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 werent 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. Its a beer that pairs wonderfully with all your autumn and winter dishes. We hope you enjoy it, and hey dont ever say we never did nothin for ya.

Malt: Brewmasters 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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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
FunkyBrewster (1518) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 29, 2009
On tap at Dilly Deli in Cincinnati. Pours a light reddish brown with a small almost non existent white froth. Aroma is typical english ale, dark fruity and malty, and lots of it. Fairly fresh and aromatic. Flavor starts fruity and sweet, ah more malt, richly doughy and nicely grainy. Those flavors continues through the finish which is lightly bitter and rich. Medium body and a fizzy carbonation. Nice english style beer, easy drinking and no alcohol present but a little boring and flat.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
juiceisloose (1351) - Windermere, Florida, USA - MAR 3, 2010
Draft at redlight. Pours a mostly clear, dark amber color with a small, foamy off white head that slowly settles leaving spots of lace behind. The aroma shows notes of citrus fruit, cereal grain malts, wheat, with some floral hops on the back end. The flavor follows suit with the sweet, bready, cereal grain malts, with some wheat and honey as well. A touch of floral hops add some bitterness on the back. Light bodied with good carbonation with a clean finish. Not bad, but just nothing special here.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BiddleBrau (1191) - Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 24, 2015
Tap at Shep 12/17/09. Amber orange with thin head. Minimal nose, hint of malt. Dry fuggle hop flavor, heavy malt palate, smokey malt. Interesting.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TeamTrappist (832) - jericho, New York, USA - APR 14, 2010
Tap at Blind Tiger. Poured a clear copper color with no head. Nose was very light but was mostly malty what a surprise. Dry and malty session beer with some spice and bitter notes. Not much up front as the flavor is all in the middle. Very drinkable but not amazing.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
CUJO (383) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - DEC 13, 2009
RnH: tap: I read through the story first... now Im going to feel bad about my review! There really wasnt much to this beer at all: medium amber color, no head to speak of, no lacing... aroma was mild, malts and sugars... a slight hint of bitters but not much else.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Teege (375) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 18, 2009
Draft at redlight redlight. Pours amber. Bright but warm nose. Almost a little herbal. Also notes of honey, grain and cereal. The flavor is missing something. I realize hops arent the focus here but I would like to see a little more of them. The malt aspect is interesting but it needs some other element to round it out.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jodah52 (210) - Michigan, USA - FEB 20, 2010
Light brown with a hint of amber and a cream-colored head, attractive. Aroma of fresh hops and malt, with hints of smoke and wood. Flavors are tightly controlled and superbly balanced, subdued sweetness finishing in crisp but not overpowering hop bite. The fairly high ABV for this style is hidden very well; this would make an excellent, refined session beer. Though understated, I think this is fantastic.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HoppityHop (204) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 24, 2009
On tap at the always fun, Barcade. Listed as an American-style on their beer menu, but one sniff and one sip later, I could tell this one was certainly more of an English-style ale. Minimal hop presence, nice malty flavor, decent amount of alcohol warmth. Liked this one, for sure. Well done, true to style English-style strong (or possibly, old) ale.

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