The magazine of material culture

The Mast Brothers' New Brew

The Mast Brothers in their new brew bar.

                                                   Writing by Tessa Maffucci | Photography by Colin Clark

In the premiere issue of Atlas, we followed the journey of Rick and Michael Mast, as they became expert chocolate makers and founded the eponymous Mast Brothers Chocolate. The brothers are always walking past the edge of the known world in chocolate, and have discovered a new way to imbibe it: chocolate beer.

These non-alcoholic “beers” are made in-house at the Mast Brothers Chocolate Laboratory that is an offshoot of their factory and showroom in Brooklyn. The brew process is akin to the method for making cold brew coffee—freshly roasted cacao beans are steeped in cold water for twenty-four hours, then a small amount of cane sugar is added for sweetness, and a nitrogen infusion creates effervescence. The brew is then served on draft only at the Mast Brothers Laboratory on North 3rd Street in Brooklyn.

I sipped a few different brews, and was surprised at how delightfully similar to real beer the chocolate beer was: malty and a bit bitter. The citrus beer had a full aroma of lemons and oranges, and the vanilla beer just hinted at flavor, without being syrupy sweet. And each pint was topped off with a creamy foam, just like a beer head.

The flavor line-up changes seasonally, so stop by the Lab to try one yourself.