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Not actually an ale at all, but rather a barleywine (a beer allowed to ferment long enough to reach the alcohol level of wine), the Brooklyn Monster is a serious drink. Up until recently, the Monster was only sold on tap at certain bars (you can often find it at Sparky's during the winter for example) - but a few months ago bottles of it began to appear in the local deli.

If you've never had a barleywine before, they're definitely something entirely different than what you're probably expecting. The Monster has a deep reddish coloring (similar to a very dark burgandy) and a heavy fruity flavor (reminds me of cherries and maybe a little lemon).

It's also served in a pint glass. And at 11% alcohol by volume that's a drink that will put you in trouble pretty quickly if you don't watch out.

It's a good way to start off an evening though... and anything you drink after this, even if you switch to the thickest of stouts, is going to feel like nothing in your belly...

Brewed at the Brooklyn Brewery.

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