It’s hard to believe that five years have passed. I’ll always remember the first Other Half beer I ever had the pleasure of drinking. It was at Pony Bar, in the Upper East Side. I walked up to the bar and saw “Other Half – Green Diamonds” illuminated on the digital menu board. I asked the bartender, “Other Half? Any good?”
He told me that they were a really great, new brewery out of Brooklyn—and I was instantly sold after the first sip. Later that following summer, during a hot, muggy night, I’d find myself hurrying down to the original taproom for the first time to buy their first-ever packaged beer—a red wine barrel-aged Imperial stout (see photo below). In those early days, the old taproom was tiny, intimate, uncrowded, and seemed like a hidden speakeasy on an out-of-the-way street.
Today, Other Half Brewing has grown from those small, simple beginnings into the mad scientist brewers we know today, with a much bigger, beautiful, and bustling taproom that draws beer lovers from around the world. But one thing hasn’t changed: The quality of the beers they produce.
Whether you’re a fan of hoppy, hazy IPAs, crisp pilsners, fruity, sour Berliner Weisses, decadent pastry stouts, and more, Other Half never seems to make a bad beer … or a beer like anyone else. And that’s especially true of their newest anniversary beers.
“Other Half All 5th Anniversary Everything Imperial Stout” (15.4% ABV)—conditioned on wild Thai bananas, coconut, toasted coconut, vanilla, and Macadamia nuts—it’s one of the most unique beers I have ever had the pleasure of trying. As soon as you crack the cap, huge aromas of coconut and vanilla explode from the bottle. To say the mouthfeel on this beer is luscious is an understatement—it’s just incredibly velvety and creamy. It’s hard to believe this beer is as strong as the label says because it’s just packed with flavor. On first sip, you get coconut, more coconut, and … even more coconut. The banana and almond are underlying and continue to build on the palate as you drink until it feels like you’ve got a coconut, banana nut bread baking away in your mouth.
This beer is an experience! And I hope every Other Half fan gets a chance to try it too. Bottles go on sale Saturday, February 9, at 10 a.m. Each bottle costs $18 and there is a 3 bottle per person limit (full details on their Instagram page.) There is another variant, including coffee, cinnamon, cacao nibs, vanilla, and Marcona almonds for sale, as well. The brewery is also selling several cans, including their 5th Anniversary Imperial IPA, which I got a chance to try right off the canning line and—big surprise—it is absolutely fantastic!
Cheers to the next 5 years!