I have a new Top 10 US-based beer bar for ya: THE GATE in Brooklyn, New York. THE GATE is a classic modern American beer bar – excellent and adventurous beer selection; patio positioned right at a great people-watching intersection in Park Slope; lots of wood paneling; clean; upbeat; friendly – all that. I put it on par with Chicago’s MAP ROOM and Toronto’s BEERBISTRO for favorite beer experiences of the past annum (Christ, I traveled a lot this year). I particularly enjoyed the agony of deciding which of 10-15 beers I’d never tried before to drink at The Gate; I chose two new ones and the Dogfish Head Aprihop we talked about in this forum last week.
My first choice ended up being the single best ale I enjoyed during my weeklong stay in New York City: BROOKLYN BREWING’s BREWMASTER EXTRA BRUNE. Whoa! I knew this brewery was a heavyweight because of the LOCAL 1 I got to drink last year, but this is the second Belgian-inspired ale of theirs that’s totally blown me away. Absolutely loved it. This is a darkish-colored amber that immediately hit me with this immense, floral bouquet of smell & taste from the first sip. It's in the "Flanders Oud Bruin" style according to Beer Advocate - tell me more! It is redolent of fruits of varying stripes, and even of spices of undetermined origin – just the sort of complex & intriguing sort of beer you’d expect from a Belgian or, say, a Unibroue – and I guess from Brooklyn Brewing as well. What a start to my evening – I’ll sing this one’s praises to anyone who’ll listen. 9.5/10. Big ups to Elisa & Mark for taking us to this bar to be schooled in the ways of east coast beer!