Rather than just keep my small army of readers up to date on the goings on in the cellar at Mattingly Brewing Company, I have decided to use this blog as a chance to show my appreciation for what fellow brewers are up to. There will no be discernible order or pattern to who or how they are chosen for recognition, other than that I have a deep respect for the beers they produce.
So, on with it then!
Who, oh who should I recognize first?
Well, I was sitting at home (for a change) with my fiance, Julie, talking about the upcoming beer festival season, which kicked off this past weekend with Schlafly's Repeal of Prohibition Festival. We were talking about the first festival she came to (or I dragged her to, whatever), it was the St. Louis Microfest 2006. It was a cool May afternoon and we didn't stay for the whole thing, but we did get to sample quite a few beers. Even after the years there was one beer that stuck out in her mind, New Albanian Brewing Company's Thunderfoot.
For those poor, wretched souls who do not know Thunderfoot, it a magical and mysterious black ale, a Cherry Oak Imperial Stout. Sublime balance of chocolately malt, coffee roastiness, caramelly and toffee malt middle, woody and vanilla oakiness, all drenched in sweet and tart cherries, real cherries. Silky smooth and dangerously satisfying, it is a magnificent beverage. Really, it is no shock that it stuck in Julie's mind.
But, of course, it doesn't end with Thunderfoot. Hoptimus is an American Double IPA drippying in citrusy, grassy hop character with a fantastic, bready caramelly malt backing. Malcolm's Old Setter's Ale on cask was arguably the best beer at the 2008 Great Taste of the Midwest, intense maltiness, some earthy and floral hops to balance the intense rush of toffee and breadiness with plenty of fruity esters and warming alcohol to round out an immense Old Ale. It was truly remarkable.
They also brew an excellent Imperial Pilsner by the name Elsa Von Horizon, a funky, sour, refreshing and outright strange Kentucky Common in addition to many, many others.
Jared, Jesse and their newest team member, David are working tirelessly to get the new production facility up and running to package their fantastic beers and get them into the market.
I, for one, cannot wait!