04 June 2008

Red Brick Station's Ginger Rye

If any of you were astute enough to come here from my column in Mid-Atlantic Brewing News looking for news updates, you have been rewarded.

I had the chance to stop by Red Brick Station in White Marsh the other day, and was surprised to find a new beer on the line-up that brewer Mike McDonald hadn't told me about: Ginger Rye, a light 3.8% session beer. Mike wasn't there, but owner Bill Blocher was.

"It was just something he was fooling around with," said Blocher. "We didn't want to say anything about it until we knew it was going to be OK." As with such a lightweight, the beer is subdued, with a golden appearance and very subtle notes of rye and ginger. "He was grating fresh ginger root into the kettle by hand," said Blocher. "Next time, he's gotta add a lot more ginger. I love ginger beer!" For a one-off experiment, it works, especially for the hot and muggy days we're just starting to get this way.

Blocher also commented on the debut of this year's They Made Me Do It Blueberry Wheat: "By my count, we went through 160 gallons that first night! All we could do was just crack open the taps and pour almost non-stop!" And you don't want to know what the blueberry bill was for this year's batch, either. Still, it's worth it: "It's our most popular beer," says Blocher.

Also on tap still is the Maibock, including, when I was there, a cask on handpump. Lager on a handpump? Hey, it isn't the first time they've done it. They've even shown up at the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival with lager in a firkin. Dare to be different, eh?

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