Torst: Mad-Scientist Beer Geekery


The beauty of the mad scientist is that he’s still a man of stature: He throws on a tux and holds witty party conversation before returning to his insane, bubbly lair. And that’s Torst — officially, “Tørst” — the nationally acclaimed Greenpoint beer bar, where 21 temperature-controlled drafts are chilled in a cellar and cold room before being perfectly poured in an elegant hall. An elegant beer outing? Absolutely. Prepare your Hyde to get well-acquainted with one classy Jekyll.

On a Brooklyn block dominated by vintage shops and bakeries, enter through the white wooden door to find a pristine hall of reclaimed wooden tables and walls of cream and white tile. Head straight for the white marble bar and line of wooden taps — immaculately arranged by woodgrain and beer style from light to dark. Each pours ultra-rare and one-off beers into your stemmed wine glass — the best (and classiest) way to enjoy cool brew sips.

It’s all a spiffy front for Torst’s state-of-the art gadgets, which ensure that none of the suds are duds. A box affectionately dubbed the “flux capacitor” (see its switchboard of gauges and plastic tubing lit up in red behind the bar) monitors pressure and gas blending for each keg. Two cold boxes downstairs properly chill all the beer lines, too. Poindexter details aside, just know the pour will always be perfect.

Like any proper nutty professor, Torst regularly has madcap schemes cooking. This month saw the Rainbow Project — an international brewing collaboration inspired by the colors of the rainbow. Imagine sipping green beer: No, not the St. Patrick’s food-coloring variety, but a hemp juniper double IPA that is joyfully light on the tongue with a sweet, earthy finish. As for indigo, it’s a gooseberry wild ale — embrace the sour beer trend with tamed grape and berry flavor to smack your lips.

From light pilsners to dark stouts, your poison is here. The I Love You With My Stout by Evil Twin is a sweet tooth’s dream — mocha chocolate cake in a glass. And Hop Showers, an IPA by Other Half, bursts on your tongue with juicy grapefruit and bitter hops you can’t help but love.

When it’s time for a few bites, Luksus — an adjoining restaurant from Daniel Burns and Torst creator Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø — has you covered. Sink your teeth into fried cipollini onions with tomato relish (a.k.a. “big kid onion rings”) before chowing on the confited duck sandwich, whose spicy cabbage and pickled cucumber add a zingy tang. Then sit back, relax, and marvel at how civilized an evening of beers can be. That is, until you start morphing into a wolf and really see what Torst has been up to all along …

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615 Manhattan Avenue Brooklyn NY 11222

(718) 389-6034

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