Recently, I haven’t been drinking a lot of beer. Not because I don’t want to, but more because it’s super filling and makes me super fat. However, I decided to forget about my waistline for a weekend and hit up the Miskatonic Brewing Company.
As more and more craft brewers open, it becomes harder to keep up and follow along with what makes one brewer different from the others. A coworker of mine has been doing his darndest to keep up with all of the local breweries and visiting them on a pretty frequent basis. It was on his recommendation that I decided on Miskatonic as my muse for the weekend. My companion for this outing was none other than the lovely Mrs. Drunkard. We turned a kid-free weekend into a weekend-long date and she humored me as I dragged her around, all in the pursuit of new content…and drinking.
With that, we were off to see the wizard and sample some new brews. At the time I visited, they had 8 beers on their menu, though only 7 available and tapped, so we bellied up to one of the high tops, ordered samples of all available brews, and settled in for judgement. When the drinks arrived, I was intrigued by their presentation of the flight. The whole brewery gives off a very modern, sleek, and hip vibe (they’ve got a custom spray paint mural on the main wall, which looks really badass), yet they went with a tray that reminded me of my first shop class project. I don’t know what I had expected, but it wasn’t this. I didn’t ponder too long, though. I quickly moved on to my first sample, the Shield Maiden.
The Shield Maiden
The tasting notes for this American Pale ale mentioned trio of hops (Warrior, Equinox, and Cascade) and a malt backbone. This went right over my head, but you could tell by the smell that this was a typical American Pale Ale. The hops jump out at you, but aren’t spicy like a lot of IPA’s tend to be. As a casual IPA drinker, this was a nice alternative, as it proved to be refreshing while still providing the bitterness you look for in a Pale Ale.
Next in my sample trough was the Wise Fool IPA. Coming off of the American Pale Ale, I was really expecting my tastebuds to scream with the Wise Fool. The ABV was kicked up a notch and most of the craft IPA’s I’ve tasted recently have been some of the hoppiest beers I’ve ever come across. Maybe it’s because of this that I had built this up in my head and was shocked when my face didn’t immediately contort into bitter beer face. This was probably the lightest, blandest IPA I’ve ever come across. It was citrusy and smooth, but for the life of me, I couldn’t taste the hops. Had I not had the tasting notes, I would have assumed it was a pilsner. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but it would not be my choice if I was in the mood for an IPA.
Having been stunned by the IPA, I reached for the Catchpenny, their Session Rye. I was really curious about this one, since rye tends to be a bit more on the spicy side, I wasn’t sure how the flavor would net out in a beer (I’m really more familiar with rye as a whiskey grain). I was immediately turn off by the smell, though. I’m not joking when I say, this beer smelled like piss. Sadly, I’m all too familiar with the smell, as recently my oldest son has been having some issues making it through the night without wetting the bed. The smell hit me and damn near made me think I was at Wrigley Field, hovering over their urinal troughs. Alas, I overcame the smell enough to give it a taste. I’m happy to say, it wasn’t actual piss and the flavor was nice, though not a flavor I’ve really experienced before. It was light and spicy, though I can’t see myself having a long session with this rye. I’ll find something else.
The name harkens memories of The Game of Thrones and Sam the Slayer, though I doubt you’ll be thinking about men in black fur or those scary ass wights after a few of these. This Irish Stout was hearty and smooth, which reminded me of roasted coffee. You could definitely smell and taste the citrus, giving the beer a really nice finish. So far in this journey, The Craven is my favorite.
I had been excited to try the Scotch Ale from the moment I saw it on the menu. Being a fan of whiskey, I have yet to find a beer finished in a whiskey barrel that I don’t enjoy. This is no exception. The smoke from the scotch barrel was apparent the moment I took my first whiff (and then the burn was all too real when I looked at my wife and inadvertently poured the beer directly into my nose…don’t do that). While I didn’t get the toffee notes the menu described, I did catch the sweet malt, which helped to offset the smoke and spice from the finish. Overall, a great beer and an excellent example of bringing two worlds together.
Another first for me on this visit, the Chapter 3 is a Wheat IPA. I’m not familiar with Wheat IPA’s, so it’s hard for me to compare it to anything else. However, the tasting notes call out the intense orange rind, which they aren’t kidding about. The rind makes its presence known from start to finish, almost overpowering the wheat. I’m typically a big fan of wheat beers, but I’m not sure about this one. I feel like the orange flavor is just a bit too much and doesn’t feel as refreshing as other wheat beers. The overall flavor was good, but I couldn’t get the taste of orange peels out of my mouth.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Ingénue, a Belgian Farmhouse Ale. Mrs. Drunkard had passed on a flight of her own, instead opting for this one right out of the gate. It was last on my list and of course, she wouldn’t stop talking about how good it was. I was able to hold off on the temptation of going out of order, and now was my chance to finally see what all her fuss was about. And she wasn’t lying; though I’m partial to Belgian beers anyhow. The Ingénue reminded me very strongly of Chimay Blue, very creamy and fruity. I could now understand why Mrs. Drunkard had two glasses while I ventured through my flight.
Overall, I liked the brewery and the bartenders and patrons all seemed nice enough. The feel is open and family like, with many customers coming in with their dogs or sitting around playing card games and darts. However, outside of the Ingénue and Oddfellow, I was rather underwhelmed with their beer selections. Maybe it was a bad batch or maybe my palate has been abused by too many macros, but they just weren’t anything that left me wanting more, or driving me to fill a growler. I will certainly try again, though. They have a few seasonal beers that they’ll tap later in the year and I’d like to try the Antsy Prole Coffee Porter that they were sold out of. Besides, I like to support the local economy however I can.