Have I ever had a Brooklyn Brewery beer that I didn’t like? I don’t think so. Somehow, though, I’ve managed to miss one of their newest beers, Brooklyn Sorachi Ace. Now, I’ve seen Sorachi Ace come and go in its shiny 750 ML bottles, but I don’t know why I never dropped one in my shopping cart. Shame on me for that. To be fair, though, Sorachi Ace is in the Brewmaster’s reserve line, and that means it isn’t always around.
Taco Mac to the rescue! This month, Brooklyn beers are featured, meaning on Thursday nights if you order one you get a free pint glass. So, I did, this past Thursday, the Sorachi Ace. It was a full mug pour for $6.25, a good deal that at today’s prices. Sorachi Ace is named for the Japanese Sorachi Ace hop, and is a saison in style. Here’s what Brooklyn says about the hops:
A large Japanese brewery first developed the hop variety “Sorachi Ace” in 1988. A cross between the British “Brewer’s Gold” and the Czech “Saaz” varieties, it exhibited a quality that was unexpected – it smelled really lemony.
If you try the beer, you will certainly be able to bear out that lemony business. More about the beer, though. Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is brewed with two-row imported pilsner malt from Germany, brewer’s sugar, and of course Sorachi Ace hops. The beer has an alcohol content of 7.6% by volume and is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. Sorachi Ace hops are not widely used, so this is your chance to see them as a showcase variety.
This isn't the first saison I've had from Brooklyn, and in many ways it reminds me of the draft-only Saison de Brooklyn I enjoyed at Summits Wayside tavern in Altlanta in 2004. Sorachi Ace is of course more lemony, though I remarked upon some citric notes oh those 9 years ago. Pricewise, Sorachi Ace is only 26 cents more than what I paid for Saison de Brooklyn.
My mug of Brooklyn Sorachi Ace arrived a bright yellow in color with a thin layer of tightly packed bubbles atop and a very bright and spicy citric lemony nose. A generous layer of Brussels Lace coated the sides of my glass as the liquid descended. Taking a sip, that crisp and biscuit German pilsner malt was the first thing I noticed, making the perfect base for the spicy notes to follow. The beer is spicy indeed, perhaps a bit of clove poking through, then some yeasty Belgian funkiness and finally the bright citrusy hop aroma in the finish. It’s very lemony indeed, and make the beer so very drinkable and refreshing. A respectable bitterness, more than average for the style, leaves the beer very dry. Some alcohol warms slightly, too, but I am not sure this seems as strong as it is.
All in all, this is a wonderful beer, and I could easily imagine enjoying a bottle over a lunch of pungent cheeses and spicy sausages. The next time I see it in bottles, it will surely go in my cart.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.