Before last year’s Super Bowl, in an article that began with my eloquent argument for the inductions of Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriweather into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, our favorite local beer experts recommended a bevy of De! Li! Cious! brews to enjoy during the game.
If you forgot, as humans reading and not Googling often do, the New England Patriots played the Seattle Seahawks in that game and the former team won. (Confession: I forgot. A second confession: Google helped me to remember. My final confession: I don’t watch a lot of football.) This year, for the Super Bowl’s 50th edition, it’s the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers battling for the NFL’s coveted championship, which I humbly recommend watching at a brewery quietly making some of the city’s best beers: Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co.
Ed Raven launched Greenpoint Beer & Ale in 2014 inside of a former plastic-bag factory on North 15th Street, the operation visible behind glass in the rear of a Gothic-styled restaurant once called Dirck the Norseman. After my third or fourth visit to the cavernous space, which included sampling the inaugural lineup of house beers with brewers Chris Prout and Erik Olsen, I wrote an article titled “Everything You Need To Know About Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co.” Since that was almost two years ago, I’ve returned today with a few new Need To Knows.
NIKO’S NEW NEED TO KNOWS:
- Dirck the Norseman is dead. Gone. Kaput. The whole brewpub is now named Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. Prout cites a “lack of clarity” as the main reason for the change, which was instituted last month. “We wanted to focus more on the identity of a brewery. With two separate names it seemed like lot of folks didn’t know that we were brewing on-site even when they were drinking our beers at the bar,” he says.
- A few additions to the concise, comfort food–heavy menu accompanied the name change “to better pair the food with our beers and style of brewing,” Prout says. The newcomers include a cheese platter (Vermont’s Consider Bardwell Farm), chicken liver pâté and bangers and mash.
- During the Super Bowl, the brewpub will offer football-friendly food items (poutine, beef short-rib sliders, buffalo wings) and special beer-infused cocktails like the “Gin & Jelly,” which contains Acidifus Jelly, the brewery’s sour conditioned with Hudson Valley–grown Concord grapes. As always, an excitingly diverse lineup of house beers will pour from the room’s 16-tap quadrangle bar. We asked Prout to recommend some of those for Sunday:
We deploy a dizzying array of rich English malts to lend flavors of brown sugar, coffee, bread crust and honied nuts to this English-style mild ale. A big punch in a small package, this is our “I can drink this one all day” beer, making it a great option for the game day.
Since the Super Bowl comes in the dead of winter, it feels right recommending our special winter lager with herbs built on the base of a German dunkel. It’s brewed with elderberries and infused with a tea made from the tips of Thuja plicata, also known as Pacific redcedar. German Munich malt branches out, a mix of loamy-like specialty malts bristle, and cedar towers above. Earthy, toasty malt character with a cedar wood spice, and dried berry tannins.
Plug Uglies (5.9%)
This is an amber farmhouse ale that’s made with mixed fermentation—meaning we use a combination of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces yeasts, and bacteria—and aged nine months in an American oak barrel. The beer’s base is built with three organic New York grains: barley, wheat and rye. There’s a ton of flavors in this one due to the fermentation and aging process: tart cherry, cinnamon, sour apple, lactic, ripe plum, red licorice, cereal, leather, and sourdough toast.
Ponce Scheme (6.5%)
Searching for the fountain of citrusy hop flavor we came across the punchy pairing of the three varieties that are showcased in this Brettanomyces-laced pale: Mandarina Bavaria, Citra and Waimea. This trio provides the hazy Ponce with tropical flavors of tangelo, pineapple and grapefruit. It has medium bitterness, a pithy finish and light carbonation. Primary fermentation with Brettanomyces claussenii and dry-hopped multiple times.