Courtesy of Grimm Artisanal Ales

Grimm and Mekelburg's teamed up for this sweet and boozy brew.

Mike Pomranz
October 17, 2018

Originally founded in 2013, Grimm Artisanal Ales—maker of some of Brooklyn’s tastiest and most acclaimed beers—finally opened its own brewery to the public this year. In 2015, Mekelburg’s Fine Food and Craft Beer took the idea of the Brooklyn corner store and gave it a refined, modern twist, quickly garnering a reputation as one of the best places in the borough to grab grub off all types. Yes, both of these ventures highlight just how much Brooklyn has changed over the years, but as their recent collaboration beer proves, some things stay the same: New Yorkers still have a soft spot for babka.

New York has long had a fascination with the typically flaky pastry known as a babka (remember that Seinfeld episode?) and Mekelburg’s is one of the many Brooklyn outposts that makes a damn good one. So after years of “unofficial collaborations between the two brands, including Grimm tap takeovers and beer pairing dinners,” for their first official collaboration, Grimm and Mekelburg’s decided on a new brew called Sumi Babka, a “babka-style imperial milk stout [that] is rich with cocoa, infused with vanilla, and finished with just the right amount of salt.” The beer comes in at a whopping but “well hidden” 12-percent ABV. And just in case you’re worried that it might not be worthy of replacing your dessert, the brands promise that “Grimm’s innovative double mashing technique achieves an unprecedented liquid density and velvety texture”—meaning this beer is “full-bodied in the extreme.”

The enticing beer was released this past Saturday in 16-ounce cans and is being sold both in Grimm’s taproom and both of Mekelburg’s locations (Williamsburg and Clinton Hill). For the record, it’s not the world’s first babka stout. Crazily enough, it’s apparently not even the first babka stout to clock in at around 12 percent! But as Elaine said, “You can’t beat a babka!”

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