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%

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Lubiere (14182) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 26, 2010
A golden amber ale with a thin white head. A light whiskey malt aroma with light vanilla notes, creamy. In mouth, a sweetish malt with British hops, veering on Vienna style, sweet fruits and nutty notes, a bit boring. On tap at DBA Brooklyn, 1st Williamsburg Cask Ale Festival, Jan 10 2010.

argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 24, 2009
Draft. Minimal white head atop crystal clear copper body. Aroma is moderately sweet, caramel, some brown sugar, light cinnamon. Taste is moderately sweet, caramel, bread, light brown sugar. Low carbonation, medium body.

Drake (14107) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 17, 2010
Sampled on draft at Beer Run in Charlottesville, VA. Pours a clear amber color with a medium head. Good head retention and lacing. Aroma of caramel with a faint floral hop note. Taste is toasted malts, caramel and a bitter leafy hop finish. Medium bodied.

j12601 (13189) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - NOV 20, 2009
On tap at the Blind Tiger’s VSK3 event. Pours a clear brownish orange. Malty, sweet, and smelling a bit like pumpkin cough syrup, if there were such a thing. Medium bodied, a bit tangy, and very sweet. I’ll have to revisit this since I’m sure it will hit taps near me, but overall, wasn’t super impressed.

Sammy (12846) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 6, 2009
On tap at Mr. Goodbar, this place getting some great beers in. Strong aromas - what is it? malt, maybe some yeast and spice. Easy mouthfeel, still feels yeasty. Golden with white bubbly head. Orange taste, with hops. Off the wall.

deyholla (12439) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - FEB 11, 2010
Sampled at the 2010 Indiana Winterfest. Poured a clear amber brown with an off-white head. Aroma was full of malts with notes of bread, biscuit and a touch of dark grain. Flavor was similar with a mainly malty flavor and a bit one note.

hopscotch (11313) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 28, 2009
Draft... Clear, beautiful copper ale with a small, creamy, white head. The aroma provides toffee, caramel and light chocolate; beefy, musky hops and medium-roast malt. Medium-bodied with lively carbonation. Sweet, toasted malt and candied fruits are highlights. Lingering, sweet finish.

alexsdad06 (10947) - West Chester, Ohio, USA - JAN 18, 2010
Draft @ the Comet. Pours a clear amber copper color with a small whitish head. The aroma is sweet toasted malt, caramel, honey, fruity esters, and some resiny hops. The flavor has a base of toasted bready malt, caramel, honey, light fruity notes, slight hoppy bitterness, with a dry smooth finish. Medium bodied.

jercraigs (10921) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 7, 2009
2009-12-05. Dark amber brown body with a small off white head. 3+ Flavour is sweet and fruity with interesting character. Banana? Caramel? Light bitterness. 7+ Aroma is similar, fruity, not quite banana, yeasty malt melange. Average palate is fairly carbonated. Decent, pleasant. Not what I expected. On tap at Goodbar, Buffalo

kp (10880) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - DEC 15, 2009

Date: December 09, 2009
Mode: Draft
Source: The Porter, Atlanta
Appearance: hazy amber, frothy beige head, heavy lace
Aroma: sweet spicy aroma, light caramel sweetness, fresh bready, hint of chocolate
Body: creamy body
Flavor: rich caramel flavor, nice sweetness, light spicyness, bready, touch of chocolate, light balancing bitterness
Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 7/10; Overall: 14/20
Rating: 3.6/5.0
Drinkability: 8/10
Score: *** /4

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