THE EDITOR’S DESK :: Joining the Pennant Race

by Harvey Gold on October 8, 2011

Walked into Lockviewthe locale for our upcoming installment of BEERdinner (the beer, Founders, the experience, fabulous) for lunch last week. Wanting to try something new, I looked up at their big board and ordered, drawn from the tap, a Brooklyn Pennant 55 seasonal. An English Pale Ale with a drinkable 5% ABV,  I found it to be tasty, brown and malty, with a gentle sweetness. I could taste the grain, which I like in such a beer. If not super caramely, spicy, or hoppy, I like to think I might chew on a beer a little and I could here, light as it was.

I also tasted something else – something fruity, a little musky, but still can’t put my finger on it. I’ve seen it described as cantaloupe, which I find a little irritating as I know not how that could be. The mouthfeel was one of a slight over carbonation. For me , this speaks to the balance on the tongue between the sensation of the bubbles and the intensity of the flavors. Nonetheless, this flavor note I refer to distinguished Pennant 55.

As I sat there comfortably sipping, having a conversation with my pal, chef and bass player extraordinaire, Bob Basone,  new Kitchen Cowboy at Lockview, Jimmy Morris, came out for a show and tell with this beautiful looking burger on a plate. He proudly displayed a proclaimed boredom inspired chili cheeseburger, with pickle, raw onion, garlic aoli, saracha ketchup, a nice cheddar blend, the beef chili created by Bob with bacon as the starting point. Starting, ending , or filling the middle with bacon, how can you go wrong? So I ordered one.

This burger tasted exactly as you would expect, knowing the ingredients. Delicious, and… messy! My only critical note was that it needed to be served with a wet kitchen towel. I talked with Jimmy about pairing it with this Pennant Ale. He suggested he would have matched it up with an IPA. I completely get that and I’m sure it would be great with a more vivid and edgy brew.  I offered, however that, first, I had wanted to taste this beer before he came trotting out tell the grown ups “Look what I made!”  Additionally, both the saracha ketchup and garlic aoli were in such balance with everything else that this turned out to not be a very spicy sandwich. Flavorful? To be sure. But hot to the tongue? Not at all. So the cool, cutting and cleansing qualities an IPA brings to a spicy meal weren’t required  – the Pennant 55 worked well.

Joe

For me, this offering from  Brooklyn Brewery served the same purpose a Bud, Miller or Coors fills for far too many  as we approach the Fall Classic. The difference is that this beer added to the experience and was a quality drink with and without food. At 5% alcohol, a decent and interesting ale to wash down a dog, a killer burger, or simply a thirst while screaming at an ump… or just screaming.

So hoisting a Brooklyn Brewery Pennant 55, I bid adieu to the 2010/2011 New York Yankees. RIP. It was yet another fine ride… until it wasn’t.

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