About I Stop For Hops

I’ve been blessed to be able to visit a number of breweries and brew pubs across the United States and have enjoyed many wonderful tours given by passionate brewers and have enjoyed many wonderful pints of great beer.  This blog is a simple opportunity for me to share my experiences with others who may be interested.  I hope you find something you enjoy.

16 Mile Brewery Georgetown, DE

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I stopped in at 16 Mile Brewery in Georgetown, Delaware on the way to Bethany Beach, Delaware for family vacation.  Several family members tried beers.  Baby’s lunch was good.  I really loved Gutentart, but I’m somewhat of an outlier enjoying sour beers.  Seed Free & Joy was the favorite of beers we tried and we bought a sixpack to bring along for vacation.  The tasting room was pretty busy, with one group having pizza delivered to them right there.  The outdoor fire pit area looked really cool.  I’m looking forward to saving one of the Delaware state map caps for my beer bottle cap map.

Martin House Brewing Company, Fort Worth, TX

I stopped in at Martin House Brewing Company in Fort Worth, Texas and enjoyed a couple of beers during a large Thursday night Friday IPA release event.  True Love Raspberry Sour Ale is delicious.  One of the best sours I’ve had while in Fort Worth.  I enjoyed the sweetness of the raspberries against the sour and especially offsetting some of the saltiness of the original Salty Lady Gose.  The Imperial Texan is a big Double Red Ale.  I chose this because it is advertised as having a big grapefruit flavor.  I wouldn’t typically think of an imperial red as grapefruity but this delivered.  Big.  Bold.  Grapefruit.  Like a bowl of citrus in a glass.  Delicious.

 

 

Shannon Brewing Company, Keller, TX

I stopped in at Shannon Brewing Company in Keller, Texas.  When I arrived their running club was meeting for their weekly run.  Cool.  Despite the bartender’s suggestion to try the latest seasonal I went with the flagship Irish Red and was not disappointed.  Nice malty flavor profile with just a bit of hops.  Easy drinking.  I couldn’t leave without trying the Chocolate Bourbon Stout and was not disappointed by that.  I love the bourbon finish.  The chocolate stout is delicious.  A great dessert drink.  Maybe next time I’ll run with the group first!

The Collective Brewing Project, Fort Worth, TX

I stopped in at The Collective Brewing Project in Fort Worth, Texas and enjoyed tasting their sour beers.  From Funky Thunder to Biere de Garde to Petite Golden Sour to Cup o’Beer to Suspicious Delicious.  They definitely have the sour beer thing going.  A wide variety of sour taste profiles.  I also tried the End of the Week Stout which was very tasty.  And with the addition of local cold brew coffee it was even tastier.  Great place to stop for a beer in town.

Rabbit Hole Brewing, Justin, TX

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Of all the breweries I’ve visited, the few times when I’ve had a special opportunity to speak with the owners and brewers are the best.  Not only that, on rare occasion when I’m traveling and a brewery opens its doors for me to visit even at times they are closed to the public just further demonstrates why I enjoy craft beer so much.  It’s the people and they way they are bringing together other people, oh and yeah, the beer is nice side benefit.  While in transit to Fort Worth I messaged Rabbit Hole Brewing  in Justin, Texas because they typically only have weekend hours and I was only in town during the week.  They responded and welcomed me to stop by.  When I arrived, the entire ownership/management team spent an hour and a half welcoming me, sharing their story, sharing their beers with me and making me feel right at home.

For a modest sized brewery that’s a pretty good distance from downtown Fort Worth or Dallas they have some awesome beers.  The first one I tried was Rapture Fusion Brown Ale.  Think solid malty brown ale on hop steroids.  Not too hoppy mind you.  Just enough to give it a little kick.  Still malty sweetness and a touch of citrus.  This was a great start.  The next one I tried was 10/6 English Pale Ale.  Part of me wishes I stopped here.  Part of me is glad I tried the rest.  Smooth.  Very Smooth.  Wonderful complex malt character.  Bready but not stuffy.  It’s light but not too light.  English hops keep it from being American hoppy.  I likened it to an ESB.  This would be easy to drink all day long.  And this would pair with just about any food, making it perfect on a restaurant menu.  Next I tried JabberBOCK, their maibock.  German malt and hops distinguish this beer.  And let me say that brewing here is faithful to ingredients from the origin of the style.  I respect that and you should too.  Smooth and delicious for the season coming out of winter and before summer.  Finally, I tried Off With Your Red – Red IPA.  Yes.  Nicely hopped.  It’s red so it has more malt character than most IPAs.  Complex.  Very drinkable and satisfying to the hophead community.

I am hopeful I see the day when Rabbit Hole beers are available outside of Texas.  With the quality of the brew and faithfulness to ingredients I have to believe it’s just a matter of time.  Which reminds me, I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date.

HopFusion Ale Works, Fort Worth, TX

I stopped in at HopFusion Ale Works in Fort Worth, Texas to give their beers a try.  Feisty Blonde is a honey ale with vanilla and citrus highlights.  My wife, a non-beer-drinker may actually drink this.  Very enjoyable.  Hairpin Rye Pale Ale is tasty – almost an IPA.  I really enjoyed its spicy (rye) plus hoppy character.  Steampipe Black Rye IPA was also tasty.  Fur Slipper Imperial Milk Stout is nothing short of delicious.  Think chocolate, nutty, caramelly, yummy.  The bartender also suggested I try Zombie Crack and Coco Anejo.  Both smooth and dessertish.  Zombie Crack has a nutty flair and Coco Anejo a coconut flair.

Wild Acre Brewing Company, Fort Worth, TX

Trying to fit in a number of breweries during a business trip to Fort Worth, Texas I realized Wild Acre is typically not open during the days I would be in town.  I messaged the good folks there and they told me about Service Industry Night that was taking place tonight so I stopped by.  It was a great chance to taste their beers.  Wild Acre Brewing Company in Fort Worth,  Texas is a great spot to stop and enjoy several solid beers.  Billy Jenkins Session Bock is their signature beer and an absolute delight to drink.  So smooth and malty.  You must try this.  It’s like comfort beer.  The Soul Pleasure Southern Stout is a great dessert beer.  Notes of chocolate, maybe caramel, maybe coffee, maybe vanilla, smooth and delicious.  Their Tarantula Hawk India Red Ale is a well-hopped red ale.  Quite citrusy and hoppy yet smooth and easy to drink.  IPA lovers will like this as will others.  Although not so much a wheat beer fan, Moonlight Shine Wheat Ale is quite nice.  Notes of vanilla and orange.  Great summer beer.

Chimera Brewing Company, Fort Worth, TX

I stopped in at Chimera Brewing Company in  Fort Worth, Texas for a bite to eat and a beer.  The bartender recommended South of the Bruschetta which was fabulous and a modest portion so it was perfect.  I Also enjoyed discussing the  beer s with the bartender who gave me several tastes.  Having tried a  couple of the sours and based on the bartenders recommendation I had a glass of the Neutrino blueberry sour which is delicious.  The blueberry fruit cuts the sour just a bit and adds an ever so slight sweetness to the sour.  It also adds character and complexity.  Delicious.  I noticed the Hell Fire Serrano Pepper Pale Ale and  had to try that.  Hot.  Yes.  Tasty.  Yes.  Can you handle it?  Maybe.  This would definitely be tasty with pizza.  And, the bartender encouraged me to try Roman Empire which we’ll call the gin drinker’s beer.  Nice juniper notes with other herbs as well.  Unique.  So get yourself over to Chimera for pizza and beer.  What are you waiting for?

Attaboy Beer, Frederick, MD

My son and I stopped in at Attaboy Beer in Frederick, Maryland.  It’s great to have kids old enough to enjoy beer and breweries with me.  Hopefully this is one of several brewery visits we chronicle together while he’s home on break from  school this summer.  We enjoyed Attaboy Beer.  Their flight was tasty.  A.C.E. Double IPA was hoppy and tropical.  Golden Fields Saison was fruity.  I enjoyed hints of pineapple in Pina Fresca Hoppy Saison.  My son liked the Simple Belgian House Beers.  We agreed that Galaxy Maid New England IPA was best – in our opinion – and we purchased a crowler to take home.

The brewery tap room had a great vibe.  The brewery, observable through the glass windows, is cool to check out.

Adding to the experience, our stop at Attaboy Beer was following the 2017 Maryland Craft Beer Festival.  We volunteered during the festival and also enjoyed checking out Maryland brewers both before and after our volunteer slot.  So many beers to try – every imaginable style.  Frederick is such a great location for this.  I recommend you check out this great Maryland craft beer lover’s event next year.

Broken Cauldron Brewery and Taproom, Orlando, FL

I stopped in at Broken Cauldron Brewery and Taproom in Orlando, Florida last night.  As usual, I was taking pictures for my blog postings.  The owner,  Jeanna, just happened to be out front and was wondering what I was doing with the pictures.  She thought I was with the city government.  Apparently there’s some dispute over her sign (the featured post image).  Personally,  I love the painted sign.  My picture-taking led to a wonderful time talking with Jeanna and her husband about the brewery, their beer and their plans.

I started with Ruckus Red, their signature brew.  What I learned from Jeanna is that their brewery and taproom is the tailgate spot for the Orlando City soccer club.  When there are home games the brewery hosts over 1,000 people.  And, the beer of choice is Ruckus Red, red ale.  I can see why.  I’ve enjoyed red ales before.  This one is special.  Its sweet (malty) and also spicy and bitter.  Its a complex beer and really enjoyable to drink.  Great job!

After Ruckus Red I tried the Bleed Purple Blackberry Saison and was really impressed.  This beer packed a delicious tart blackberry flavor into the saison.  Yummy.  I’d drink this often if I were in the area more frequently.  It has both sweet and tart notes.

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Black Cauldron also has a nifty used beer receptacle.

Jeanna also gave me a tour of the brewery.  I felt like royalty.  And, in the process she shared how they use a Rinnai tankless natural gas hot water system.  Using this system saves them time and money.  With my background in the natural gas business I naturally perked right up when she described how this benefits them.  While in the brewery she told me about the cucumber sour they had which I also tried.  Delicious.  Jeanna wasn’t as pleased with this and I’m sure she’ll be putting finishing touches on this recipe.  With the emphasis on sours these days I find this to be a real contender.

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Best wishes Jeanna.  Hope our paths cross again.