The Other Half Obsession
My favorite new bar is next to the McDonalds underneath the BQE, and it's quickly become my go-to place to hang out in Brooklyn.
It's with that in mind that I say I am very late to the Other Half party, very very late. But, it's a party I'm really happy to finally be part of. Other Half is a brewery in Brooklyn that is making hands-down the best beer available right now. Statement of fact.
A few months back, Other Half was written up in the New York Times as part of a feature looking at the crazy hype around new breweries that make limited runs of canned beers. Fans line up in the morning and camp out for hours outside the brewery to fork over $18 for a four-pack. And somehow, in a world where people do the same thing for iPhones which are ALSO readily available online, this act is seen as kind of weird and crazy.
Here's the thing: A month ago I thought this was crazy too. But today not anymore. In the last two months, I've been down to Other Half Brewery twice (previously I hadn't been to a brewery in over two years), happily handed over some $20 for a four-pack numerous times, downloaded an app to find out what bars in New York are pouring Other Half on draught, and have been an obsessive—borderline obnoxious—champion of the beer to anyone who will listen.
Color me hopped up.
Why? It really comes down to the freshness. I came up on really high-quality beers. In the early 2000's I frequented Mountain Sun in Boulder, drank Sawtooth and Flat Tire before you could get them in other states, and always fancied myself a beer person. But nearly two decades later, I kind of soured on beer. It became too heavy for me and it seemed almost all the craft breweries were focusing on creating really bitter hoppy IPAs, which I never came around to. I basically abandoned craft beer and moved towards wine and cocktails and would just drink the occasional macro on a warm day. (Still love a macro btw!)
Fast forward to two months ago when I ran into Other Half's Green City at Lavender Lake. It was noticeably yellow and cloudy in a glass and looked more like pineapple juice than beer. When I sipped it was like drinking something entirely new. Something that was so damn fresh. Even though I've always been conscious of a beer's freshness, taking care not to drink skunked beer, not letting it get warm or sit in the sun and not ordering draught beer from bars with scuzzy tap lines, I honestly think I'd never had a truly fresh beer until I drank Other Half.
It's kind of remarkable, and well, a pretty life-changing experience. I'm not sure I'll be embracing beer like I did back in my 20s, but I am sure I'll be making many more pilgrimages down to the Other Half Brewery to get those four-packs, long lines or not.