Bed-Stuy isn’t typically a neighborhood you’d associate with craft beer, despite the hints of gentrification in the form of new coffee shops and French bistros (There’s two within a five block radius on Malcolm X. Two!). Which is why I was ecstatic when The Wilky opened up on Patchen this past winter. 18 taps? Check! 10 minute walk from my apartment? Check! Frequent special events and tap takeovers? Ultra check!
I’ve been here for a few special Wednesdays before – particularly notable was the Goose Island Bourbon Country Vertical Tasting, where they served three vintages of the renowned imperial stout.
This week, The Wilky showed its local pride with a line-up that exclusively featured beers from Brooklyn. Most of them were already breweries I know and love, like Other Half and Evil Twin. However, a few of the names were still unfamiliar – so that’s where I started, with a nice glass of Folksbier’s Selvina. (Apologies for the terrible photography, I don’t have access to a decent camera at the moment.)
Folksbier Selvina – Bière de Garde/Alsatian Farmhouse Ale, 7.5%
This one’s brewed with rose hips! That floral goodness comes out slightly on the aroma, which is mostly the scent of a freshly baked banana muffin. On the taste, that Belgian banana yeastiness hit me first, and kept building. After a few sips, it died down and I could taste hints of clove, floral notes, and honey. The Selvina is almost mead-like in flavor, but finished nice and crisp like a white wine. It shows that Folksbier is a brewery that puts a great deal of care into their yeast, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more of their beers. The brewery is apparently based in Carroll Gardens, but sadly not open to the public.
Next, I went with a wild ale, because if you have a wild ale on tap, I’m probably going to drink it.
Grimm Artisan Ales Rainbow Dome – Wild ale brewed with apricots, 5%
This was hands down my favorite of the night. Its yellow, hazy appearance was calling to me from the moment it was set down in front of me. The aroma was even better, with some huge mango, pineapple, and orange juice. It was like someone had taken a mimosa and combined it with really good lemonade.
It tasted like brunch. Funky apricot right up top, mango and pineapple throughout with some nice pepper and lemon zest notes. The sour hits fast but fades quickly to a delightful barnyard funk. (Side note: before I started drinking sours, I didn’t think “barnyard funk” could ever be a good thing.) It’s peppery, it’s juicy, it made me want a giant plate of bacon and hash browns.
Although I could drink sours all night long, I took it in a different direction with my next selection.
Evil Twin Wet Dream – Espresso brown ale, 6%
And now for something completely different! This was like dessert – essentially, it was a stout with the body of a brown ale. Still, my favorite thing about this beer is the name. Every time I think about it, I giggle.
But on to the beer. There was lots of espresso in this Wet Dream (hurr hurr), and it builds a lot. The taste was reminiscent of a nice strong cold brew that has some deep, dark chocolate notes. It was tasty, but so intense that I wish I only had half the pour I got. I mean, it was light in terms of alcohol content, but big and full bodied in a way that made me feel like it was much stronger.
My last choice was also mostly based on the name:
Other Half (in collaboration with Omnipollo and Tired Hands) Debbie Downer – IPA brewed with mango and white chocolate, 6.5%
Really, I’ll take any opportunity to reference one of my favorite SNL sketches!
I love Other Half’s IPAs because they really do excellent things with their hops, and this one is no different. Lots of grassy stuff and lemon pith. My first sip was a little off-putting – maybe there was a hint of cream cheese right up top? There was also a sweet, milky aftertaste that reminded me why I don’t usually eat white chocolate. The Debbie Downer did get better as it warmed up. the flavors melded together and the mango came out a lot more, mixing with that milkiness to create something reminiscent of a mango lassi.
All in all, it was a solid line up, and another great event at The Wilky! Looks like their next event is a tap takeover by Grimm Artisan Ales ON MY BIRTHDAY. When August 3rd rolls around, you’ll know where to find me (and buy me a drink)!