2 O'Clock Tasting: Speakeasy Ales and Lagers - Brooklyn Brew Shop

2 O'Clock Tasting
Speakeasy Ales and Lagers

Updated on March 30, 2016

As San Francisco's population boomed during the American West's Gold Rush of the mid-1800s, the city's need for good breweries grew and, until 1919's Prohibition Act took old, it was the brewing center of the West. Now Speakeasy Ales & Lagers is reigniting the city's beer-making (and -loving) glory.

"Legit since 1997," Speakeasy Ales & Lagers has focused on simple but exacting techniques in their steam-fired brewhouse where hands-on beer making practices maximize consistency and shelf-life. In Western U.S. tradition, Speakeasy dry-hops most of their beers, including their flagship Prohibition Ale and Big Daddy I.P.A. For this tasting, we sampled both of these, as well as a selection of their ever-rotating roster of artisan ales.

  1. Prohibition Ale

    6.1% ABV

    This Amber Ale poured a crystal clear mahogany with very fine carbonation and a quickly dissipating head. Smelling of sweet caramel malts and gentle hops, the flavor opened up into a sweet, nutty richness, reminding us of chestnuts.

  2. Big Daddy IPA

    6.5% ABV

    Pouring the color of hay with just a touch of cloudiness, Big Daddy has lots of little bubbles that stick around with some nice lacing. Aromas of sweet pithy hops hit the nose as we sipped on this wonderfully hoppy and well balanced IPA.

  3. Vendetta IPA

    7.6% ABV

    Quite active and bubbly, this IPA poured a light copper with a slight haze. Smelling of wet stone and earthy hops with a delicate malt sweetness and a hint of tobacco, we couldn't wait to sip this one. The flavor was surprisingly smooth, like chocolate syrup with a nice bitter hop finish. Overall very tasty and complex.

  4. Butchertown Black IPA

    8% ABV

    Named after the San Francisco neighborhood of Butchertown, this Black Ale smelled smooth, milky and sweet - reminding us of chocolate and butterscotch. Tasting lighter than its dark cola color would indicate, Butchertown Black IPA had a light sweetness and lovely bitterness at the end, making for a wonderfully balanced beer.

  5. Betrayal

    8.2% ABV

    With its large pillowy head, this dark red beer poured slightly murky with amber and orange highlights. But smelling of stonefruit with a sweet malt background, Betrayal did not betray our senses with its equally malty and sweet flavor. Some boozy notes linger at the finish, which is no surprise since this one clocks in at over 8% ABV.

  6. Double Daddy IPA

    9.5% ABV

    Similar in color to the Big Daddy IPA, the Double Daddy shared the same fine carbonation. Big malt aromas hit the nose with bits of caramel, bread and some piney hops. The flavor is filled with malt sweetness and some grapefruit and pine bitterness. Easy drinking for a double IPA, but be careful because at 9.5%, this one can sneak up on you.