A spinoff of “What We’re Reading,” a peek into the bookshelves and bookmarks of our team, “What We’re Drinking” will divulge our latest and favoritest adventures with alcohol — skewed toward Brooklyn, of course.
Our first installment features Tiny Dancer, a collaboration between Carroll Gardens’ Other Half Brewing and Park Slope’s Mission Dolores. The latter is one of my favorite bars in Brooklyn, as well as my favorite from the brotherly, pinball-loving trio of Ben, Mike and Seth Wiley, who also own Bar Great Harry, Glorietta Baldy and The Owl Farm. They enlisted Other Half’s Sam Richardson and Matt Monahan, former brewers at Greenpoint Beer Works, to create a beer for Dolores’ fourth birthday.
Tiny Dancer debuted last Tuesday.
“Matt has been a regular customer [at Bar Great Harry] for a long time, and [Other Half] is making some really amazing beer now,” says Ben. “We wanted something that catered to our tastes, which isn’t really anything high in alcohol.”
Their request was answered with a hops-packed IPA, not uncharacteristic from Richardson and Monahan. Opened in January, Other Half has impressed with a string of hop-prominent releases, including Other Half IPA, a West Coast-inspired burst of dankness, and the tropical-fruited Green Diamonds Imperial IPA. Imperial Stout, while robust, chocolatey and roasty, is even mega-hoppy.
Tiny Dancer is different, though. The hazy-orange ale is piney, citrus-juicy and sharp, but without the alcohol of an IPA, a style now rarely below 6.0% ABV. It’s only 5.4%.
This, also the basis of Founders Brewing’s All Day IPA and Stone Brewing’s Go To IPA (4.7% and 4.5%, respectively), is a counter to the recent boozed-up amplification of beer. These are ‘session’ IPAs: hoppy, flavorful and poundable. If I consume two or three during a session, or stint of drinking, I can still function.
Other Half Brewing’s Tiny Dancer is now available at Mission Dolores.
Photo credit: Niko Krommydas