21 January 2010
New Brewer--and beer--at Franklin's
The brewpub restaurant at Franklin's General Store has been running for eight years or so under the same brewer, Charles Noll. When I walked in this afternoon, I inadvertently found myself standing next to a new brewer, whom owner Mike Franklin quickly introduced to me as soon as he saw me. New brewer Mike Roy replaces Charles Noll, who decided to return to his native New York State at the end of last year. Franklin described the parting as amicable, and Noll is helping Roy through the paces in the brewhouse.
At the moment, all the beers left in Franklin's are leftovers from the Noll era, including his trademark Anarchy Ale and Sierra Madre. What is worth a trip, however, is an exceptional Imperial Stout, rich and full of alcohol, not too much roast barley, and a long, red-wine-like fruitiness and finish. It's among the best imperial stouts I've tasted in years. Roy said the alcohol was "somewhere in the tens".....
Currently fermenting and ready to condition shortly are an imperial IPA with a sky-high hop profile and a nice British porter, if the samples from the fermentation vessels are any indication. If you head down to Franklin's, remember that the adjacent "general store" carries a nice selection of bottled craft beer in the back. Fair warning: The parking lot adjacent to the restaurant will be metered parking (numbered spaces and printed tickets for your dash) by Jan. 29th.