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The Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is a seasonal ale that is only available between October and March. It is a classic Russian Imperial Stout, brewed by Brewmaster Garrett Oliver. This highly sought after stout attains its strength by using the first runnings from two and a half mashes of grain, modeled on the beers made by British brewers for the Czar's Court in the Nineteenth Century. This beer was originally produced with a high alcohol content that allowed it to withstand the sea shipment to distant Baltic ports. Brewmaster Garret Oliver uses two-row English malts, wheat malt, chocolate malt, black malt, black barley, and roasted barley along with East Kent Goldings, Cascade, and Willamette hops. This Black Chocolate Stout is a wonderful winter warmer and a stunning accompaniment to a chocolate dessert. Velvety black in color, it had a dark chocolate and coffee aroma, a powerful warming palate, and a long, malty, fruity finish.
In 1987, journalist Steve Hindy and banker Tom Potter quit their jobs and established the Brooklyn Brewery. Their initial goal was simply to bring good beer back to New York. They commissioned a fourth generation German brewer based in America to design Brooklyn Lager, their first beer. To find a recipe, brewer William Moeller consulted the notebooks of his grandfather, who had brewed beer in Brooklyn at the turn of the century.It was hard going at first for the two. They made a test batch of beer in their Brooklyn basement, only to find that most distributors were controlled by the big breweries and uninterested in small, local brands. They bought a van and began distributing their own beer, however, hard-boiled New York tavern owners were skeptical about a full-flavored beer that cost as much as the leading imports and was unadvertised.Slowly but surely, the lager caught on and soon they were distributing more than a dozen microbrews. With that success, Hindy and Potter opened a new microbrewery three years ago, some 20 years after the last of the great Brooklyn breweries closed up shop. The new 25-barrel brewery is one of the largest in the East. The stainless steel brewhouse is set in an 1860’s steel foundry in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn - a mecca for artists and filmmakers such as Spike Lee. The Brooklyn Brewery’s 50,000 square-foot brewing facility includes a tasting room, a 300-person party room, and a gallery for local artists.In 1994, they hired the highly respected New York brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, to design their planned Brooklyn plant and oversee production at the Utica facility. In May 28, 1996, the Brooklyn plant opened. The first product was a Bavarian style wheat beer known as Brooklyner Weisse. Oliver developed other new Brooklyn beers as well such as Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, Brooklyn Pennant Pale Ale '55 and a range of seasonal and special products. Florence Fabricant of The New York Times has called him "one of the country's foremost experts on beer."A native New Yorker, Garrett is widely regarded as one of the leading brewmasters in America. He co-founded the New York City Homebrewers Guild in the mid-1980's and later left his job with a prestigious Manhattan law firm to become an apprentice brewer at the Manhattan Brewing Co., the first brewpub in New York City. He designed the new brewhouse in Brooklyn. He has written for All About Beer, Cigar Aficionado and other publications. He is co-author of The Good Beer Book, published by Berkeley Press. Garrett was featured in an "Emeril Live!" segment and is the American Dairy Association's spokesman on matching beer and cheese.For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (718) 486-7422 or check out their web site at www.brooklynbrewery.com.
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