The soon to be Legend of Jeremiah Johnson

Like John Henry and Paul Bunyan, the name Jeremiah Johnson conjures up an image of a heavily muscled mountain man with a thick beard, a deep rumbling voice like rolling thunder, who may have at some time wrestled a grizzly bear or two.

But despite his prodigious amount of facial hair, Jeremiah Johnson is not a character out of American folklore, nor is he a bull frog, and I only wish he were a good friend of mine since he’s the kind of friend every craft beer lover dreams of having because his beer brings joy to you and me.

Jeremiah and his wife Katie took ownership of The Front Brewing in Great Falls, MT in 2018 and rebranded the brewery, subsequently adding to Montana folklore by giving it his name. They source the ingredients for their beer locally to ensure the freshest, most flavorful beers with that little extra something that you can only find in Montana.

Jeremiah himself has a warm personality that will make you feel like old friends as soon as you shake his hand. And it is obvious that he is very passionate about crafting the finest hand-crafted beers.

You’re probably thinking, “He sounds great, but what about the beer?”

Well, their flag ship beer Mountain Man Scotch Ale is so good, it will have you feeling the breeze between your knees and hearing the pipes on the evening breeze.

His Golden Bobcat Pale Ale, brewed to pay tribute to MSU’s (Montana State University) agricultural heritage, uses five varieties of hops and locally harvested honey to achieve a real taste of Montana.

The Citra IPA, with its grapefruit aroma, golden orange color, wonderfully hoppy taste, is everything an American style IPA should be.

Oh, and then there’s the Blond Ale, the Imperial IPA, the Honey Weizen, and, well, you get the picture. Each one is carefully crafted to be the best he can make it, and he does a fine job. A very fine job indeed.

Jeremiah also likes to experiment with different ingredients. While visiting the brewery I was lucky enough to get a little taste of an experimental beer brewed with lentils, and was really impressed. I would never have expected those tiny little beans would create such a rich flavor.

If you are fortunate enough to find yourself in Great Falls, Montana, make sure you stop by the soon to be legendary Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Company and have a pint or two. You’ll be glad you did.

And if you see Jeremiah, ask him to tell you the story about the time he took on a bear of a clog in one of the tanks. I heard it was grizzly.

Cheers!

Big Sky, Big Beer, Montana Proud

Montana is known as Big Sky Country, and for good reason. There aren’t many places where the sky seems to touch the ground, stretching from horizon to horizon with no buildings or trees to obscure the view. Montana is a beautiful place, with stunning views of far reaching fields, crystal clear lakes and streams, majestic snow-capped mountains…. and great beer!

You might be surprised to learn that Montana has the second highest number of breweries per capita in the US with 9.6 breweries per 100k residence, making it second only to Vermont which has 11.7 per 100k residence. Of course, this means nothing to a craft beer lover unless there is quality to go with that quantity. But Montana has that too.

On a recent trip to Montana, I was able to visit craft breweries in Helena, Great Falls, and Kalispell, as well as sample a fair number of brews from a number of other Montana breweries, and I have to tell you- craft beer is done right in big sky country.

Unsurprisingly Pale Ales and IPAs are by far the most popular craft beers in Montana, but at the same time you would be hard pressed to find a Montana craft brewery that didn’t have at least one Scotch Ale on tap. And while their Pale Ales were as good as you could get anywhere in the country, to get a better Scotch Ale you might have to go to Scotland. Some of my favorites were the Tartanic Scottish Ale at Blackfoot River Brewing in Helena, and the Mountain Man Scotch Ale from Jeremiah Johnson Brewing in Great Falls.

Wild fermented ales, or sour beers, are also gaining in popularity in Montana. I’d say that most of the breweries had a sour ale. While in Great Falls I attended the Montana Brew Fest, where Flathead Lake Brewing had a beer they called Bearhat Sour Brown which was aged in oak barrels for 3 years and it was amazing! In Kalispell, Bias Brewing’s Boss Pog Sour featured guava, peach and passion fruit, and had a great fruity/sour flavor.

The reason for the tremendous quality and flavor of craft beers in Montana may have something to do with the quality of the water, the clean fresh air, or it might be the fact that most of their ingredients are locally sourced- such as the barley which is not only grown in Montana but malted there by the largest malting company in the USA (Malteurop). My guess is that it is more of a combination of all the above, plus a deep abiding love for craft beer.

Big Sky, Big BeerMontanan’s are proud of their craft beer, and who could blame them? There are lots of reasons for them to be proud.

Richmond County is Getting its First Craft Brewery!

 

Old Rappahannock Brewing Company will be opening later this year in the town of Warsaw in Richmond County, VA. This brewery plans to source many of the ingredients they will be using in their brewing process, from right here in Virginia.

Andy Beale, the Owner of Old Rappahannock Brewing Company, received a grant of $50,000 from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Forestry, as well asanother $93,000 from the Town of  Warsaw to help with the $1.2 million startup costs and renovations to their new home in what was once a hardware store in the Jenkins Building in downtown Warsaw.

Old Rappahannock Brewing is expected to be the corner stone for the
revitalization of downtown Warsaw, creating new jobs, serving as a gathering place for local residence and tourists, and creating opportunities and expanded markets for local businesses, watermen and farmers- and of course provide great craft beer!

The grand opening is expected to take place in September of this year.

 

Darker 48- Visit the Upside Down in Hernando Co, Florida

Do you live in Hernando County, Florida?
Do you live near Hernando County, Florida?
Are you going to be in the Hernando County area between Oct 18th and  31st?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, there’s something you need to do.

Marker 48 Brewing, Hernando County’s first and only full production Craft Brewery is bringing back their infamous Haunted house this year and it’s going to be bigger and better then ever before!

They  are transforming Marker 48 into Darker 48 and bringing The Upside Down to town! The last two weekends in October and Halloween night they will host the SCARIEST HAUNTED HOUSE IN TOWN!

This haunted house is NOT for the faint hearted- in fact it is 18 and up due to adult content AND they require a waiver to be signed before entering. This is an interactive haunt meaning their actors can touch you (but you can NOT touch the actors back). They are pulling out all the stops for this house and are go big- so if you are looking for the best scare in town look no further then Darker 48.

ALL PROCEEDS from this haunted house will go to four local charities in Hernando County including The ARC Nature Coast, NAMI Hernando, United Way Hernando and Children’s Advocacy Hernando. General admission nights are pay at the door cash only.

The dates, times and price for the haunted house are:

– Thursday October 18th: VIP night (see description below) 8:30-11:30pm $25pp
– Friday October 19th: General Admission 8:30-12pm $10pp
– Saturday October 20th: General Admission 8:30-12pm $10pp

– Thursday October 25th: VIP night 8:30-11:30pm $25pp
– Friday October 26th: General Admission 8:30-12pm $10pp
– Saturday October 27th: General Admission 8:30-12pm $10pp

– Wednesday October 31st: FAMILY FRIENDLY all ages welcome 6-10pm
10 and under free, All others $5pp

VIP nights are $25 pp. which include less line wait time, a Darker 48 pint glass, 1 drink token, and a Darker 48 shirt. A limited number of guests will be allowed for each VIP night and sign up and payment in advance is required through Eventbrite.

To purchase tickets for either VIP night please click here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/darker-48-haunted-house-vip-tickets-50361355169

Important! General Admission and VIP nights are 18 and up WITH WAIVER SIGNED, except for HALLOWEEN NIGHT, which is a family friendly night and all ages are welcome.

There will be live music, costume contests and food trucks available in the taproom during several nights of the haunted house.

For more information, stop by the brewery at 12147 Cortez Blvd, Brooksville, FL,  or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/marker48

Don’t miss it!




Pawpaw beer boosts Ohio festival • Brilliant Stream (via Brilliant Stream)

Pawpaw beer has come a long way since the first one appeared at the Ohio Pawpaw Festival in 2002.

The world showcase for pawpaw beer happens right here in Appalachia. Last weekend, the 20th Annual Ohio Pawpaw Festival featured nine pawpaw flavored brews from eight Ohio breweries. It’s certainly come a long way since Kelly Sauber, then Marietta Brewing Company’s head brewer, made the first pawpaw beer for the festival 16 years ago.

Read more: Brilliant Stream




Vanish Farmwoods Brewing in Loudoun, VA

Jonathan Staples loves craft beer. He started Black Hops Farm in 2014 with the intent of providing local hops to Virginia’s fast-growing craft beer industry.

Hops have a very short shelf life and need to be either used or processed within days of being picked, and there was no place to process hops locally (the closest being in Ohio) which meant they had to ship their fresh hops to Ohio where they could be processed, then shipped back to the farm to be sold.

Realizing the need, they purchased a hop processer and began to not only process and preserve the hops grown on their farm, but making this service available to other growers in the region as well.

However, it wasn’t long before Jonathan made the leap from growing and processing hops to using hops to brew his own beer. Thus, Vanish Farmwoods Brewery was born.

They grow hops and other ingredients right there on the farm then brew their beer using those fresh ingredients, creating a ‘field-to-fermentation’ process that can be tasted in the products of their labors.

The campus is huge, and very family friendly.  There are the extensive hop yards, multiple bars, live music in the tap room, a large outdoor seating area that includes a spacious covered area, a kid’s play place, a beautiful view, and what is arguably the most important thing of all, some fantastic handcrafted beer. If you dont know which beers to get, I recommend the 12 beer ‘mega flight’.

In addition to good friends, good food also pairs well with craft beer, so Vanish also serves BBQ that is smoked on site and available Saturdays and Sundays, the Burger Time food truck is there Friday through Sunday, and wood-fired pizzas are available Thursday through Sunday.

You have to check this place out. Good food good beer and good friends equals a great time. And that is what you’ll find at Vanish Farmwoods Brewery.

Cheers!