And before you ask—no, it’s not everything bagel-flavored.
Beer and bagels might not seem like an obvious combination—save for when a bagel becomes the sought-after cure to your post-beer hangover. However, a new brew by Folksbier may change your mind. On Thursday, the Brooklyn-based brewery announced a partnership with New York’s Black Seed bagels, which involves a beer brewed with bagels—yes, really—dubbed Black Seed Glow Up. It takes one of Folksbier’s house brews, a Berliner Weisse-style sour wheat beer called Glow Up, and works in leftover Black Seed bagels from New York. The process helps minimize waste, and results in a beer that left us surprised.
To create the beer, Black Seed and Folksbier take the Glow Up recipe and replace a portion of the grist (usually a malted cereal grain) with bagels—multiple flavors are used, excluding everything-style. Once the fermentation trails off, the beer is refermented and conditioned using the same honey that Black Seed uses, according to the label. (Normally, Folksbier would ferment and condition Glow Up with fruit.) The result is a 5 percent ABV brew that’s “slightly hazier than Folksbier’s standard Glow Up brew, due to the long proteins and gluten in bagels.” And now, for what you’re all anxiously wondering—how does bagel-brewed beer taste?
We got to take first sips of Black Seed Glow Up, and found it to be sour and bright and yet also creamy and smooth, with a little bit of a yeast-y flavor and a clean honey taste at the end. As expected, there were no hints of bagel at all—one editor pointed out “a bagel is a pretty mild-tasting bread, and this is a mild beer.” Overall, our staff was pleasantly surprised and the brew got a unanimous thumbs-up, with a colleague proclaiming “I don’t even like beer, and I like this.” Others said “I like it because it’s sour and it doesn’t taste too hoppy,” and a resident Folksbier connoisseur said the haziness is similar to the brewery’s other beers.
Curious? The special Glow Up beer drops at several restaurants and bars on Thursday, including Grand Army, Celestine, The Smile, Old Rose, As Is, and Otto’s Market in upstate New York, according to a statement. Brooklynites can buy 750 milliliter bottles at the Folksbier tasting room in Carroll Gardens for $14, or grab a 10 ounce glass on draft for $7. There’s also a celebration on April 27 at the tasting room—expect beer-boiled bagels served as tartines (one Mexican-style, and one smoked salmon classic), as well as bagel chips, paired with guacamole. Needless to say, if you even remotely like bagels, this is a party you don’t want to miss.