Shoved into a shopping center in Mediocre America, this family run brewery is a sweet find. The well made beers are adorned with medals from the AHA and the Maltose Falcons. Mike, a home brewer of 30+ years, brews on a 3 barrel system about once a week. He's blessed, the local water needs no treatment for the beers he likes to make, though slight modifications are made for the IPA’s. The brewery is simple; a plate chiller and an insta-hot for hot water take up hardly any room. No fancy filtration, and many of the beers go from Mash to Glass in 7-10 days.
Nitro Blonde: 4.5% 18 IBU – Nitro silky smoothness, this blonde is super creamy. Light on the flavor, but it’s easy to ask for another. American Blonde: 4.5% 18 IBU – when taken off the nitro, that dissipating flavor was more prolonged, still easy drinkin’ but it’s hard to keep my mind off that nitro silkiness. Belgian White: 4.25% 17 IBU – a welcoming lemony tartness rides in on a yeasty nose, but arrives rather delicately on the palate, chased by only the mildest of bubbles. Window of Opportunity: 8.5% 24 IBUs – Belgian Tripple – Sharply flavorful, especially in contrast to the previous beers. A strong boozy taste, this beer could use some aging. Summer IPA: 6.25% 65 IBUs – A nicely bittered IPA with a strong, earthy taste and a big juicy Ruby Red grapefruit finish. Fall IPA: 7.0% 55 IBUs – This medium bodied mid hopped brew was probably the one I liked best, it was a much fuller experience than the others.
While none of the beers at Mraz (Mer-oz) jump up and scream for your attention (unless you jump through that Window of Opportunity), all were easy to drink. The Nitro Blonde, still lingering in my mind, was my pint worthy choice, with a curvy barista's “M” appearing magically in the foam. The whole family was working on Saturday, Justin tending the bar and younger ones working quality control while washing and inspecting glasses and smaller ones picking up after the guests. Mom checked in with everyone like a good host and quickly made you feel at home. Mike was happy to show off his small start up brewery and talk about the work it takes to make it run. It feels good to support a family that is willing to make the sacrifices it takes to make Dad’s dreams come true.
The logo and fantastical artwork is by the lovely Ms. Molle Devlin.
Cheers to new beers! Lady Ellamie