Thursday, August 22, 2013
Review: North Brewery's Holy Grail
If you live in New York, then you know the craft brewing business is a booming business throughout the state. The Binghamton area is no exception to this. We have the Water Street Brewing Company, the Galaxy Brewing Company opening next week, the Binghamton Brewing Company opening next year and the Farmhouse Brewery in Newark Valley next year.
But the one that I have been to and is only about 10 minutes away from my house and is fan favorite of mine, the North Brewery in Endicott New York. This nanobrewery is run by a father and son who truly love the brewing business - and it shows in their beers. The North Brewery specializes in dark (and I mean dark) beers with high alcohol content. IPAs, stouts, and specialty beers can be found in their arsenal. I love this place and I won’t hide it. The beer I will be reviewing is their Holy Grail, which is a cherry honey dunkelweizen that will change your life. If you are unsure of what dunkelweizens are, they are German-style dark wheat ales, much like the popular weissbier which is a light wheat style ale.
This beer pours a real nice deep reddish-brown color that you cannot, and I mean cannot, see through. The head is a very light tan color, which is prominent at first but dissipates very fast and leaves little lacing.
This beer smells so damn good. The smell of honey is so prominent that it graces your nostrils with a great experience. The smell of cherry is very, very faint and you can barely smell it but it is there at the end mixed with the honey making for a very complex and bold aroma that will surely make you salivate.
Let me be the first to say that once you drink this brew, you are in for an adventure, and by adventure, I mean a great time. When you first sip this beer, the taste of honey with a little wheat will be the first to grace your palate. But as the beer flows to the back of your throat, the taste of cherry mixes in with the honey as well as the wheat and really brings out the beer's full potential and greatness. These malts go great together. The flavor is not overwhelming, but it is set up perfectly. Honestly, this is the most complex and interesting beer I have ever tried and I loved the challenge of figuring out the brew. The beer finishes with a somewhat sour taste that becomes more prominent as you continue to drink the beer but it does not ruin the brew one bit. How can you lose with a cherry-honey combination?
Like I said, this brew in complex in nature. A lot of things are going on in this beer, but that is what makes it a great beer. Even though this is an unfiltered beer, it drinks and finishes smooth making it easy to drink. I think the honey has a lot to do with this. The carbonation is not overdone at all as well.
This beer is another case of, when my growler and glass were both empty, damn I was sad. This beer finished out slightly sour with the taste of cherry being the dominant malt flavor at the finish. This only becomes greater with every single sip. The aftertaste was a slight cherry malt with a hint of honey to balance it out. The finish is smooth and the beer goes down easy which makes finishing an entire growler at one sitting very easy.
Total Score: 88.5/100
Overall, this is a great beer. What makes it even better is that it is a local nanobrewery that is close to home for me. A 10 minute drive and I am sitting at the bar drinking a damn good beer every single time. The master brewer is the individual who fills up your growlers and gives you the samples of each of the five beers on tap on that given day. You can instantly tell this man loves beer and it shows when you try your first brew from the North Brewery. The Holy Grail is no exception. This beer has a relatively high alcohol content (somewhere around the low 8s), which is about the standard for most of the beers at the brewery. But don’t let the scare you from drinking too many of these because after the first three, you will want another three. So if you are in the Endicott area, do yourself a favor and go to Washington Ave. and hit up the North Brewery for a great time and some great beer.