Hubby and I went to the official Grand Opening of Back East Brewing. It was a hot, sticky day with thunderstorms looming. Oh boy was I looking forward to some cold, yummy beer!
I don’t know what I was expecting but I was surprised by the volume of people who had shown of the event. The place was packed. There were lines of people everywhere . . . a line to get in, a line for each of the tasting stations, a line for the brewery tour . . . a line for everything.
I’m certainly not finding fault in that. I am happy for the brewery for having such a successful grand opening. It was just so oppressive . . . both weather-wise and people-wise.
As we entered the gate we got our hand stamped, a cup, and tickets good for six 4-ounce samples. So far so good!
I shouldn’t have been surprised by this . . . a myriad of politicians showed up to wave and smile and snip ribbons. Yeah, they’re everywhere . . . especially during so close to an election.
We found the end of a line leading to a beer sampling tent and were looking forward with happy anticipation to our first taste of Back East beer. Hubby and I each selected a different beer . . . I chose the Back East Amber Ale and he got the IPA.
Back East Amber Ale is their Flagship brew. It had a good strong taste up front but pretty much empty of flavor on the finish. It was smooth and nicely carbonated but generally lacking . . . something. It was good but not great.
Misty Mountain IPA. India Pale Ales are my favorite, so I was really looking forward to a taste. It has a nice hoppy bitterness but is otherwise missing the other characteristics (citrus, pine, malt) of a good IPA that I’ve come to expect in a good, hand crafted IPA. Again . . . good but not great.
We drank our beer while waiting in line for the brewery tour and tasting room . . . by this time, the dark clouds are building and I was hoping we got inside before all hell broke loose. Thankfully, we did.
We declined to take the tour due to time constraints. But we did take the opportunity to sample a couple more beers while passing through the tasting room. We also grabbed a couple bottles of the limited edition imperial stout . . . hubby 's favorite style of beer.
This time I grabbed a the Golden ale and hubby got the stout.
The Golden Ale was my favorite among all the beers I tasted. It was very drinkable . . . crisp, light, tasty. It was nothing special but it was good.
The Imperial stout . . . it was kind of disappointing. It had almost no carbonation, watery mouth feel. Smokey but wanting other flavors to compliment it . . . like coffee or caramel or chocolate or toasted malt.
Overall I thought all the beers were good but really nothing special. I was actually kind of disappointed because I’d been looking forward to this event all week.
Hubby’s take on the quality of the beer is that perhaps they since this was a free event and that the brewery doling out gallons of free samples that maybe they didn’t put forth their best brews.
On some level that makes sense, but I would think that since it was an open house and the first exposure to their beer for a lot of people . . . myself included . . . that they would want to pour the best tasting beer they make.
I’ll grab a bottle or two of Back East Brewing from my local store and give them another give them another go around and see what happens.