Friday, August 9, 2019

1718 Brewing Ocracoke: Jam Box for Brunch

1718 Brewing Ocracoke is well into their second summer and with an obvious demand, the brewery is operating at full capacity to continuously provide 10-12 beers on tap. During our weekly visit to this island, demand outpaced supply as several beers kicked and even a power outage didn't deter beer consumers. Garick & Jacqui Kalna opened the 10 bbl brewery in October 2017 and named it for the year Blackbeard was killed off Ocracoke's Springer’s Point. In July 2017, Garick gave a group a tour of the brewery, but it wasn't until this year that I was able to return.

The building itself fits neatly into the architectural feel of the village using mostly re-purposed wood, paneling, and shingles from the former Café Atlantic as well as reclaimed barn wood from Athens, Ohio. Other re-purposed items include the flight trays which were constructed from wine barrel stays and the tap handles from pieces of rough wood. And the seashells placed inside the filled-in knot holes in the wood floor are one of my favorite features.

Our first taste of 1718 Brewing's beer was at the Ocracoke Oyster Company where the Public AfterThoughts IPA was on tap while listening to Martin Garrish and Friends. This is a heavy IPA, even more than the 6.8% suggests. Next came a visit where I learned there's a major sour series in play as well as an old favorite -- the Brunch Coffe Kolsch. This beer is already a classic, the java flavors blend seamlessly into the minerality of the Kolsch - providing a flavorful and still refreshing beach beer. Another favorite of our family is the Happi-Jaq Juicy IPA - clean and more quaffable than the AfterThoughts. On the darker side, the Needs MoreCowBell Milk Stout and Mexican Chocolate Stout were solid with the Mexican providing just a touch of heat.

As for the sours, three kicked during our visit, the Prickly-Pear, Quat the Puck, and the Jam Box (Raspberry, Sea-salt, & Coconut). Each was excellent but the coconut in the Jam Box added just enough distinction to elevate above the others. Once the raspberry version kicked, it was replaced with the next in the series the Jam Box Blackberry Lemon. Once again, a nice sour - but the previous was a winner.

A few 1718 Brewing Ocracoke beers make their way up Highway 12 into Hatteras and the northern beaches but allocate time for a personal visit. Now that the Hatteras-Ocracoke passenger ferry and Ocracoke Trolley are running smoothly - there's no need to drive so feel free to imbibe. Cheers.

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