Tuesday, April 28, 2015

#VABreweryChallenge: Old Bust Head Brewing Company (#13) and the Tin Cannon Brewing Co. (#14)

This Sunday we continued the #VABreweryChallenge with a visit to the Gainesville area and Old Bust Head Brewing Company and the Tin Cannon Brewing Co.. I was introduce to Old Bust Head through Jammin Java, where their Chukker Pilsner and Bust Head English Pale Ale are served. The brewery is located adjacent toVint Hill Craft Winery, thus a wine-beer pairing is mandatory; as is a visit to the nearby Cold War Museum. The brewery was founded by Ike and Julie Broaddus and Charles Kling, who converted a former military contractor’s warehouse. They planned big, adding capacity to soon reach 40,000 barrels of beer annually with implemented their plan to distribute widely in the Mid-Atlantic. Master brewer Kling received industry training at Abita Brewing Company and the Diamond Bear Brewing Company to augment his Chemical Engineering degree.  The tasting room is spacious; the beers  solid, mainly traditional styles.
  • Graffiti House (7.5%) - West coast styled IPA. Powerful citrus aroma and finishes very clean.
  • Bust Head English Pale Ale (5.6%) -Flavorful pale pale, decent bite at finish.
  • Wildcat IPA (6.7%) - Hoppy aromas, without the painful over-hopped finish. Very nice.
  • Chukker Pilsner (4.4%) - Bready,  caramel, with steely hop finish.
  • Goldvein American Wheat (3.9%) -Where's the wheat? But enjoy nevertheless.
  • Sumerduck Saison (5.9%) - Solid Saison, spices evident but not overwhelming.
  • Gold Cup Russian Imperial Stout (10%) - Favorite beer; big, malty with chocolate tones and a little bite at the tail.
  • Chinquapin Chestnut Porter (5.1%) -Subtle mocha and nuts, solid offering.

The Tin Cannon Brewing Co is a smaller and newer brewery located minutes away from the Route 29 and Route 66 interchange in Gainesville. The brewery opened in November 2014 and uses a 2 barrel system which means lots of small batches. When we arrived co-founder Aaron Ludwig noticed us admiring their setup and kid-friendly brewhouse (ping pong and cornhole games in progress), stopped work, and introduced himself. We learned that Aaron and John Hilkert were home brewers who's kids were friends so they planned joint brew sessions. Eventually the two thought of grander plans and thus, the brewery. It's smaller size and seated tasting bar gives it a more intimate feel and the staff was talkative and playful. They also produce several really cool beers: 
  • Breakfast of Champions (6.5%) - Amber ale brewed with chipotle peppers and bacon. The flavor profile oscillates between the two. Very drinkable.
  • Gilligan's Island Ginger (5.8%) - Pale ale infused with mild ginger spice from ginger root. A taste of Bermuda.
  • Tin Cannon Double IPA (8.8%) - High IBU (84) but meshes with excess malt to blend seamlessly.
  • Virginia Blonde Ale (5.0%) - Easy drinking ale with flavor.
  • Vaughn's Peanut Butter Porter (7.0%) - Not at all sweet like the Sweet Baby Jesus and the PB lingers long with the finish. Also served with vanilla ice cream.

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