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Brooklyn 1/2 Ale - Session Saison - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn 1/2 Ale - Session SaisonBrooklyn 1/2 Ale - Session Saison

Educational use only; do not reuse.

34 Reviews

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Reviews: 34
Hads: 155
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 28.49%
Wants: 5
Gots: 42 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  3.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 03-14-2014

Brooklyn Brewery 1/2 Ale hearks back to traditional farmhouse ales, which used to quench the thirst of farmhands and other laborers on hot sunny days. These saisons were complex yet clean, low in alcohol and high in refreshment.

Brooklyn Half Ale is an unfiltered, clean, and balanced saison, with a hazy, pale yellow pour. It packs a symphony of citrusy hops over a gentle malt base that clocks in at a pleasantly restrained 3.4% ABV.
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Reviews: 34 | Hads: 155
Photo of 911CROFT
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle into an oversized wine glass. Paid £2.00 for a single bottle.

Pours a hazy, pale, straw-coloured body with a one-finger in height, bubbly, white head. Despite an excellent amount of visible carbonation it reduces quickly to a patchy film and leaves behind only a small amount of frail lacing.

On the nose, light pilsner malts and citrusy hops are the most noticeable aromas. Fragrant oils from grapefruit and lemon peels dominate but also recognisable are gentle floral notes, fruity apricot, and light Belgian yeast. The taste follows suit, leading for a short time with pale malts and crisp sweet grains, before quickly handing over to the citrusy hop profile. Like the nose, grapefruit and lemon peels dominate the flavour but there is also a herbal touch and some grassy bitterness from the mid palate onwards. In the mouth a light body and plenty of carbonation give a thin, crisp and lively feel that starts and finishes semi-dry. Towards the end, Belgian yeast adds a subtle dry, spicy, earthy, peppery character before leaving grapefruit and lemon rind bitterness to linger on the palate.

Overall this is a decent beer. It’s bright, clean, crisp and refreshing, but ultimately let down the malt body which is lacking in balance, character and depth. I can’t see myself picking up another bottle to drink on its own, although it might pair well in the summer with a light lunch.

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Photo of Antg8989
2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Very light straw. Minimal head. Aroma of pilsner malts. Lemon grass, slightly spicy. Light bodied. High carbonation.
Horseradish. Peppercorns.

3, 2.5, 2.75, 4, 2.75

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank this one tonight, from 12 oz into a pint glass. Nice looks to it, golden and a touch cloudy with great head retention. Pretty light aroma, some typical saison smell to it, funky with that spicy yeast. Flavor is good, but there's something on the back end that's nagging me. It starts sweet and then goes into the farmhouse yeast spice, but the spice isn't the best, it's got a weird aftertaste to it like plastic or something medicinal. It drinks super light and easy to crush it, but I can't get past the aftertaste.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, best before July 2015, served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Cloudy golden yellow with a 1/2" thick rocky persistent head. Lots of bubbles coming up through the beer. Persistent thick strands of lacing.

Smell: Strong lemon juice and orange peel.

Taste: Lots of citrus going on: lemon, orange, lemon rind. Plenty of other fruit flavors as well: papaya, apricot. Cracker-like malt just barely there. In fact, there isn't enough malt here. This beer is good, but it comes across more like a hop carbonated infusion than it does a saison.

Mouthfeel: Spicy prickly carbonation on the tongue. Smooth but airy underneath.

Overall / Drinkability: Great looking and great smelling beer, and the initial sips are quite nice....but then it becomes a bit of a chore to finish by itself because there is almost no malt for balance. Maybe with the right food this would be a beer I'd reach for another of, but for now one per evening is enough. It has the airy character of a saison, but it's missing the other yeasty and malty flavors you get from a full strength saison. So is it sessionable? Yes, I would say so, but particularly so in that one per session is enough. The more I drink it, the more I think it needs to be paired with food. I'm not sure I'd find it so enjoyable after a hot day working outside. So in the end, not as impressive as it sounded, but I will give it high marks for appearance and aroma.

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Photo of Lagerhouserules
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Lots of flavor packed into this saison for 3.4 percent. Way more than expected. Mouthfeel isn't as thin as you would expect either. I applaud Brooklyn for brewing a low alcohol beer that is not a session ipa. Nice beer!

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.81/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours slightly hazy straw with a small head.
Nose shows light lemon and farmhouse notes, some elderflower too. Very faint.
Flavours are dominated by sorachi ace derived custard and dill notes followed by a very dry, easy-going finish.
Insanely drinkable.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn chalice.

Appearance: Pours a hazy yellowish orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A juicy and spicy Belgian style aroma with good hints of juicy hops, fruit, and spice. Belgian yeast with hints of white pepper, clove, and farmhouse funk. Scent of Sorachi Ace hops along with some zesty citrus hints of orange peel, lemon, and tangerine. Also some fruit hints of green apple and white grapes. Malt hints of grains, cracker, and straw. A pretty solid zesty aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a crisp, fruity, and spicy taste with notes of citrus fruit and spice. Belgian yeast with some spice notes of peppers, clove, and farmhouse funk. Good hop presence with a good kick of Sorachi Ace. Citrus fruit notes of lemon zest, orange, and tangerine. Also some Belgian style fruit notes of green apple and white grape. Soft malt notes of cracker, grains, and straw. A pretty nice juicy crisp taste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a high level of carbonation. Juicy, spritzy, and pretty drying on the finish.

Overall: A pretty solid session version of a Saison. Nice zesty fruit flavors for such a light bodied brew. It’s just like a light session version of Brooklyn’s Sorachi Ace.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 7/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy pale golden yellow color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, pear, apple, light pine, peppercorn, cracker, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity and balance of citrus/earthy hops, fruity/spicy yeast, and light-moderate pale malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, pear, apple, light pine, peppercorn, cracker, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of herbal/yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, pear, apple, light pine, peppercorn, cracker, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Very nice complexity, balance, and robustness of citrus/earthy hops, fruity/spicy yeast, and light-moderate pale malt flavors; with a great hop/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and light bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Not overly dry or watery feeling in flavors. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 3.4%. Overall this is a very good hoppy table saison. All around good complexity, balance, and robustness of citrus/earthy hops, fruity/spicy yeast, and light-moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

5/31....pours cloudy hazy very pale yellow. Fast fizz and light layer of white foam. Very faint nose, small citrus. Very light taste; some citrus, belgian hop leads to a tiny bitter. Refreshing.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Don't you ever wish that you could simply enjoy a glass of saison and keep the dry fruity, peppery and effervescence of the Belgian ilk, but in a modest content of alcohol? Na, me neither, but those folks do exist and for them, Brooklyn's session ale does just that.

Bouncing in the glass, the beer's playful carbonation gives the light golden ale a lively appearance, similar to champagne. As its dry grain sweetness lunges onto the tongue, a perfume of apple, dried orange, lemon and white grape are all given a tingle of white pepper and grassy hops.

With the grain, wafer and bread sweetness quickly dissolving, the middle palate becomes a stage for fruit and spice. Its dry citrus, orchard and vinous tang resonates with the peppercorn, faint cumin and herbal balance, just ahead of a grassy, spicy bitterness that sharpens the taste before finish.

Seriously light and spritefully prickling against the tongue, the strong carbonic bite of the beer ensures a delightful dry finish. Its bubbles highlight the beer's mineral, spice and grain character to reveal flavors that remiss of tonic water.

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Photo of J-Rye
4.43/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a pint at Tavern on the Lake in Hightstown, NJ. Great example of a 1/2 ale. Very, very similar to DuPont Brewery's "Avril." Perfect lawnmower or table beer.

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Photo of hopsputin
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: its a murky grain color with some hazy yellow notes. 1 1/4 finger solid white head

s: a very dainty aroma. lemongrass. green apple and some effervescent grains. theres a nice smooth coriander aroma in here as well. providing the backbone to the aroma are big juicy citrus notes and some bready malts

t: taste is very mellow compared to the aroma. watery grains, coriander, some earthy bitterness upfront. in the middle of the mouth is mellow lemongrass, pepper, citrus, and a bit of vanilla-ish flavor. on the end of the mouth there is some residual bitterness

m: light mouthfeel, almost watery. just enough carbonation to make the citrus pop

o: its a really light beer, a little watery. the use of spice and citrus is whats making the beer worth it. i paid $8 or $9 for the 6 pack, and probably won't but it again for that price. just not worth it given the extremely low ABV here

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy; pale straw in color; 2 finger mousy white head that receded slowly to a wispy cap; very little lacing;

S: coriander, black pepper, and citrus are front and center; tough to get anything beyond those three;

T: flavor is more subdued; coriander up front, with a bit of lemon before mid-palate; from then on, it's a slightly harsh grapefruit with mild bitterness to the finish;

M: light bodied; highly carbonated;

O: easy drinking and refreshing;

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Lightly hazed, straw-hued body with a frothed, white head and active effervescence.

Smell: A light, skimpy pilsner maltiness, with the predominance of the nose made of the citrusy, herbal hops and the earthy, spicy accents from the yeast.

Taste: A light, dry soda cracker-like pils maltiness rolls towards a rustic, grassy herbaceousness and lemony citrus quality as well as some tangerine. Medium bitterness. Peppery phenolics. Scant citrus, light minerality on the fairly dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light lean-leaning body. Moderate, lively carbonation though fairly soft in texture.

Overall: Very drinkable, quite refreshing

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Photo of scootny
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A twelve ounce bottle. Poured into an ale glass. Quite pale with good lacing from a frothy head. Light grain nose with a citrus and peppery spiciness. Some Belgian yeast notes. Taste is light a malt body with a tight crisp hoppiness. Light phenol and crackers lingering with minty hop oils. Feel is light, crisp and well carbonated for a wonderfully refreshing quality. This is a great refresher and lunchtime ale.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, but bright golden yellow with a tall thick white head. Nice phenolic scent of clove and pepper with notes of lemon and orange. Great light and zippy mouthfeel with a dry finish. The flavors come together well featuring lemon zest and black pepper with a cracker like background. Very enjoyable version of the original style of saison.

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Photo of CHickman
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours very cloudy yellow color with a thick bright white foamy 1 finger head that faded slowly, had a ton of bubbles in it and left good spotty lacing coating the sides.

Smells of lemon zest, mint, citrus hops like Sorachi Ace, dry flowers, lemon-grass and some light herbs and spices. Very zesty nose with some pepper and very nice lemon scents lingering.

Tastes of lemon, crackers, pepper, dry flowers, grapefruit pith, yeast, dry grass or hay, very dry citrus hops and mild spices like coriander and more pepper. It’s like an Orangina soda, a Coors Light and a true Belgian Saison all mixed together, and I mean that in a good way.

Super light, super crisp, the mouthfeel is airy and has a slight bitterness with the dry, crisp finish that leaves a little trace of the yeast or malt. Well balanced and a definite session beer, this was much tastier than I expected and would be excellent on a hot summer day. Way to make a ½ ale work Brooklyn Brewery, a successful experiment.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Brooklyn 1/2 Ale
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "BB APR2015 2964 14:10"

Look: Very hazy, almost cloudy straw gold body beneath a pillowy head of white. Very fine bubbles can be seen streaming quickly towards the surface. The head retention is excellent, supported by the seemingly-natural carbonation, and the lacing is quite nice as well.

Smell: Hoppy! Resinous, citrus pith, soft citrus juice (mainly tangerine), and a bit grassy - I wasn't expecting that. Beyond that there's some spice (unless that's coming from the hops as well), some yeasty mineral, candy sugar, and some clove.

Taste: A little disappointing given the nose, without any of the components living up to the suggestion. The blend of malt, citrusy hops, and gentle spicy/yeasty components, however, marry well. It's perfectly balanced with just a little bit of malt sweetness up front, a squirt of refreshing citrus juice at the center, and grassy, mineralish, and spicy notes throughout the dry finish.

Feel: Light-medium in body with a velvety caress of effervescence on the tongue.

Overall: It certainly hits the mark as a small table beer. I'm not sure what the calories are, but I'd take this over a light beer any day. Perfect for outdoor events in the summer.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy looking mixture of yellow and orange, small head but decent lace reveals itself when you swirl it around in the glass.
The fruity aroma hits the nose immediately; mostly pear and perhaps other tropical fruits such as papaya. As the drink warms I even detect some of the malts.
As with the aroma, a fruity pear taste predominates. However, there is a strong hops and herbal element that keeps it from being sweet. There is a dry finish. Very light bodied. A bit watery at times, but for a session brew, this one is decent.

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Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy pale light yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that quickly died down, leaving small patches of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of lemony hops—the Sorachi Ace really seem to shine through—are present in the nose along with some hints of spices.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but isn't nearly as lemony with strong notes of yeast and peppery spices, the latter of which linger through the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a light amount of dryness.
O: This beer is quite sessionable as it is very easy to drink and refreshing. I would have no problem knocking back multiple bottles of this in a single sitting.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of interzen
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle

Look: Cloudy, pale yellow with a bubbly head. Recedes pretty quickly to a foamy, off-white cap.

Smell: OK, even though I've got a bit of a cold at the moment the fruity/sour smells came charging through like something very heavy in a hurry. It smells more like a witbier than a saison, with floral, grassy smells as well as heavy helping of citrus and spice.

Taste: It definitely tastes like a saison, though - despite the flowery smells there's a bitterness in the taste which cuts like a knife. A very sharp knife, at that. Slightly sweet, slightly grassy and rather bitter.

Feel: Crisp and refreshing, with just enough fizz to carry things forward. Sweet up front but with very dry finish, definitely more like a saison.

Overall: "Session saison" says the bottle - it's a new concept on me, that's for sure, but one that I could certainly get used to. In terms of flavour and smell it punches well above its weight for something with 'only' 3.5% ABV. Proof, if any were needed, that a beer doesn't have to have an octane rating in order to be enjoyable.

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Photo of Phigg1102
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy with an easy straw coloring. Thin head disappears quickly. I get very little in the aroma, a slight touch of belgian yeast and orange peel. The taste is highlighted by the slight grassy bitterness, a touch of honey sweetness compliments the bitterness and the carbonation is just right to carry everything. Very drinkable session.

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Photo of Gmann
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very cloud golden straw color. Kinda yella. The pure white head is short and airy, settled into a light cap.

The aroma is bright, spicy and floral. Big clove presence and a flowery sweetness. Seems to be the same yeast they use in either the Brooklyn 1 or the Sorachi Ace. There is a lemony thing going on. I find the aroma to be enjoyable as it is more spicier than the traditional saison.

The taste is big on the clove and lemon rind. Quite bitter for the style, perhaps its the lack of malt. A very bright floral flavor adds a layer of complexity. A grassy hop bitterness in the finish. Quite flavorful for a 3.5ABV brew.

The feel is light with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate but its quite dry. A bit chalky and bitter in the finish. Drinks easy.

A very flavorful session brew. Interesting saison flavors. Its a bit too dry and the bitterness is a bit too aggressive for the style.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Buy-Rite in Jersey City, having never had this before. I never saw a beer from a Brewer this good that had so little alcohol in it but somehow, this ended up working in the end. It's not spicy, hoppy, or strong but it's certainly beer and easily able to be downed in succession. Although I only had one of these at a time, it's nice to find a session beer that wasn't watered-down or lacking in flavor.

Nice pour to this, as the beer had the appearance of a Golden Ale with a moderate head and not a terribly strong aroma. A good amount of orange peel and grass to the taste but very little spice as there was only a hint of lemon pepper that could be discerned. Light mouthfeel, good carbonation, and little sourness meant that it could, and did, go down easily. Not like anything I've had before and certainly not as potent or funky as any other Saison and Farmhouse Ale that I've ever had.

Was this beer? Sure. Did it feel like beer? Only in the sense that it was a brewed malted barley beverage. This obviously would be great in the Summer but it's cold as anything out now and it would fit for this time of the year too. Not Brooklyn's best offering but if this was the weakest member of their current lineup, consider me a happy man. Fun stuff without being mindless!

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Photo of mdagnew
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

355ml bottle bought from Lighthouse Wines, Jordanstown

Poured a bright golden yellow colour. White head poured big, thick and fluffy and a steady stream of carbonation maintained a good covering throughout... some sticky lacing...

Aroma... lots of spicy yeast mixed with juicy lemony fruitiness, quite floral, talcum powder notes, light honey sweetness, some earthy farmyard traces, hay, some rubberiness, some pine...

Taste - Lots of lemon fruitiness (maybe a hint of Lemsip), pithy notes, quite a lot of yeastiness, floral honey, quite perfumed, light earthy funk, grassy hops, chalky, faint coriander, peppery, some thyme herbal notes, metallic, salty notes...

M&D - Pretty sharp and dry... Light body... Extremely refreshing and very drinkable at only 3.4%...

Overall - A very good low alcohol Saison with a surprising amount of flavour for the strength... well worth a try

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Brooklyn 1/2 Ale - Session Saison from Brooklyn Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.