Posts Tagged ohio

Ghost of Hops Past

Rhinegeist MosaicFinishing up in Ohio, I wound up trying a brew from Rhinegeist, a Cincinnati brewery running out of a far older brewery that shuttered during Prohibition. The Mosaic Pale Ale (5.6% abv) was a great introduction to a brewery I had never tried before. It poured opaque golden, with thick sudsy off white head. The smell was super hoppy, with lots of floral and citrusy fruit aromas. The first taste was all hops, with the same floral notes as the aroma. A touch of malt came on into the middle. Light body and light carbonation lead to a somewhat malty finish, with more of the floral hoppiness trailing. This was a very smooth pale.

3

, , ,

Leave a comment

Just Clowning Around

Clown Shoes Unidragon Continuing our tour through Ohio, we stopped in at a local ‘mallpub’ (what I call bars that call themselves pubs, but are little more than yet another store in the middle of a strip mall.) Despite sitting among so many mall staples you know and love/hate, this somewhat local pub that had a pretty good vibe. There was lots of stained wood, dividers at the small bar with inlaid stained glass, a real tile floor and all kinds of nooks with private booths and low seating. We chose the bar and a beer out of Massachusetts called Clown Shoes Ohio Unidragon RIS on nitro (11.5% abv): It poured black with creamy tan head. Aromas included chocolate and bittersweet, with a little booziness at the end. It tasted thick and strong with lots of alcohol bite up front. The bartender recommended this over the Old Rasputin, but this one tasted far more bitter. The middle was characterized by heavy body and light carbonation, finishing smooth, with more of the bitterness and a touch of booziness.

3

, , ,

1 Comment

Pick Your Poison

Toxic Brew Collage_exteriorHappy Leap Year! While touring the city of Dayton, Ohio, we stopped by the Oregon District, which consisted mainly of a single street with historic houses and a few businesses. While idly wandering the street in the bitter cold, we found a funky little brewery called Toxic Brew Company. There were some cool murals and other art built into the side of the building outside. Walking in, I was struck by the openness of the space. There was lots of funky art on the walls, including some graffiti canvas art and death-inspired paintings. The bar ran down the middle of the room, with a brick wall behind it that split the room into two halves, with the bar and a shuffleboard to the right and some low tables to the left. There were a few Ohio-themed art pieces, including their logo, which features a skull and crossed bottles inside the outline of the state.

Toxic Brew Collage_interiorOf course, I toured their menu by getting myself a flight. I started with the ‘Til Death Do Us Tart Berliner Weisse (4.8% abv). This first one poured cloudy pale yellow, with thin fizzy white head. The aromas were grassy, lemony and somewhat bready. The first taste was quite sour, with lots of funk and some bready barley flavor. The middle was fizzy with light body and light-medium carbonation. It finished sour and tart. Not my favorite style of beer, so not entirely their fault that I didn’t much care for this one.

2

Next up was the Abbey Brunette Belgian Dubbel (6.8% abv). It poured bright clear amber, with thin white head. Aromas were very mild, with only a hint of malty sweetness. The taste was malty and sweet. A little dark fruit came through into the middle. Light-medium body and light carbonation lead to a somewhat malty finish. I must have been in the mood for malts because I enjoyed this beer.

4

Toxic Brew Flight

The third beer I tried was the Hum Bug Seasonal Ale (7.6% abv). It poured an orangey color, with creamy white head that coated the glass. It smelled very mild, with only a hint of sweet maltiness. The taste was super mild and creamy, starting with some mild malty sweetness, moving to a bit of a spiced vegetal flavor in the middle. Medium in body and light in carbonation, it finished malty and sweet. Despite sounding pretty dynamic, it was just off for a holiday ale.

2

I finished my flight with the Lockness Express Scotch Ale (7.6% abv). This last one poured a rich brown amber color, with thin light brown head. It smelled rich, roasty and malty. The first taste was very smooth and mild. Then the malts kicked in, followed by some fruitiness like cherries. The middle was light-medium-bodied and lightly carbonated and it finished somewhat thick with malts and the fruity sweetness trailing.

4

Toxic Brew Hanger 18 PorterAs is my habit, my exuberance got the better of me and I did not stop after the flight, mainly because I simply didn’t have room in the flight for the Hanger 18 Porter (6.2% abv). It poured black, with thin tan head. It smelled rich and sweet. The taste was mild and smooth. There was some chocolate and mild sweetness at first, followed by a hoppy bitterness. The middle was smooth, with some bittersweet flavors. Light body and light carbonation lead to a smooth finish, with more bitterness and a touch of coffee flavor. This may have been an average porter, but it was exactly what I wanted on such a cold day.

4

I really enjoyed this brewery. Everyone we met was very friendly, the place was entertaining to the eye and the beer was some of the best we had on our trip to Ohio. I definitely recommend it.

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

History in Brewing

Carillon Brewing OutsideAmong the many sights and features around Dayton, we stopped by a museum that housed a working brewery. This was not just any brewery, though. Situated in picturesque Carillon Historical Park, Carillon Brewing Co. was a brick building that resembled an old factory. It actually reminded me of an old firehouse. The only fires involved in this place, however, were the ones used to prepare ingredients for completely house made beer, bread and cheese.

Carillon was a brewery dedicated to brewing both in the style and method of the 1850s. A few volunteers, among regular paid staff, dressed in period costumes and did most of the brewing and baking. All brick and wood, the main room was absolutely cavernous. The bakery and brewing area were directly in front of the door, separated from the rest of the brewery by a ring of barrels. There was a large fireplace surrounded by a bunch of wooden winches, shelving and paddles. The brewing area was up a flight of stairs above the brick oven, with a copper-banded wood barrel. Beyond the baking/brewing area was a full bar. The large seating area was full of hand-planed tables and chairs. There was also an upstairs, loft-like seating area that ringed the main floor. All the history in this place made me hardly able to wait to try their beer.

Carillon Brewing Collage
I ordered a flight, included in which they had several cask beers. Our server warned us that all of their cask beers were served in the 1850s style, which was to say, “flat and warm.” Being an open minded fellow, I decided I could deal with that and started with the Sour Porter. This one poured dark brown amber with no noticeable head. There was a definite sourness on the smell, with some chocolate as well. The taste was very sour at first. A touch of roasty chocolate flavor followed into a very mild middle. Light body and no carbonation lead to a mild and sour finish, with only faint chocolate trailing.

3

Next came the Coriander Ale. It poured cloudy orange with no head. It smelled rich and sweet, with a touch of spice. The taste was full of sweet spiciness that reminded me of pumpkin pie spice. The middle was very mild without much change from the beginning. The middle was also vegetal, like bitter squash-like flavor. Light-bodied and lightly carbonated, it finished light with slight spice notes.

3

 

Carillon Brewing Flight

Third, I tried the Irish Red Ale. This one poured cloudy brown, like a cider. Like the previous two, it poured with no head. Aromas of brown sugar, plums and spice got me excited for this drink. I was surprised that it seemed to be more carbonated than the others. It tasted very mild; so mild it didn’t taste like much of anything. The middle was equally mild, with light body and light carbonation. It finished with not much taste, other than a touch of sweetness. A little underwhelming from the promise of the aromas.

3

Last, and the one I thought would be most interesting of the bunch, the Squash Ale. It poured rich clear amber with no head. Almost no aroma came from the drink, other than a little spiciness. It tasted sour at first, almost like a cider. There were some spices and a touch of vegetable-like bitterness. Light body and no carbonation lead to a smooth, light finish, with a touch of bitterness trailing. For whatever reason, I expected more from this one. Interesting concept, though.

3

I very much enjoyed visiting this brewery. I also appreciated all the hard work both the volunteers and the employees put into keeping alive the traditional brewing techniques and use of handmade equipment.

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Warped Disposition

Warped Wing Whiskey RebellionWhile traveling around the Dayton area in Ohio, we stopped by one of the ubiquitous shopping malls along the highway. This one was a little more upscale, though still a mall. This particular mall, however, included a pub, the name of which I cannot remember. It was a cool place, with lots of rich wood and a sort of Irish feel, if a commercialized version of it.

They had a good selection from all over the country, but I wanted something local, so I opted for a beer from Warped Wing BrewingWarped Wing Whiskey Rebellion (11.2%) was brewed in downtown Dayton. It beer poured black with lots of thick tan head. There was a heavy dose of bourbon on the nose, with some bittersweet chocolate to follow. At first, the taste was pretty mild, but then the bourbon kicked in, coating my tongue. With very heavy body and light carbonation, the middle was a little sticky sweet, with a tiny spice note. It finished with only a little of the bourbon, mostly covered up by the stickiness, which lingered the whole way through.

3

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Ohio Bound!

GLBC collage_outside_corner

Over the New Year holiday, I was lucky enough to take a trip to Ohio. In the great state of Ohio, there is a brewery, the likes of which the West Coast rarely, if ever, sees and it is called Great Lakes Brewing Company. Situated in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cincinnati, this brewery had the feel of a cool modern brewery in an old brick building. Lots of lacquered wood and rich dark colors gave it a very warm feel. There was a long bar down the left side, with a few tables on the right. There was another seating area up the stairs to the left, with green beadboard on the wall to the left and brown beadboard on the ceiling. Both levels had their own tasting bars and windows overlooking the street below. Through a brick arch downstairs was a super old, dungeon-like tasting room and seating area. To the right sticking out of the wall was an old piano. Brick floors and rough-hewn stone blocks on the walls only helped perpetuate the dank feel of the place. The brewing area was behind wrought iron bars in the wall behind the tasting bar. Unfinished wood wood beams and columns accented a decidedly old world, low lit ambiance.

GLBC collage_outside pano_inside tour GLBC_inside restaurant

Dortminder GoldDespite being awestruck by the atmosphere, I decided to get down to business. I started with the Dortmunder Gold (5.8% abv). It poured a rich gold color, with tiny sudsy head. There was no aroma whatsoever. The taste was mild and slightly sour, with a little hoppiness into the middle. Light body and carbonation brought a finish that was sour and bitter, with a little malt flavor trailing.

4

Next, I tried the Burning River Pale Ale (6% abv). GLBC Burning River PaleThis one poured golden with smooth white head. There was virtually no smell, with maybe a slight maltiness. The taste was super mild, with a bit of malty sweetness up front and a little fruitiness like melon into the middle. Light body and light carbonation, it finished fruity, malty and caremelly.

4

GLBC Edmund Fitzgerald

My third of the day brought me to the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter (6% abv). The “golden standard” when it comes to porters as tasted by the Great American Beer Fest judges, according to our tour guide that day, poured wine-colored dark brown, with a thick cap of light brown head. It smelled roasty, sweet and malty. The taste was light and chocolatey. There was not as much bitterness, as expected, but still lots of chocolate. The middle was light-medium bodied with light carbonation and it finished chocolatey and roasty. Good, though I have tasted better porters.

3

Last, I tried the Mash Appeal Kentucky Common Ale GLBC Kentucky Common(~4.7% abv). This rare beer was popular up until the start of Prohibition in the U.S. According to the tasting bar tender, it is brewed into a “sour mash” with ingredients very similar to whiskey: barley, corn and water, with hops added for taste. It poured pours light amber w/thin white head. Smells sour and like barley and barley. Tastes mild, like malty, inoculated sour mash whiskey. In fact, it’s pretty much inverted grain whiskey- sour, bready and like sweet corn. Middle is light bodied and lightly carbed. Finishes smooth, light and lots of barley.

4

This was a fantastic brewery and one very much respected by everyone I even mentioned it to. It seemed everyone knew all about their history and their beers. I truly appreciated the passion for this delicious craft I love so much.

GLBC beer logos

, , , , , ,

2 Comments