One of the beauties of the beer clubs is the chance to try breweries that you have never heard of, or at least to further explore familiar ones. Along with this, the typical club newsletter provides information on both brew and brewery. This month I met two unfamiliar breweries.
The first is D. L. Geary Brewing Company. This is listed as Maine’s first microbrewery, in production since 1986, and founded by David and Karen Geary. Production followed a two-year apprenticeship at Scottish and English breweries, including Traquair House Brewery (little known here, but I was most impressed when I tried some). With that experience it’s no wonder that the Gearys specialize in British styles.
This poured with no head, clear reddish brown, with moderate roasted barley in the nose along with caramel and a hint of hops. Nice mouthfeel, malty, then a hop-bitter character coats the palette and persists into the finish. There’s something very substantial about this beer, and it’s very satisfying when in the mood for an English bitter.
Pours deep, deep brown with a brief light head. The nose starts with chocolate–bittersweet chocolate–and develops a slight woody note. Rich and mouthfilling, it leads with roasty barley and what must be chocolate and crystal malt. There’s a smokiness to it, especially on the finish, as if that woody note caught fire. This is another very straight-forward, very satisfying beer.
The second brewery this month is Red Brick Brewing Company, from Atlanta Georgia. The Southeast is not strong on craft brewing, but this is the oldest operational craft brewery in Georgia, opening in 1993.
Deep amber with a brief, light head. The nose gives a little pepper and a little smoke, almost meaty. On the palette comes a smooth light body, a touch bready. There’s a hint of citrus and the smokiness continues. It seems like there’s some crystal malt giving some sweetness. The finish continues the themes.
Amber with coppery highlights and a quarter-inch head. Nice nose of light, floral hops. Taste gives caramel with a hint of chocolate and a slight buttery quality, soft mouthfeel, light bitterness and malt on the finish. Bitterness starts light and gets more intense through the finish.