Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On The Road With Mile Marker

St. Augustine:

Made a first-time visit to Mile Marker Brewery before hitting I-95 for Savannah. This is the kind of experience I always look forward to: small producer making beers with imagination and gusto. 

 My first experience was with their 82 Islamorada IPA, 6.2% abv, which the brewmaster describes as "an IPA perfectly suited for Florida weather." Medium bodied, good hop balance, just slightly bitter in the finish which should appeal to folks who, unlike me, have problems with "hop-bombs."

Being the first to arrive that day (and a tad early for opening hours on Sunday) our guide
and server, Miguel Corzo, had plenty of time to describe the various numbers associated with their beers. They all are related to destinations along either Highway 1 from the Florida Keys or I-95 which passes thru St. Augustine. Apparently, Mile Marker has a big following in the Keys and much of their product is sold there.

We had five beers to sample, shown in the photo, and one we heard about, their Cudjoe Key Black IPA. Sure sorry to miss that one, it sounded like just the style I'm coming to really enjoy. 

Coconut Porter was light bodied, subtle coconut flavor in the finish.

Where it all begins, the mash tun

Easy to identify these kegs; ambiance I think it's called.
Chilled and ready to be tapped! Wonderful sight.

Association logo; spot the FL outline?

Now that we are in GA, not sure if I will be able to find their beers on tap but I most certainly will be looking for them.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

News From the New Headquarters

Dateline: Greenville. (That's an old newspaper cliche, in case you've forgotten)

Now that our World Headquarters has taken up its new residence, time to explore the brewing community. First stop, Thomas Creek Brewing, one of Upstate SC's oldest breweries.

Bill Davis, General Manager, Architect and Dog Trainer (more about that later) kindly gave us a quick tour, despite the fact that we just dropped in unannounced. 

First stop was at the spigots used for sampling, where he graciously let us try the Up the Creek Extreme IPA and the Red Ale. 
4 oz pours are allowed while on a tour. SC has some peculiar alcohol laws.

Both samples were tasty and quite different. The ABV for the UTC is over 12%, tho it's so well balanced that the alcohol is very deceptive; finishes with lingering malty flavor and mild hop bitterness, despite the enormous amount of hops used (8.5 lbs per barrel!).  The Red Ale was full bodied, crisp on the palate and very drinkable. I'll probably see more of this as the Summer season arrives.

One of their contract brewing clients.
Monk in the Trunk is another custom brewed beer, heading for Florida

Jim told us that the brewery is at capacity (they do a lot of contract brewing as well), so plans are in the works for expansion, including some outside fermenters. 

For a complete line up of their brews, visit their website: http://www.thomascreekbeer.com/

The visit will not be complete until you see Jim sending the Official Brewery Dog, Porter, scurrying upstairs to retrieve a favorite toy. 

Porter the Brewery Dog waiting for his toy to be tossed upstairs again.

Don't Be Typical is their slogan.