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A Glass of Your Finest Beer, Please...

Artisanal local ales and lagers are a fine addition to the bar list. Five experts hoist the best.


Ithaca Beer Company: Apricot Wheat
Flavor: “Very refreshing, easy-to-drink, light-bodied American wheat beer.”
Food pairing: “Since it’s light, you don’t want to pair it with anything overly interesting. Avoid big flavors.” —Daphne Scholz, owner of Bierkraft (191 Fifth Ave., Park Slope; 718-230-7600)

Ommegang Brewery: Hennepin Farmhouse Saison Ale
Flavor: “Citrusy, yeasty, light coriander spice. You can shake the bottle and blast out the cork.” —Erik Olsen, manager of Brouwerij Lane (78 Greenpoint Ave., Greenpoint; 347-529-6133)
Food pairing: “Salads, pasta, fish, that kind of thing. It’s not a big, overpowering beer—except after you’ve had a couple.” —Ed Raven, owner of Brouwerij Lane

Southampton Publickhouse: Southampton Double White
Flavor: “All the things that white ales have—light body, citrusy herbaceousness, quenching flavor—only more intense. ”
Food pairing: “I come across a lot of delicate flavors at weddings, like mini-quiches; this beer goes well with them.” —Samuel Merritt, founder of Civilization of Beer (

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company: Liquid Gold
Flavor: “Gold in color; with fresh fruit flavors and bright, grassy American hops. It appeals to those who don’t usually like the bitterness of hops.”
Food pairing: “Lighter dishes or shellfish.” —Olsen


Fire Island Beer Company: Lighthouse Ale
Flavor: “A little grainy, a little malty, a little dry, a little bitter, some nice caramel malt flavor; this is an easy beer.”
Food pairing: “I’d lean toward meat and pastas, but it goes with just about everything.” —Raven

Blue Point Brewery: Toasted Lager
Flavor: “A perfect balance of toastiness from the malt and bitterness with a fairly clean finish. It won the World Beer Cup in 2006 in the Amber Lager category.”
Food pairing: “Burgers and steak.” —Merritt

Chelsea Brewing Company: Sunset Red Ale
Flavor: “There’s a caramel malt character balanced by a lighter, grassier hop and a cleaner, drier finish.”
Food pairing: “It’s more subdued, so anything spicy.” —Carl Burger, resident beer expert at Bierkraft

Sixpoint Craft Ales: Bengali Tiger
Flavor: “Medium-bodied, piney, and grapefruity, with classic American hop aromatics.”
Food pairing: “Barbecue, smoked meat, and seafood. The hops are so potent. A really hoppy beer is going to anesthetize your tongue.” —Burger


Brooklyn Brewery: Brown Ale
Flavor: “A dark, English-style, hearty ale.”
Food pairing: “Bolder foods— stew, wild game, venison. And steak, obviously.” —Raven

Ommegang Brewery: Three Philosophers
Flavor: “A luscious Belgian-style ale with notes of cherry and caramel malt.”
Food pairing: “Fabulous with strongly flavored meat, a cheese course, or a chocolate dessert.” —Scholz

Keegan Ales: Mother’s Milk Stout
Flavor: “By far Keegan’s most popular beer. They use lactose to sweeten it.”
Food pairing: “It would pair well with a beef dish or even dessert.” —Olsen

Southern Tier Brewing Company: Mokah
Flavor: “A super luxurious stout [that] contains Jamaican coffee and Belgian bittersweet chocolate.”
Food pairing: “Perfect with dessert. Pair with cheesecake for maximum effect.” —Merritt


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