UPDATE: November 2017 Visit
A short few months after my initial visit to Other Half they had their larger tasting room open next door and a massively larger list of beers available. I found that the IPAs were significantly better than the last time such that I would have brought cans home if it worked with my trip. Now I consider their Hazy double IPAs to be up there with Tired Hands and Trillium in flavor. I was also floored by how delicious their imperial stouts were since last time they only had IPAs.
I only had three tasters in this visit because I also went to LIC Beer Project after and they don’t offer tasters. The All Infinity Everything was super creamy with notes of tropical fruit, pineapple and overall dripping with hop juice. It had a light hop acid finish and excellent drinkability for 8%. The DDH All Green Everything was 10% but tasted like 7, one of the best triple IPAs I have tasted. It was super smooth and crushable with light haze, minimal alcohol bite, and tons of tropical fruit and light grass on the finish. This one as well was dripping with hop juice.
Other Half didn’t have a stout when I last visited but this time they had a bunch. I went for the biggest non-barrel aged stout on the menu with the Smoke Screens and Oil Slicks. This beer had the most flavor in a 11.5% stout that I’ve had without loading it full with adjuncts. The alcohol was hidden quite well and I got notes of cherry and light smoke with a bitter chocolate finish. The flavors balanced so well. It is a hard choice whether to drink the IPAs or stouts at Other Half now because they were both so amazing.
Original post —
Other Half Brewing is one of the handful of breweries that has rocketed to fame, success, and trade value through their limited release hazy IPAs in cans. At the time when I visited they still had a fairly tiny tasting room near the subway stop for Smith and 9th. They offered either 5 or 10 ounce pours of most of the beers but due to the pricing I went for he 10oz pours of most of them. The beers available were almost all hop-forward and there were no sours or stouts to be seen. I tried 4 out of the total beers available because I was ordering larger pours. I focused on the higher ABV offerings for which they had cans available and then double IPAs because in general I find hazy double IPAs to be more flavorful than the lighter versions.
The Still Shining IPA was a solid Hazy IPA with mild acidity and bitterness but not a ton of hop aroma either. It didn’t stand out from all he other hazy offerings I have had. The Citra Everything was much thicker and had a fantastic mix of citrus and mild pine with a sticky finish. I thought that the hazy double IPAs I tried could have been softer and have more hop kick but they were well done. All my criticisms about these beers come from comparisons to the best of the best and my own preference for a hazy IPA because the style is not clearly defined yet officially.
The galaxy-hopped double IPA, Space Diamonds, was similar to the Citra in style but flavor wise had a lot of sticky overripe papaya and citrus. The overripe fruit flavor wasn’t really my thing in part because it reminded me of a few actual experiences with overripe papaya. Next the Forever Simcoe was a tasty citrus-forward hazy beer without much noticeable pine. I was glad that it wasn’t like sipping a pine tree but I didn’t love it enough to get cans and think about the logistics of getting them home with our other stops still to come.
Overall, I’m glad I made the trip to Other Half to try their beers. I found Tired Hands and Crime and Punishment brewing to be the most impressive though of the East-Coast hazy beers this trip with Trillium coming up behind them and Other Half after that. If a beer is sold for $20 a 4 pack I have to really be blown away by it to bring it home when so many San Diego breweries do the same style really well. When I visited, Other Half had a tiny tasting room but they are opening a larger location soon that should hopefully make for a more relaxing experience.
Though I didn’t find them to be as impressive as a few others in neighboring areas, it is absolutely worth stopping by for a few tastes and some cans if you are in the New York City area. My descriptions can hopefully help you decide if this is the style of hazy IPA you like. Unlike Brooklyn Brewing, they are quite close to the nearest station, making it easy to get there. Just don’t expect to find anything other than hoppy beers and make sure you bring a cooler to keep the cans cold on the subway. Even if it is cold outside, they tend to keep the subways toasty. Also keep an eye out for a new location to open soon as I heard that is in the works too.
Come to Other Half for hazy IPAs. They haven’t branched out much from the hoppy beers so this is not a stop for people who aren’t into IPAs.