I was very grateful to be in attendance (thanks to the generosity of friends) at the "Full Haus Takeover" at Lagerhaus No. 5 in Eastern Market tonight. The soon-to-be-open Full Measure Brewing Co. brought all the delicious food and drink that any one person could handle to their neighbor and fellow brewery, Lagerhaus No. 5, to give a preview of what's to come once their doors open down on Orleans St. in the Market.
Armed only with my taste buds and thanks to the magnanimous hosts, I sampled four distinctly tasty beers brewed by Full Measure brewer Mike Bardallis (along with one collab beer by Mike and Lagerhaus brewer James Ryder). I've tasted Mike's wares before, during his stints at Kickstand Brewing in Commerce, at Batch Brewing Co. in Corktown, and as a home brewer in, well, his home, but it's been a while. Let me tell you that it was well worth the wait! The saison was perfectly balanced and finished with a crisp dryness; the rauchbier was delightfully smokey, yet not overpowering, with a nice malty backbone; the ginger beer was not what I expected (in a good way), being very light and playful on the palate; and the final beer, the Belgian-style golden strong ale (the collab between Full Measure and Lagerhaus) was absolutely perfect - balanced and delicately fruity with a subtle, dry finish. It was a great evening of beer tasting and of seeing friends and cohorts.
This kind of craftsmanship and community is why I do what I do. Beer is a complex beverage, a delicate balance of art and science, thousands of years old, yet always offering up something new and eye-opening to the curious drinker. And it's the people behind great beer - brewers and brewery owners, servers and bar backs, cellarmen and keg washers - that keep me coming back for more AND keep me bringing the curious Brew Tourist to their taprooms and breweries.
As I look forward to the next few months and eagerly await the arrival of a few new breweries in the area (Full Measure chiefly among them), I can't help but feel lucky and grateful to be a very small part of the amazing community of brewers and breweries in this Great Beer State. The passion and dedication exhibited by these folks is inspiring and makes me all the more excited to take you, the Brew Tourist, to more great beer.