Last Friday a few friends and I went to an event called the Beer Mansion put on by the Brooklyn Brewery. It only cost £10 for the ticket and we couldn’t quite believe our luck when we got there…
I found out about the event via the Brooklyn UK Twitter account and thought it looked pretty interesting. The Beer Mansion was one of a series of events being put on as part of its 2016 Mash Tour (which included a free gig the previous night). The London leg is now over but it will also be visiting Stockholm, Paris and a selection of US cities.
Most of my beery friends were unable to come to the Beer Mansion but I managed to gather a group of four, including myself. As I said, the tickets were only £10 each and we weren’t entirely sure what to expect – the description of the event was somewhat cryptic and ambiguous.
“A fully immersive, multi-room deep dive into the strange world of beer. Choose your own path through samplings, sensory exchanges, and plenty of surprises, but always be ready for the unexpected,” it said.
I found out a little more on Twitter ahead of the event, but not much.
We arrived for doors at 7pm at the almost hidden location in Dalston, North London, to find that they weren’t ready to open. Luckily some staff popped out with cans of Brooklyn’s American Ale and Summer Ale to quench our thirst (with the custom Snapchat filter). After waiting a while and enjoying our very cold beers, we went in.
The first room was small but nicely styled and we were greeting with a sampling of Brooklyn’s Brown Ale (lots of malt, little hop) which was a good way to start. We thought that perhaps that was the only sample but how wrong we were.
Throughout the Beer Mansion there were different rooms – the IPA room and Barrel room for example – where you could try different beers. They were handing them out in smallish plastic cups but it was enough to get a proper taste and you could get more if you wanted.
We set to work trying the many beers (see the list at the bottom) which were being tapped and because we were there on time, managed to get a table in the IPA room where a vinyl-only DJ was cranking out some old school tunes all night.
Not only did Brooklyn tap an awesome amount of its beers all night for free, there were some guest breweries there too including a favourite of mine, Beavertown (Bloody ‘Ell IPA was on). Much to our surprise, the popcorn, ice cream and photo booths were also included in the £10 ticket price. We never found the pizza truck but there was a strange experience where Andrew Gerson, Chef & Head of Culinary Programming, put raw salmon in your hand with various accompaniments to eat.
We knew some rare and hard to find Brooklyn beer would be at the event but assumed we would have to pay for it. We were prepared to do so but even ghost bottles such as the Sorachi Orchard Pick (Sorachi Ace aged in bourbon barrels with peaches and nectarines) and Bedivere were being cracked open for all to taste.
We also came away with plenty of free Brooklyn swag such as can holders and stickers. The only confusion was that I’d been told on Twitter that we’d receive a glass to use and keep but it turned out this was only for people on the guest list. We showed the tweet to a staff member who took pity on us and came back with some glasses for us.
To cap off an night awesome night (which we’re still pinching ourselves about), I was lucky enough to meet – briefly – Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster at Brooklyn at what I’m calling the salmon-in-your-hand-stand.
Brooklyn can’t have made any money from the event, quite the opposite I’m sure. Perhaps to spread the work in the UK about its fantastic range of beers and the new branding. We wobbled our way back home that night having got far more than our money’s worth!
Keep an eye out for future Brooklyn events. There’s one coming up at the end of May, in fact which involve trying some rare beers. Info here.
Beers we managed to try (in no particular order):
- 1,001 Nights (A Worshipful Company of Brewers Release)
- Scorcher IPA
- Sorachi Ace
- East IPA
- Summer Ale
- American Ale
- Insulated lager
- K is for Kriek (Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment Q1 2015)
- Bedivere (Ghost Bottle: Belgian golden ale aged in white wine barrels with our proprietary Brettanomyces strain)
- Sorachi Orchard Pick (Ghost Bottle: Sorachi Ace aged in bourbon barrels with peaches and nectarines)
- Improved Old Fashioned (Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment Q1 2016)
- Bloody ‘Ell IPA (Beavertown)
- Pillar of Salt (Redchurch)
Check out the details for the Beer Mansion 2017.