Founded in 2013 by Matt Monahan, Sam Richardson, and Andrew Burman, Other Half Brewing focuses primarily on fresh and hoppy IPAs and Pale Ales. Their approach is similar to that of many West Coast brewers; the flavors are big and bold with complex notes of citrus and pine.
Other Half is located in Gowanus, a rapidly changing Brooklyn neighborhood that served as an important battlefield during the Revolutionary War before becoming a major industrial area for much of the 19th and 20th century. The brewery sits almost directly under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, a much maligned interstate that slices through Brooklyn, and across from a McDonalds in a one-story building.
As a thunderstorm raged outside, we sat in Other Half's small tasting room sampling what was practically a hop tasting menu. Read on for our tasting notes and contribute your own in the comments if you've tried these delicious Brooklyn beers!
This opaque Belgian-style pale ale was a unfinished wood color similar to many wheat beers. The aroma was overwhelmingly of hops, giving it a fresh cut grass or wet fern dankness. Very piney in the mouth, Hup!Hup!Hup! had a creamy and light mouthfeel with a bitter finish.
A dull golden-orange with a full but quickly dissipating head, this IPA was a blast of citrus hop aromas dominated by a sweet hoppy grapefruit and orange. Hop Showers was bitter but well-rounded and balanced. A slight spicy flavor reminiscent of toasted garlic competed with the citrus flavors from the Citra, Amarillo, and Ahtanum hops in this excellent IPA.
The Other Half IPA looked nearly identical to Hop Showers. It differed in the nose with more musty and piney aromas, plus the scent of Parmesan cheese. This brew has a bright hop bitterness that was slightly grassy and grapefruity, contributed by the Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Simcoe hops.
Similar but slightly lighter in color, the Citra IPA had the familiar dull golden-orange hue of Hop Showers but with heightened clarity. Dank tangerine and grapefruit were the dominant aromas, but we also were reminded of a musty basement. Clean with a mildly bitter finish that faded quickly, this IPA has a candied citrus zest and caramel flavors. We also picked up notes of grapefruit.
This pale ale, brewed prmarily with Montueka hops from New Zealand, along with Styrian Goldings and Cascade, was a very light and clear gold color. The hops gave it an earthy cucumber and dill aroma, which continued into the flavor, reminding us of half sour pickles. This mild Pale Ale also had a hoppy aquavit flavor.
This IPA poured very similar to the hazy gold Hup!Hup!Hup!. The aroma was interesting; we detected citrus, wood shavings, and dryer sheets, along with a slight moth ball aroma. We felt the flavor was that of a very ripe pineapple and also noticed a slight cardboard taste, before the brew faded into bitterness on the backend.
Light gold and clear (similar to the Montueka Pale Ale), this thick and heavy IPA clocks in at a massive 10.5% ABV. Like a (delicious) punch to the face, you're
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