Being I am new to North Carolina I thought it only made sense to try and figure out what this place has to offer for beer. I know being stuck in Fayetteville is probably not the best place to try and figure out what the state has to offer, especially after having been to an event like Twin City Taps but this brewery was local to me, and that is what it is all about. I have had a few people suggest The Mash House to me. They talk about the beer that is served there and the burgers that they make. It only made sense to me… Though, I ordered a steak… so of course I am going to do it. I guess I will have to pick out a burger next time but here we go…
I am pretty sure you can see what the beers are going around the circle so I will just tell you I started at the top, and worked my way around clockwise. The first beer, was obviously the blonde. I wrote out short hand notes on a napkin while eating haha. I just had to be sure of everything when I went back and decided what I wanted for my growler.
The Blonde was pretty decent. I have been falling for this style and the Kolsch a lot recently. I might even brew one. I mean, why not? I tried once before with the Kolsch but that was way back when in my early days of brewing before I knew that simple things mattered… like sanitation lol. Anyway, the straw color, not much could be picked out of the nose in that environment and glass though it was sweet and crisp. Lemon and wheat stood out. Very dry and light. Decent beer.
The Hefe was very hazy and kind of reminded me of milky orange juice. Not very attractive. Though orange, lemon, some spiciness of clove really hit the spot. The orange flavors kind of blended into vanilla and banana. It drank pretty light but felt a bit heavier than that… if that makes sense. I thought it was decent even though it went through some radical flavor changes.
The Red Ale was really malty. The finish of the hops though was quite harsh. Not a fan of that or the high level of carbonation. This beer was pretty much passed on. The IPA was next. I kind of wish I got the names of all these beers, but oh well. I guess that does not matter. This IPA apparently won gold at GABF in 2001. I am not going back to look in the record books but this gives me some expectations. The bitterness in this was very mellow. I appreciated that. Grapefruit came through quite a bit and it soothed out with a touch of lemon that followed into the finish. I thought this was an all around good beer. Well balanced.
Now we are getting to the darker beers. The porter was nice and malty. Pretty robust and had a sharp malt bitterness followed by a caramel sweetness. The stout, dark brown and a mellow head. Dark roasted coffee like flavors and caramel overtop. Pretty full bodied but not syrupy. That was nice. This beer was given to me on Nitro. I usually do not like beer on nitro. I don’t know how to describe it but it has a funny taste… this was the first I did like… maybe, the others I have had were served on dirty lines? or I became accustomed to that flavor of the gas? I don’t even know if that makes sense… I thought the gas was flavorless??? What do I know… Lets go with the dirty lines things…
I guess now that I have had a porter and stout they feel that my palate has been cleansed they are going back into the amber ale. I thought I picked up some green apples in this one but not too sure. I may have been losing it because I also got bananas… interesting for sure. The maibock was pretty hoppy and grassy. Just ok. The last beer to taste was the Cherry Blonde. I got maraschino cherries when I was drinking this one. They were all over the nose and into the taste. Cherry cordials is predominately what I thought of when drinking this. The chocolate, the cherries… I think the idea of the blonde was lost completely. It was funny because it was light bodied but still syrupy. I wondered how they brewed this one.
Now that I am at the end of this selection I guess I would say that this place has some damn good food. No doubt about that. I guess I only had one meal so I can’t be too quick to judge on that but it was pretty fancy establishment as well. The beer did not really stand out to me. I mean, I did not find much that was very bad. Everything was drinkable. There were a few standouts like the IPA but I am not big on take the IPA every time. I like to experience other beers and that lead me to my decision on the Blonde to take home.
My first local brewery trip, though it was not what I would consider a typical brewery. I will get to some more soon and report back on those as well… but you already knew that.