A Look Inside Brooklyn Brewery’s Ghost Bottles

Image credit: Brooklyn Magazine

A Look Inside Brooklyn Brewery’s Ghost Bottles

Posted on February 1, 2015 by NYCBG

You won’t hear much about Brooklyn Brewery’s Ghost Bottles, and that’s exactly how Garrett Oliver and company want it. Fortunately for those who haven’t come across (or heard of) the elusive craft beers, Brooklyn Magazine has published a great article on Ghost Bottles.

Ghost Bottles demonstrate Brooklyn Brewery’s experimental side: complex, adventurous brews, some fermented with multiple yeasts, and almost always barrel aged. The beers are shrouded in mystery only enhanced by the fact that they are unavailable to the public outside of a few highly selective events, at which they appear in hand-labeled 750 ml bottles.

The Ghost Bottle program launched under a veil of secrecy back in 2007 with the creation of a certain bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout (Black Ops). As Garrett Oliver explained to First We Feast in 2013:

[Black Ops] was not on the brewing schedule. We made the beer, [put it in] the bourbon barrels, and hid it under tarps in the warehouse… We didn’t release it, but everybody who worked at the brewery got a case at Christmastime.

Black Ops went on to be a winter seasonal release, but Brooklyn Brewery was still interested in experimenting with beer under the radar of the craft beer community. The Ghost Bottle program was born, and to this day Brooklyn Brewery continues to push the envelope with brews not necessarily in line with the rest of Brooklyn’s portfolio (for example: a variety of sour beers, wild-fermented beers, Local 1 aged in Del Maguey mezcal barrels [!!!]).

Like Black Ops, other Ghost Bottle selections have made their way into the public with commercial availability under the Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment (BQE). Wild Streak was the first release in the series in January 2014, and K Is For Kriek is the most recent (it’s delicious, by the way).

While Brooklyn Brewery continues to experiment with mysterious Ghost Bottles most of us will never know exist, we are lucky to offered be insight to their special projects through the BQE releases. If you have an opportunity to pick up a bottle, or better yet attend a Ghost Bottle dinner event, do it. Your taste buds will thank you.

Read Brooklyn Magazine’s full article here.


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