My host was my favorite Not Eating Out In NYer Cathy Erway, shown above inspecting an experimental brew she made with Village Voice critic Robert Sietsema. But back to the bock. Generally, I'm not a huge fan of most coffee brews, usually chocolaty stouts infused with espresso. There is just something cloying and artificial about them, like a horrible flavored coffee drink from Starbucks. This is a whole different beast. It's infused with Guatemalan Finca El Injerto beans from Stumptown, whose New York roasting facility is located nearby. Basically, the coffee grounds are mixed into the mash, where it sits for 8-12 hours instead of the usual hour, basically cold-brewing the coffee just like you would to make good iced coffee (which Stumptown does). The result is a surprisingly light, refreshing lager, with slight caramel undertones and a taste not unlike a glass of iced coffee, meaning it has a smooth taste without any bitterness or acidity.
This beer is perfect for warmer weather. Espresso stout isn't something you want to drink when it's 90 degrees outside. Before, the only other caffeinated alternative was something like Sparks or Four Loko, both of which taste like someone mixed a bottle of Sprite and Robutussin together. The Berserker, however, is light enough to drink in the summer, plus it tastes amazing. Warning: It does provide a decent caffeine buzz, so save it for a big night out instead of for a nightcap.