Touring the Wrecking Bar Brewery (312th new thing).

April 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

The appeal of gastropubs and brewery restaurants seems to have been steadily growing in the past several years, and I am not complaining. A few weeks earlier Patrick and I tried out one of the new small in-house brewery/restaurant combinations when we had a meal at The Wrecking Bar. On Day Three Hundred Twelve we returned on a Saturday afternoon for the free “Brewery Tour.” I was especially excited about seeing the workings of a small beer brewing operation after I had begun to brew my own alcoholic beverages.

We arrived just before the 4:30 beginning of the tour and sat down at the bar. Unable to resist, I took the suggestion of the bartender and ordered myself a beer brewed right downstairs. I chose the Red Ale and I have to say, it was one of the tastiest beers I had ever tried. Maybe it was perfect for my tastebuds right at that moment, or maybe it was everything I had dreamed my own Red Ale would be. Either way, it seemed to be the grand combination of smooth, creamy, and cold. Soon after, Brewmaster Bob walked around the room looking for any would be tourists. We joined the small crowd with our beers in hand and headed down the ramp to the mysterious brewery.

The garage door opened into a large basement-like room with oversized kettles and fermenting tanks lined on either side of the walls. I recognized the process of making beer through my experience as a budding home brewer. I pointed out to Patrick what I figured to be the wort making area and the fermenting tanks.I may have been secretly impressed with my knowledge, although it still paled in comparison to most others.

Bob gathered us in a circle around him as he described the process and informed his captive audience as to what brews were currently being made. And then we got to the tasting part, my favorite part of any brewery tour. We tried a scotch ale, a hefeweisen, and a stout. In between I sipped my red ale. People asked questions throughout the guide and individuals and small groups asked for more information as we refilled our glasses. There was another home brewer in attendance, and I enjoyed hearing his questions and subsequent answers. I rolled through my brain trying to think of an appropriately intelligent questions, but instead just asked something about whether or not he grew his own hops. The answer is, “Hopefully in the future.”

We left shortly after and I really felt that I had a better understanding of the beer-making process. Now I just need to get the recipe for that Red Ale and I’m set.

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