Place visited: Middleton Brewing Company
Location: Wimberley, TX
Date visited: Saturday 03/02/2013
Recently we decided to take a trip to Wimberley, TX to visit a couple of brewpubs that caught my eye. After we stopped by and said hi to family in San Marcos, TX, we were off to the beautiful hill country of TX. We had been to Wimberley before, and I was under the impression that the brewpubs were located in the main square. As we drive through town where there are loads of people walking and shopping in the square, we do not see our destination. Apparently it was “Market Days” there. We finally pull off into a parking lot and decide to use the ol’ GPS system on our phone, since the original one (my memory) wasn’t really working. Well, I was wrong. Turned out we passed the place a while back.
Here we are, destination #1, Middleton Brewing Company, a small brewpub, and home brew supply store. As we are walking in, we are met by a friend, Rob from Busted Sandal Brewing Company was walking out. I guess he had the same idea we had. Good seeing him there, and he gave us the thumbs up on what we are about to taste.
The brewpub area of the building was fairly small on the inside. I think there were about 5 tables, and a few bar stools along the bar. Every table was taken, and everyone had glasses full of delicious brew. We were sitting at our bar stools for a few minutes, wondering if there was an employee there! Haha! Finally, I ask a guy sitting at the bar, and he says he volunteers there, so he will help as the one worker was busy in the back. Cool guy! His name was Blake, and he is part of the Warthogs Homebrew Club, who normally has their meetings there at Middleton Brewing. As he’s explaining the flight I just ordered to me, I am telling him about BeerMetalDude.com, and everything else I am a part of. We seem to hit it off pretty cool, so he grabs two non labeled bottles from the back and pours them into two more sample glasses, and he tells me they are his own home brewed beers, a Trippel, and a Stone Ruination IPA clone. He also pours one more sample glass for me from a special tap on the side of the bar. More on that in a minute. So here I sit with 8 sample glasses full of beer. “Holy shit” is the thought that ran through my mind.
OK, I am not going to go into full detail about each beer, as frankly, I just don’t remember enough to make a full descriptive review of each. Yeah, I know, I am lame, but hey, this is my first brewpub review. So forgive me that I did not take proper notes. Haha! I can say this though, I enjoyed every single one of the beers. There wasn’t anything bad to say about any of the brews I tried.
First up was Mica Saison, and as I am a huge fan of Saison style beer, I was pleased to start my day with this one. The flavors, aroma, mouth feel, color were all there to make a perfect Saison. Second, I had the Quartzite Belgian Blonde. Usually Blonde Ales are my least favorite beers, but I do recall this one having a flavor not like other blondes I have tried in the past. I’m sure if was the Belgian yeast used. I would definitely drink that one again for sure! Next up was Galena Belgian Brune, again with the Belgian, but this time in a Brune or Dubbel style brown ale. As I said, I don’t recall any of the beers being bad, so cheers to the Brune!
Their British ESB was next. As with Blonde Ales, I have had some not so good ESBs in the past, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. One more home run by Middleton Brewing! They are on a roll over here! Last sample on the flight paddle was Bobcat Red, an Imperial Red Ale. Already feeling really good at this point, finishing up this 8.1% Imperial Red. One more thing about the ESB that was really interesting to me. One of the other glasses I was given was another British ESB, but this one was poured from a beer engine hand pump. A beer engine is an old style hand pump dating back to 1797. It is used to serve cask ales, unfiltered and unpasteurized beer that still contains live yeast, which continues conditioning the beer in the cask creating a gentle, natural CO2 carbonation and allowing malt and hop flavors to develop. The result is a richer tasting drink with more character than standard keg beers. I was blown away by this beer. It was a complete different beer than the other ESB. As said it would, the flavors were jumping out at you on this one. The weird thing is that it reminded me of drinking blood. (I’m sure there are some of you out there who know, too!) It was a bit warm, heavy body, very blood-like.
Blake, your home brews were good, and I enjoyed drinking those as well with you. Cheers my friend!
OK, now to close out my beer tasting event this day, I was given a beer known as Randall the Hop Animal IPA. I was explained about another device they had known as the Randall, invented by Dogfish Head founder, Sam Calagione. The Randall is a gadget that you fill with fresh ingredients, in this case hops, and then connect it to a beer tap, so that way the beer that is poured goes through the Randall chambers and flavored with the fresh ingredients. The beer comes out of the Randall soaked in hop flavors. This was a very, very, very hoppy flavored beer. The aromas as well was absolutely nothing but hops. If you are a hop head, then this beer is definitely one for you. I was completely blown away by this.
So as you can see, my trip to Wimberley, TX was a huge success. I can not wait to go back to Middleton Brewing Company. By the way, I was also supposed to visit Wimberley Brewing Company/Brewster’s Pizza, but honestly I was done at this point. What is crazy, is that both brewpubs are located in the same center, just one building apart. That Randall… beer really wrecked my palate. I was burping hops for the rest of the day throughout the night. My next trip to Wimberley, I will make sure to at least taste one beer by Wimberley Brewing Company. At least check out their website. Wimberley Brewing Company
Until our next Road Trip!