THINK TASTE WITH BRIDGE BREW WORKS

Bridge Brew Works

Look for this logo. You won't be disappointed.

Have you ever thought about starting a brewery?

I think about it a lot, but then I’m reminded that I live outside of Boston, and that to start a new brewery here would be like opening a new steakhouse in Omaha. Only it would be a lot more expensive. And I’d probably have to pay somebody some graft along the way to get the required permits before the year 2016. And I’d fail because I don’t know what I’m doing. I often need to be reminded of all these things so that I stick to drinking beer, writing about it, and remaining in my marriage.

I also need to be reminded (mostly because I drink too much beer) that not everyone lives outside of Boston (although it sure seems like it during the morning commute). Apparently, some people live in places other than the Boston metro area. In fact, I just learned there are even people who live in southern West Virginia*

*It’s true. I looked it up.

Ken Linch and Nathan Herrold are such people. They live in southern West Virginia where access to a variety of local craft beer, or craft beer in general for

Southern West Virginia

People actually live in that red part.

that matter, was hard to come by. At least until recently. In 2008, they decided they would do something about it. The two started planning what would later become Bridge Brew Works, their small craft brewery in Fayetteville, West Virginia (a town of not more than 3,000 residents). Their tagline, Think Taste, is emblematic of the craft beer movement in general. It’s a movement based pretty much entirely on taste. Ken and Nathan saw a need, a demand, and thus an opportunity, and have brought good-tasting, fresh, local beer to an area that never had it before. The Aleheads salute you, not only for the risks you’ve taken to open the brewery, but for sending us two of their tasty offerings (thanks, Pat!). Luckily enough for the Commander, he and his brood were in town, and therefore he was able to sample these two beauties as well. Thus, we present a joint tasting note; it’s your lucky day!

BRIDGE BREW WORKS – TRUBELL

NOTES: 750 ml. bottle @ Copperpot Hollow

STYLE: Belgian Blonde Ale

ABV: 11.09% (those last nine hundreths of a percent crushed me)

APPEARANCE: Hazy and yellow, like Slouch’s teeth after a 2-week meth binge

HEAD: Fluffy, but don’t go too light on the pouring (Copperpot totally fucked up the Commander’s beer).

LACING: A few splotches here and there. Or as the Commander would put it: “Why the fuck do you care about the lacing?”

NOSE: Mild but distinctly Belgian. Great aromas of funk and floral sweetness.

I'm a fan. This is what my kitchen counter looks like.

I'm a fan. This is what my kitchen counter looks like.

TASTE: Terrific. It’s surprisingly full-flavored for the style, which we often find much too mild. Not this beer! You pick up on a ton of the light malty sweetness in this one, which, combined with the Belgian funk and a tiny bit of booziness, makes for a winner. Popular with our lady-friends too.

MOUTHFEEL: Smooth and modestly carbonated. Copperpot said that it probably could have used a bit more carbonation, and the Commander told him to shut the fuck up. We both agreed that it was just a touch dry, which helped alleviate most of the booziness.

DRINKABILITY: Freaking stellar. If we weren’t adhering to our beersterity rules, we could quaff these all day. And you’d never know you were drinking a beer with an ABV in excess of 11%.

RATING: 3.5 Hops

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BRIDGE BREW WORKS – OLD BURLY

NOTES: Bomber @ Copperpot Hollow

STYLE: Barleywine

ABV: 9.06%

APPEARANCE: Somewhere between red and dark mahogany.

HEAD: Frothy, but dissipated fairly quickly. And I again completely fucked up the Commander’s pour.

LACING: You’re right. Nobody cares. Though if you were wondering and wanted a few more words to read, there wasn’t much lacing. It’s a big barleywine, after all.

NOSE: Vinous, caramelly, and a bit boozy. Subtle.

TASTE: Boom! Oh my goodness there is flavor in this beer. Same vinous, caramelly character as in the nose, but multiply that by 20. Also some dried fruit in there amongst some evident booze. But it’s taste that overwhelms here…not the booze. THINK TASTE!

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-bodied. Perfectly carbonated for the style.

DRINKABILITY: Again, fantastic for a barleywine. Give me more!

RATING: 3.5 Hops

Lord Copperpot

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5 comments

  1. I’m from West Virginia, and I did not know that people lived in the Southern part of the state until I started college.*

    *Seriously, it’s pretty sparsely populated.

    I’ve developed quite a liking for Bridge’s beer, as they seem to be the one brewery in the state that really cares about doing some bolder styles. We have a few brew pubs around here, but they mainly stick to pretty basic (but by no means bad) ambers, IPAs, lagers and whatnot. Bridge Brew Works makes me a little happier.

    So, thanks for shedding some positive light on a state that is so often overlooked and unfairly criticized.

  2. Southern West Virginia is a beautiful, wild part of the country. Love the fact that Bridge’s exists, can’t wait to try some of their beers. Maybe Mr. Smallwood will bring some to Pittsburgh on his next visit.

  3. beer-miester · · Reply

    Commander – still an honest man… refreshing!

  4. Every time I get a chance to visit Pies and Pints in Fayetteville, I also get to enjoy your brews! Gonna have to make a trip down there to see where all the magic begins….:-D

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