I find myself bugging my roommates a lot about beer-related events. At this point, I’m amazed they don’t immediately roll their eyes whenever I say something like, “so there’s this beer thing happening…”
Imagine my delight when my roomie Sarah told me about an event at Gold Star Beer Counter in Brooklyn! As a native Chicagoan, she was excited to see that they were celebrating the debut of Rainbow Never Ends, a double IPA brewed collaboratively by Chicago’s Half Acre and Brooklyn’s Other Half. As Other Half happens to be one of my favorite breweries, I couldn’t resist. Even better, my two other roomies agreed to come along!
Gold Star Beer Counter is an adorable bar. As you can see from the picture above, it was full to bursting when we arrived. We still managed to weasel our way up to the bar to get our first beers of the night. Eventually, the crowd parted and we were able to snag one of only three tables. I think the beer gods were listening to me; moments earlier, I’d been complaining that I had nowhere to set down my beer so I could take pictures.
Sarah started out with Rainbow Never Ends, since it was the belle of the ball that night. It was a nice double IPA full of hoppy goodness, and deceptively light for an 8.5% beer. It ended on an herbal syrupy note that wasn’t overly bitter. Delightful!
My own beer was also a delight. Since I’d never had Half Acre’s beers before, I decided to start off with their Freedom of ’78. This IPA was brewed with guava – if you have an IPA brewed with tropical fruit on your menu, you can bet I’m going to order it. There was so much guava in this, you guys. It was essentially a hopped, alcoholic guava soda and I loved it.
For my second beer, I decided to go against my usual preferences and try Half Acre’s Gin Barrel Aged Pony Pilsner. I’m definitely not typically a pilsner drinker. I find a lot of them have a distinct, off-putting aftertaste. the Pony Pilsner doesn’t have that. The gin comes through loud and clear, and it has lots of herbal and floral elements. Looking for a gin and tonic with the body of a beer? This is your pony. (I now have Ginuwine’s Pony stuck in my head. Again.)
At this point, Sarah and I were getting peckish. Beer cheese to the rescue! Even better, it was made with Daisy Cutter, Half Acre’s flagship pale all. It was indeed very beery, a little spicy, and wonderfully delicious. It was also served with an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers for only $6!
At that point, my two other roommates decided to be responsible adults and call it a night. Sarah and I decided that we had more beer to drink! I stopped taking notes at this point, so I can’t say much about the other beers we tried. However, I did have a sip of Other Half’s Peachwood Aged, which was very surprising. It tasted like peaches, champagne, and diamonds. Just one sip made me feel like I was dripping in jewels.
We ended up befriending the people next to us, and they very kindly let us try some of their beers. At one point, they left a full bottle of stout sitting on their table while they all drunkenly migrated to the bar. I may have stolen an extra pour or two.
My beer-thieving ways are usually a sign it’s time to go home. So after making a few more friends, off we went to the subway! One ill-advised (but amazing) pizza stop later, we were home. Another night of wonderful beeriness accomplished. Miraculously, I even avoided impulse-buying any bottles – although I can’t promise that it won’t happen in the very near future.