Other Half - Brooklyn, NY
Much has changed since my last visit to Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn, New York. For starters, the door pictured above isn't there anymore. With great (green) power comes great renovation. Gone is the small and cramped taproom space that would somehow ocasionally have a line wrap around inside just for pours. It was quite the phenomena to witness but never really fun to participate in. The taproom has been massively expanded now into what used to be the "garage" area. With the addition of more space came the addition of more tap lines and more space for people to actually sit and enjoy many of Other Half's fine quality beers.
The first thing that jumps out is the amount of light that is now allowed in the space. It no longer feels drab and dreary. I love that I can walk around and actually be able to spread my legs and have a beer comfortably. The old entrance seems to be the same but leads towards the growler and merchandise portion of the brewery. Make sure to grab a thing or two to remember your visit by!
The clear garage door allows plenty of sun to come through and help out the lighting to make this place much more visible and inviting. As you can see above, there are plenty of places to sit down or even stand, as well as some extra space at the "bar" for you to sit under a skylight and take good pictures of beer. I love the changes that Other Half has done so far with the brewery and it's well overdue. What has firmly established itself as a mainstay in New York's elite breweries, Other Half never disappoints. From the attention it has received from its range of an incredible portfolio of beers to being the subject of scrutiny towards the beer community for its massive lines for their canned brews, Other Half is just one of the few I think about when it comes to the New York beer scene.
The taplist has expanded and has given me a whole new set of problems. The last few times I had visited, I was able to sample most of what was on the board. But now, I see the menu and I get riddled with the kind of anxiety that can only be defined as a "beer first world problem". Because I visit Other Half so infrequently, I wanted to try as much of everything that I could. Thankfully, I had sampled a few of their beers on the board at least once, so it reduced my anxiety by about 6%. I've had DDH All Green Everything, as well as Stacks on Stacks and Small Green Everything.
So what did I try? Well, quite a few beers such as:
- Chimera: An imperial oat cream ale done in collaboration with a brewery in Sweden - Stigbergets. With lactose and oats as well as Mosaic, Waimea, Eukanot, and Mandarina, the result is a fantastic IPA with a beautiful yellow, hazy look to it. I highly recommend this one, enough to actually bring a 4-pack home.
- Maple Creamies: Pardon my ignorance but it wasn't until a recent trip to Vermont that I actually learned what a maple creamie was. Visit Vermont and you'll see signs posted everywhere for maple creamies. It's essentially a soft serve ice cream and Other Half has brewed their take on it as an imperial stout. Sitting at a hefty 11%, this stout is VERY sweet. I loved this beer and it's take on maple and roasty chocolate but a 4 ounce format was perfect for me.
- DDH Citra Daydream Oat Cream IPA: It's a fabulous Citra beer. Although Mosaic and Citra seem to be the most widely used hops in brews, Citra really does shine with this Other Half beer. I was tempted to have multiples of these just because it was so good. It's so easily drinkable, not just because of taste but because of its respectable 6.0% ABV. Murky deliciousness at its finest.
- Short Dark and Handsome Stout: A decent stout offering from Other Half which is mostly approachable for anyone new to the beer scene. I'd recommend this one if you don't have too much experience with stouts and want to start with an introductory version without a bunch of crazy adjuncts. The 7.4% is very well hidden under the notes of chocolate and coffee and was one of the 4-packs still available at the time of my visit.
I do have to say, I was more than excited to not only see the massive amount of beers on tap, but that there were also cans available on a Sunday afternoon! This is quite the achievement and I'm loving it. It doesn't necessarily speak to the Saturday sales more so than it speaks to the amount of brew space that Other Half has possibly expanded to. Needless to say, I was in shock when I found out that my visit to Brooklyn coincided with cans still remaining on a Sunday. So do yourself a favor, make sure you keep up on their social media to see if anything makes it past their Saturday sales. Also, it seems that lately they've done mid-week releases as well!
I love the new open and well-lit taproom. I love that I can just McGregor walk into Other Half on a Sunday afternoon and get some cans. I love that the taplist has expanded and gives me a whole new level of beer menu anxiety. I love that Brooklyn is close enough to warrant a visit to this new taproom on any given Sunday. Well done Other Half, I welcome all of the changes and look forward to seeing more of you in the future. Salud!