Friday, October 9, 2009


I have been a fan of Brooklyn Brewery for a good part of my suds-swilling days. My favorite aunt and uncle, who've lived in Brooklyn forever, always have a six pack or two of Brooklyn Lager in their fridge. This became embedded in my teenage brain as a badge of a certain grown up kind of coolness.

So in my college days, whenever there was a celebration special enough to depart from the $5.99 12-packs of "Golden Anniversary" that I usually bought from the CVS (upstate New York is so great), I splurged on a case of Brooklyn brew.

During one of those rare quality purchases, I popped a bottle of Brooklyn's Pennant Ale. "What the what?" I thought, as the three deep malts washed over my amateur palate. I took another swig, trying to place the flavor. There was a lovely complexity to the beer, but not in a way that was too challenging. It just tasted smooth and amazing, deeper than other pale ales I'd tasted before. I sipped and sipped again, long into the night (I now know that grown ups called this "session-ing"). Even though my beer repertoire has expanded greatly since, I'll always remember my first enlightening encounter with Pennant Ale.

Imagine my delight, upon coming into work a few weeks ago, to see a big, white, baseball shaped tap at the end of the Capogiro bar. You see, we only have two beers on draught at a time here, picked wisely by our coffee/beer guru Chris, and our bartender Red. I always appreciate their thoughtful selections, but never has a Capo beer choice struck so close to my heart. Now, as a more educated drinker, I know that the "amazing" flavor of the Pennant Ale is the product of a supremely well crafted product made by a small, mindful company, committed to their mission (just like Capogiro!). The balanced nature of the four kinds of hops is what keeps the beer tasting nuanced, but not overbearing. The gentle 5% abv, and the Scottish Maris Otter Malt, well known for its toasty, biscuit-y flavor and smoothness, is what keeps that session going - you and your cozy companions cracking those bottles open long after you should have gone to bed.

As the fall rolls around, and the oppressive summer heat wanes, things feel new again. We unpack our sweaters, we re-connect with friends, we feel refreshed and ready for anything. Maybe it's the collegiate in me, but I always embrace the autumn with great gusto. Pennant Ale is the beer for early October, through and through. Plus, it's named in honor of the 1955 World Champion Dodgers, and the thrill of hometown baseball pride is something many people in our fair city are digging right now. So in the last few nights warm enough to sit outside, come try a pint of the Pennant Ale (on tap at CapoPenn for a limited time only!), and relax in the courtyard, a scarf around your neck and a smile on your face.

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