On Monday the Brooklyn Brewery celebrated the release of a new beer in its Brewmaster’s Reserve series: Brooklyn Brewery Cuvée La Boîte. Inspired by the Belgian Grand Cru style, this beer is a collaboration between Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery, and Lior Lev Sercarz, owner of La Boîte Biscuits and Spices in Manhattan. Sercarz is known as a “spice therapist.”
“This is one of more exciting projects for me that we’ve done,” said Garrett Oliver at the event. “[Lior’s] way of using spices is like writing music; it’s not obvious, it’s impressionistic, it takes you places… the spice blend he put together for us is really nicely expressed through this beer.”
While Grand Crus are normally spiced with orange peel and coriander, noted Oliver, the spices Sercarz mixed for this beer are a blend of Mish Mish (lemon, saffron, crystalized honey), fresh kaffir lime leaves, and rare Espelette peppers from the French Pyré-nées.
Brooklyn Brewery Cuvée La Boîte comes in at 8.2 percent ABV. An easy-drinking brew in spite of its alcohol content, lime leaves and lemon come through on the nose. The honey character and saffron were noticeable in the taste as well as some yeast fruitiness, and not too much from the Espelette peppers.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” Sercarz said.