If you wanted to show your love for Other Half when it opened in 2014, you couldn’t do it with a slickly designed t-shirt or an etched logo pint glass. “For the first year, we had zero stuff you could purchase,” says co-founder Sam Richardson. Well, besides beer. And that beer is what did most of the talking, earning Other Half plenty of word-of-mouth love, especially for its super flavorful IPAs. Prior to the use of a mobile canning line this past February, the beers were available primarily on draft (a few are bottled) and they’re still only available in New York. The canned beers mostly sell out the same day they’re packaged.
Some of Brooklyn’s best beer bar owners were already familiar with Richardson and co-founder Matt Monahan from the pair’s days at Greenpoint Beer Works, where Sam had been head brewer for six years. In another boon to the duo, NYC passed legislation that legalized on-premise beer sales at taprooms just as Other Half was finishing construction on its Carroll Gardens brewery and taproom in spring 2014. (Plus, opening said taproom in media-saturated NYC, where writers with thousands of Twitter followers can easily pop in, didn’t hurt their exposure, either.)
It’s created a perfect storm of demand for Other Half’s beers, which only include one year-round offering, Other Half IPA. Other regular brews such as Forever Ever session IPA, Hop Showers IPA and All Green Everything triple IPA have cemented the brewery’s reputation as one of the East Coast’s most sought-after hop slingers — though the odd saison or barrel-aged imperial stout does find its way out of tanks every now and then. Richardson seems shellshocked by his brewery’s success: “We’ve been steadily growing, yeah. We’re just trying to keep things from falling apart.” There’s little danger of that if fans continue clamoring for Other Half beer the way they have. For a modest celebration of a full year in business, the brewery’s employees took a trip to Maine to check out some breweries there. Oh, and they had some shirts printed.
GREEN DIAMONDS IMPERIAL IPA
This was one of the first four beers that we made. We wanted to brew a big, imperial IPA that was also dry. The goal with most of our beers, especially our IPAs, is for them to finish fairly dry. But we do go for some of the juicier hops, so that beer is brewed with Amarillo and Galaxy.”
ALL GREEN EVERYTHING TRIPLE IPA
“This is a double IPA, but putting ‘triple’ on there is just so people know that it’s a bigger double IPA. Most double IPAs fall into the 8 to 9 [percent ABV] range, and obviously 10.5 is pretty big for an IPA. It’s brewed with four hops: Motueka,from New Zealand, plus Amarillo, Mosaic and Citra.”
Get the goods
If you can’t make it to the Carroll Gardens taproom, keep an eye out for Other Half beers on draft at NYC bars including Blind Tiger Ale House, St. Gambrinus Beer Shoppe, Proletariat, Bar Great Harry, The Jeffrey, Covenhoven and The Owl Farm.