Brooklyn Back Breaker
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RATINGS: 68   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.21/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
Making malt has always been hard work. The barley needs to be soaked, sprouted to exactly the right point, and then gently dried, capturing the enzymes that will convert grain starches into malt sugars. For hundreds of years this was done on a “malting floor”, where workers would control the sprouting of the malt by constant raking, adjusting temperature and preventing the rootlets of the malt from weaving together into an inseparable mat. But it was backbreaking work. Men dragged 75 lb wrought iron rakes through the malt beds and then smoothed it all over by hand with specialized shovels and ploughs. Eventually maltsters created mechanized malting methods. It was much easier, but the malts weren’t quite the same, their flavors not as rich. So some maltsters retained their traditional malting floors and still use them today.

In August brewmaster Garrett Oliver traveled to the Crisp Maltings in rural Great Ryburgh, England to make malt on their 150 yr old malting floor. After five days of raking, ploughing, shoveling and kilning 19 tons of malt, he gained a new appreciation for the flavors of traditional floor malts. And he took the malt back to Brooklyn. Now we bring you BackBreaker, a robust honey-colored ale bursting with the juicy flavors of our heirloom Maris Otter malt and aromatized with earthy English Fuggle hops. It’s a beer that pairs wonderfully with all your autumn and winter dishes. We hope you enjoy it, and hey – don’t ever say we never did nothin’ for ya.

Malt: “Brewmaster’s” Floor-malted Maris Otter Pale Malt, Great Ryburgh, England, English Crystal malt.
Barley grower: Teddy Maufe
Hops: English Fuggle
OG: 17.0° Plato
ABV: 7.0%

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Butters (3990) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 25, 2010
On draft with joe and graham at CAH. Pours a near clear amber with tan head. Sweet, grainy, malty, sticky. Lingering malt bite, some faint hops, and way too expensive.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
zach8270 (3959) - Henrietta, New York, USA - FEB 23, 2010
(draft @ The Old Toad - Rochester, NY) Clear orange color with a thin white head. Aroma is mildly malty and balanced with a slight hop bitterness. Nothing special there. Flavor is exactly the same. Some malts, some hops. Balanced but a little more on the bitter and crisp side than sweet and malty. Alcohol is hidden well, but this is just nothing special.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2010
On tap at Capital Ale House - Downtown on 03/05/2010. Slightly hazy amber body with a small creamy off-white head. Sweet caramel and earthy hop aroma. Sweet caramel, toast, malt, earthy hop flavor. Medium full body with moderate carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
beerbill (3575) - Laurel, New York, USA - DEC 12, 2009
Growler filled at Bellport Cold Beer & Soda and consumed within two hours of filling. Pours a clear amber with a moderate linen white head that lasts through the first two sips and leaves a few scattered patches of lace. Mild aroma of caramel, malt and just a bit of brown sugar. The flavor is caramel, malt, and brown sugar followed by some mildly spicy hops. Lightly sweet. Moderate bitterness at the finish. The story behind the beer is interesting, the beer itself, not so much.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Kinz (3567) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - MAR 5, 2010
Draft at Cap Ale House with Butters and maniac for maniac’s b-day. Pale amber, decent head fades quickly. Lightly malty aroma of caramel accented malts. Flavor was lightly caramel malt and a touch of earthy hops faint on the finish. Just not much going on here - I was really wanting the Maris Otter to smack me in the face. Instead it just sort of waved at me from across the street. Too bad.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - FEB 23, 2010
Draft at Redlight Redlight. Pours clear, with a medium-dark, reddish-amber color. A small, foamy, cream colored head is lasting, leaving smooth, sticky rings of lacing in its wake. The aroma sports notes of clean cereal grain malts, honey, bubblegum, and wheat. A light dose of citrus blossom hops lends a semblance of balance to the otherwise overly grainy and sweet malt base. Flavors too are sweet, grainy, and biscuity. Mostly clean and easy going, there’s a slight gumminess like you sometimes find in a hefeweizen. Floral hops show faintly on the finish. The palate is on the light side, with balanced carbonation leading into an even keeled finish. Overall, a decent though forgettable brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
puzzl (3257) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 23, 2010
On draft. Pale-ish gold pour. Frizzy lemon-and-sugar cookie aroma. Medium bodied, fairly yeasty, spicy, British flavor. Distinct but not memorable. Needs more earthy hops.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
alobar (3208) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 30, 2009
Clear orange amber color with a slight aroma of toffee, caramel and bread. Flavor was more like Yuengling lager. Caramel malts, yeast and not much else. Disappointing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
auerbrau (3197) - Ithaca, New York, USA - DEC 30, 2009
On tap at Track 84. Aroma is a soft, gingerbread malt, with a bit of biscuit and a touch of apple. Mild. Pours a clearish pale orange copper, with a rim in white. Wet field malt character. Plain brown sugar, a bit of figgy pudding and some cream. Some eggnog, almond dough, and a good leafy hop note add needed complexity. A little light on the chewier, darker sugars, but otherwise very nice. Good flourish of flavor at the finish and nice balance.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
LinusStick (3052) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 7, 2010
Good for the style I guess, but very bland. Aroma was so so. A hint of roasted malt and caramel. Pour was a nice medium brown with a one finger off white head. Taste was very bland and watery and the great carbonation doesn’t let many flavor through. A slight caramel malt aftertaste but that’s about it. BMC drinkers would love this

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