You can contact me at jmlabeckjr@optimum.net - Please support this blog, either by visiting the ads, or making a donation. Thank you.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

New Brewery!

I come from a beer family. We drink beer, we make beer, I like to think we know beer. When a new brewery opened it's doors in Waterbury, and one of the family invited me to try them out, well, how could I refuse?

The Brassworks Brewery sits in an unassuming corner of an unassuming industrial park on Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury, Connecticut. You can find the startup story (told better than I ever could) at http://brassworksbrewing.com/

They don't serve food, but they have made arrangements to have different food trucks onsite whenever they're open. When we were there, they had actual wood-fired pizza, from a mobile brick oven...YUM!

Beside myself, My niece Emily, her husband Tom, my nephew John, his wife LeAnne, my nephew Rob, my sister Betsy, and her husband Tom were all there. Everyone had different beers and different pizzas. The result was that I, um, drank a bit too much, and ate nearly as much. Since I didn't drive, everything was fine. And the beers and pizzas were all excellent.
,
I started out with a sampler of 5 beers: bitter, blond ale, pale ale, amber ale, and porter. I asked the owners about the choices for the sampler. They replied that their intention was to get people out of the "Bud rut".

As I worked my way through the sampler, I was struck by a couple of things. First, every beer, as near as I could tell, was a faithful representation of its style. Second, nearly every beer was made with an interesting twist.

The bitter was very much a classic English drink; low alcohol, minimal hop character, very refreshing. It had an unusual fruitiness, though, making this a different take on an old-timey drink. The blond ale reminded me very much of my own attempt at making an American ale. Think of Ballantine, with more hops. The pale ale just plain nailed it. A strong malt backbone, assertive hop flavor and aroma would make this a good companion to almost any meal. The amber ale tilted slightly to the sweet side, showcasing the malt, while not ignoring the hops, which still showed up. Last was a classic brown porter. Caramelized fruit, vanilla, just enough hops, made this an ideal drink to enjoy on a late fall evening by a roaring fire.

I had sips of many of the beers surrounding me. I tried an IPA, a coffee porter, a stout, a brown ale, all excellent, all tasty.

Bottom line? If you like beer, if you like trying different tastes, is you like people, you should try this place. I would recommend it to anyone.

Monday, February 15, 2016

I Like Making Beer

I believe Ive mentioned this before, more than a few times. I really like this hobby. When I'm thinking about my next batch, I'm not thinking about what I can afford, or what will impress my friends. I'm just thinking, "What do I want to drink?"

So, I'm just finishing that last of a Baltic Porter. Then, it's on to my first-ever fruit lambic, after which I'll be into the dunkelweizen I made for our family competition.

Oh, and somewhere in their is a braggot, a mead/beer hybrid, which Ive always wanted to try.

I just think it's really cool that, after 30 years of brewing, I can still say, "I never tried this before."