Flight One: Sours (and one other)
1. Oude Tart-A Flemish Style Red ale aged in red wine barrels for 18 months. 7.5% ABV
2. Tart of Darkness-A sour stout 5.6% ABV
3. Sour in the Rye-a sour aged for over a year in oak barrels. 7.8% ABV
4. Floyd D'Rue-collaboration with 3 Floyds-imperial porter with "spiced rum theme" 14% ABV
Flight one was absolutely phenomenal. I had already tried Oude Tart and Sour in the Rye before, but both of those were from bottles. This time everything was on tap. I would rank this flight Sour in the Rye, Tart of Darkness, Oude Tart and then Floyd D'Rue. I was not a big fan of Floyd D'Rue, but the other three were amazing. I have a bottle of Sour in the Rye and Tart of Darkness aging, so I am quite excited to open those at some point this winter.
Flight Two: Barrel Aged
1. Chocolate Rain-Black Tuesday with Cocoa Nibs and Vanilla Beans 19.5% ABV
2. Grey Monday- Black Tuesday aged with hazelnuts 19.2% ABV
3. Sucre-Old Ale brewed with dark fruit, vanilla, oak and burnt sugar 15.5% ABV
4. Autumn Maple-Belgian style brown made in pumpkin tradition 10% ABV
This flight was of the very strong barrel aged beers. My ranking is Grey Monday, Chocolate Rain, Autumn Maple, and Sucre. The Grey Monday was one of the best beers I have ever had, and I would rank the Autumn Maple as the best fall-style beer I've had. Chocolate Rain is 19.5%, and packs a punch. It is extremely chocolatey and there are hints of vanilla and bourbon. I badly need to buy a bottle of the top 3 (very disappointed with the Sucre).
I found it interesting that two of the beers I was really excited to try were not great in my book. Sucre has retailed for around $40/bottle and Floyd D'Rue is a collaboration with a brewery I've been wanting to try for a while. It so happens that those ranked 7 and 8 in my flight, though I had pre-circled those two as must-tries.
The group was large so everyone got to try everything. Additionally, I had the chance to take a sip of Tart of Darkness with Cherries & Vanilla (WOW!), Windowsill (sour brewed with Rhubarb), Filmishmish (barrel aged apricot sour), Oude Tart with Sour Cherries, and the Humulus Lager (IPL). The perks of going with 10 people to a tap takeover!
The Bruery has quickly climbed the ladder into the short list of my favorite breweries. They make some incredibly adventurous and innovative beers, and are doing it at a world class level. While the beers are expensive, it is truly worth the price. Look them up, and if you see a beer on a tap list or bottle at your local craft beer store, snatch it up ASAP!