Grimm Artisanal Ales
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It’s an 85ºF night in Brooklyn. Inside a brewery, a guy sporting a beanie is standing next to his friend in a Hawaiian shirt. Around the bar, several hops-heads are exchanging enthusiastic tasting recommendations, and one guy in a suit is telling another guy in a suit about how good the mango-guava ale is. The other guy in a suit orders it from the pirate-styled bartender with a safety-pin earring and declares that he’s never had a beer like it before.
Welcome to a Thursday night at East Williamsburg’s newfangled brewery. The spot is full of happy dudes drinking beer from large wineglasses while surrounded by Scandinavian decor, potted succulents and iPad Square Stands. There’s a reason everyone’s euphoria levels are turnt up to Pete Davidson’s circa June 2018: The taproom finally allows Grimm’s followers to sample new flavors and buy freshly canned brews from the ex-nomadic beer darlings. Not only that, but the husband-and-wife owners are allocating 160 oak barrels—one-fourth of the brewery’s space—toward aging sour beer, unheard of in NYC. When I asked the bartender for his picks among the brewery’s six rotating sour varieties, he recommended starting with Living Daylights, a dry-hopped sour ale (very mild), before moving on to the potent Lilt, a pink-red ale fermented with Montmorency cherries. The beer’s tart, thick cherry taste carries a hint of licorice—like an older and sassier Shirley Temple.
The $4 four-once pours make it tempting to sample several of the flavors: The Mango-Guava Pop! sour ale is distinct, sweetened with mango, guava and milk sugar, while the Icing on the Cake stout is brewed with a rich combination of cacao and vanilla.
And if you ignore the marked-up eats ($14 for a chicken-shawarma pita!) and lack of tables (there’s plenty of floor space for more seating), you’ll happily leave with only one kind of sour taste in your mouth.