Local Libations: OMG Ommegang Rare VOS
by Sarah A. Maine
Last week Brianna celebrated Halloween with Manzanita Brewery’s Witch’s Hair, a pumpkin ale infused with holiday spice. It got me thinking about the fact that beer is something we haven’t explored very much here on RecipeRelay. This week I’m keeping the beer run going – I used a gathering at Roberta’s in Bushwick as an excuse to taste some local and regional microbrews.
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For the sake of simplicity I stuck with draft beer – which significantly narrowed the field of choices. There is a no nonsense air about the beer taps at Roberta’s – five plain steel taps with unadorned wooden handles, the names of the beers etched into the backsplash. Beer is served in grownup sized jelly jars which caught me off guard the first time I went there.
Roberta’s is essentially a pizza joint with a large side of farm-to-table ethic. It’s facade is a grey cinderblock box, nestled in among larger industrial edifices in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Nothing about the outside says “come in, have a pizza and get warm,” but get past the beat up wooden door and the space opens up into a welcoming rectangle decorated in a haphazard yet comfortable manner.
I quickly narrowed my beer choices down to two contenders, the Ommegang Rare VOS and the Blue Point Rastafa Rye. Tasting the Blue Point first I quickly ruled it out. Like Brianna my beer tastes are pretty wide ranging but I do draw the line at bitterness that fights back too hard. I settled on the Ommegang Rare VOS, an amber Belgian style beer made in Cooperstown, NY.
The Ommegang had a subtle bitter tingle up front with a gentle floral finish. Tiny bubbles prickled the tongue. The layered flavors of citrus and spice made for a complex but drinkable glass of beer. I highly recommend it as a partner for a robust pizza or hearty bowl of Brianna’s White Bean, Red Kuri and Kale Soup!