Bronx Brewery Launches Limited-Edition Beer

By Jeanmarie Evelly on August 23, 2012 8:53pm 

MOTT HAVEN — Get 'em while they’re hot — or, hopefully, cold.

The Bronx Brewery introduced a new beer this week — only the second draft the company's turned out since starting production last fall — but it's being offered for a limited time only.

Beer-makers Damian Brown and Chris Gallant brewed just one batch, or about 140 kegs worth, of their new Bronx Rye Pale Ale, and they will deliver it to bars and restaurants in The Bronx and Manhattan for as long as supplies last.

The new brew, which will join the Bronx Brewery's flagship Bronx Pale Ale, was made with Chinook and crystal hops to give it an herbal and woodsy flavor, according to Brown, the team's head brewer.

"It's a very, very rye-dominant ale," Brown said. "It has a very distinct, sharp rye spice to it."

The Rye Pale Ale debuted to rave reviews Thursday night at Randolph Beer on Broome Street, where passersby sipped on free samples.

"I don't usually like hoppy beer, but this is good," said Mark Lewis, 37, who was visiting the city from Toronto. "[It's] nice and light."

Several tasters praised the flavor of the new beer, which was served from a cask rather than a keg, making it less carbonated and a little warmer than regular draught beer.

"I like the flavor — very smooth," said Mark Makary, 54, who was visiting his daughter in the city from Miami.

Brown said the new ale is the first of many special-edition brews the company plans to release every few months, each just for a short time. The limited supply, he said, is partly because the brewers don't want a new beer to outshine their regular Bronx Pale Ale, but also because of the capacity of their current brewing space.

Though the Bronx Brewery is based in Mott Haven, the company's actual beer brewing takes place at a brewery in Connecticut, where they've installed their own equipment. The space allows them to brew only a certain amount at a time, and specialty batches mean they can't turn out as much of the regular Bronx Pale Ale, Brown said.

"We really want to focus on the true flagship beer," he said.

Brown and Gallant hope to break ground on their own brewing space closer to home by the end of the year. They are fundraising and searching for a space between 7,500 and 10,000 square feet, hopefully in the South Bronx.

Eventually, Brown wants to add a second permanent beer to the brewery's menu. 

But for at least the next few weeks, the Bronx Rye Pale Ale will be on tap at a number of bars in the Bronx and Manhattan, and the brewery will host a series of tasting events.

The Bronx Rye Pale Ale will debut in its namesake borough Sept. 5, at the Bronx Ale House in Kingsbridge, and will also be on tap Sept. 6 at Tosca Cafe on East Tremont Avenue, where $4 pints will be paired with Tosca's specialty pizzas.

"I like the beer," Brown said. "So I'm excited to get out there and see what people think of it."

With reporting by Ben Fractenberg.

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