21 January 2010

New Brewer--and beer--at Franklin's

Folks up here may tend to forget that there's a brewpub in Hyattsville, mostly because that part of Prince George's County has about the same reputation among a lot of folks as Baltimore does--a haven for crime. Well, if you can survive Baltimore, Hyattsville's a breeze.

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.


Matt said...

hopefully he took the recipes with him. I was really underwhelmed by the majority of those beers and I live a mile away.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

I swear, one of these days I'm going to find someone who makes really BAD beer and inflict their stuff upon those folks that insist that various breweries/pubs do "underwhelming/bad/cr@p" beer. I've suffered through really bland or horrendous beer, and let me tell you, it's becoming increasing rare and hard to find, thank goodness.

Places that do bad beer either don't last very long (see Globe Brewing) or eventually cut out that brewing nonsense and sell more of the Corona and Michelob that sold better at the bar than the Banana Belgian Blonde or Looney's Left Light the brewery was making in vain.

betsy said...

And it's across the street from an excellent yarn shop!

I used to live in Hyattsville - I was concerned about crime in the area where I lived, but the part where Franklins is...it's more like College Park. Nothing much to fear.

Caederus said...

One of the problems faced by any beer blog is that the hard core beer geeks and like junkies, always looking for a higher high, more extreme beer. So much so that they overlook the good solid beer that is being produced. OK it may not be a GABF award winning beer, but it's good beer. I am guilty of this as well.

Clipper City makes some great beer. One of their best is their Martzen, but you never hear of a beer geek going on about it, it's X beer on cask, or new beer from the Mutiny Fleet.

Give me a nice balanced well made beer any day.

Brandon Miller - Milhouse44 said...

Before you scare everyone off....parking is only a quarter for an hour/2 hour max.
I enjoyed Charles' seasonals the belgians, Helles in the summer, Oktoberfest and looked forward each year for his Imperial Stout. As for Charles' staple beers if you think those were underwhelming or bad, I will guess you never had beer from *insert any brew pub before 1996 here* ,Gettysbrew, Rocky Run or any poorly run Pugsley brewery. People forget or never lived through what bad craft beer really was, but as long as a ‘Beer Aficionado/Enthusiast’ has internet access and one finger left to punch a keyboard we will have them make their grand opinions known to the interwebs.

Mike Roy said...

Alexander, thank you for the mention. I'm excited to be brewing at Franklin's and look forward to being able to share my beer with the local community here. I'm with ya'll on the bad beer part, its few and far between these days. There's always the subjective that you may not care for something, but its rare that I have anything that's objectively a flawed disaster( home brew competitions aside, and no that's not a knock at home brewers, just more common to come across than a commercially produced beer,not that pro's don't f' something up, but its usually dumped before it does damage to their reputation). So hope to see you all on February 9th at 6:30pm for our release party for our two newest beers, Hop Zen ( American Strong Ale) and Porteroy ( English -style Porter)...and I assure you I didn't name these, we have a think tank here that works into the wee hours.