Monday, November 19, 2007

Barley John's visited

I and some of the mnbeer.com crew met for drinks last week at Barley John's in New Brighton to discuss upcoming changes to the site, get to know one another better and, well, drink beer. I've been to John's a couple times in the past, so I knew they had good beer, but I never remembered how good. Their double IPA is something to be cherished, especially with the rising prices and shortage of hops and barley looming over the industry. Get it while you can.

Colin Mullen, John's brewer, joined us for some of the evening, and further explained the situation. I was impressed with his positive attitude about it, as he explained that it would challenge brewers to try to new things and out of it would come some creative beer styles. He also felt that the shortage is bringing the Minnesota craft brew scene closer together as they begin to explore joint efforts to help each other. His outlook is emblematic of Barley John's--and certainly his--overall attitude about brewing.

I finished the night with a Dark Knight. If you aren't familiar with it, then head over to John's now. They call it a "bourbon barrel aged double fermented porter," but, whatever. At more than 13%, it's magical and completely heavenly.

As we were paying the tab, Colin offered to take us downstairs to the, um, brewhouse. It was a pretty cramped couple of rooms, with fermenters, heating and cooling systems, bags of hops, empty kegs and bourbon barrels filled with aging Dark Knight taking up every last inch of space. But I hope they don't change a thing, because it works; Colin makes some great creations down there.

3 comments:

Mag said...

Thanks for posting pics. I wanted to see their set-up, but, alas, that was not to be. Did you happen to sneak a barrel of Dark Knight out under your coat? If so, we'll be over tomorrow night. If not, well, we'll give you a second chance.

ryan said...

Mag - they were too heavy and Colin ws paying too much attention. Dammit.

justacoolcat said...

I work near Barley John's and have been meaning to try the Dark Knight. Great review.