I’m a New Yorker, and I’m into craft beer. If you hear those two phrases together, it’s pretty much a given that whoever spoke them has been to Other Half more times than they can count.
My introduction to the craft beer community is very much intertwined with this little space tucked away in Brooklyn. Chances are, even if you’re not a local you’ve heard stories of or tried one of their very well-known IPAs.
Other Half embraced the hazier, juicier New England IPA early on, and they’ve continued to experiment with the style to great success. Since I started coming here I’ve had some phenomenal beers that are smooth, creamy and chock full of hops. Lines for these now-weekly releases have been blocks long, with people waiting hours to get their hands on the latest offering – myself included.
Other Half Taproom
With the rising popularity of Other Half, it was pretty clear that their old taproom, comfortably fitting maybe twelve people, wasn’t going to cut it. Fast forward to today, where their new taproom is almost a month old. I’m writing this just after paying a visit to the new space, where more than fifty people were tasting new beers on one of twenty taps, buying 4-packs and teku glasses from the most recent release, and – of course – giving the brewery cat some love. I’ve spoken to people from at least three states in the past hour, all united and brought here by their love for high quality IPAs.
The space itself is about six times as large as the old taproom, and takes the dim, wooden, comfortable hole-in-the-wall setting that betrays an unforgettable New York experience and expands it, filling in the cracks with a newer, more industrial concrete and metal aesthetic. Upon entering you can pick one of the many offerings off of the colorful chalk, IPA-laden menu, sit down at a wooden picnic table and make new friends.
Other Half On Tap
The three beers I tried while visiting the new space were all incredible examples of this newer IPA style. Cream Get the Honey (with raw New York State honey), DDH All Citra Everything (double dry-hopped with more Citra because why not?) and Oh… (yes, the name includes an ellipsis), were all super creamy, wrapping those intense fruity hops in a sweet, smooth oat-infused malt body that coats your mouth and tricks you into thinking you’re drinking a glass of OJ instead of 6-9% ABV beers. The sweetness does not, however, distract from the fact that these are still IPAs, and there is plenty of hop flavor that ranges from grassy and floral, to dank and tropical.
Other Half All Citra Everything
It’s great to see breweries evolve over time, and there’s no greater place to for this than in NYC. Since I’ve started tumbling down the rabbit hole of craft beer, I’ve seen several breweries open and grow – and I haven’t been doing this long! It feels good to see quality breweries not only get the attention they deserve, but turn it back to devotees both new and old. If you’re in the city, you can’t not come here. The new taproom has cemented the transition of this brewery from a place to simply pick up beers to a true destination.