get a bit of help from Untappd, where I pull all my data from. There's simply no other way to keep track.

I've decided to divide the Best New Beer award into one foreign and one Danish. It just made more sense that way.

My non-danish favorite list has a bunch of different styles, although mostly leaning towards imperial stouts. At an almost perfect score there's Anagram from Omnipollo, that I had when I did a Tap Takeover with them back in May. Then there's Saison Melange and Broken Truck No. 2 from de Garde, Black Magick (Rye Whiskey Barrels) from Voodoo Brewing and Wednesday from Cycle Brewing, which was all consumed during Copenhagen Beer Celebration.

The winner however, and the only 5-star rating (of a new beer) this year goes to Cloudwater with their DIPA v2, which I traded with a british guy back when it was only days old. Nothing but amazing, and they deserve all the praise they get for the continoud DIPA lineup - it's now at version 10!

I do however find it much more interesting to see which beers from Denmark, makes the top spots and not surprisingly, my two favorite breweries from last year is well represented. Alefarm, last years "best newcomer" is at three spots with their Old Creation and their Collab with Bad Seed and off course Kindred Spirits, which may be the IPA I've consumed the most during 2016.

Courtesy of Alefarms Facebook page. 

Courtesy of Alefarms Facebook page. 

But my favorite brewery from last year also snuck their way in with their NE IPA, The Bastard Princess, appropriately named after The Editor. Alongside Gamma Brewing and their Ionize DIPA they're the last ones to make top spots before announcing my apparent favorite beer of 2016.

Black Luck from Beer Here takes the top spot alongside Kindred Spirits from Alefarm are my duo for the best beer released in 2016. One is sweet, heavy, roasty and toasted, while the other one is hoppy, funky and smooth as silk. Both of them warms my soul and I smile when I think of how spoiled we are here in Denmark sometimes.