My second beer for the 50 American Beers Project comes from the neighbouring state of Georgia. Ah, Georgia. It brought us the B-52s and was the setting for Designing Women, and the subject of a Ray Charles song. It also brings us the Red Brick Brewing Company, a brewery located in Atlanta (aka Hotlanta) that, according to its website, is the oldest craft brewery in Georgia.
Red Brick Brewing, unlike some other craft breweries, is quite focused on staying a regional beer. Per its website: Although we have recently expanded to the adjoining Southern states, we see no reason to expand outside the South. This stance is also evident on its label, which I shall now copy in full, as you may not be able to read it in the photographs:
Weep for your Northern brethren: long winters, suspect college football, and perhaps worst of all, no Red Brick beer. Since 1993 we’ve been brewing fine craft beers for the South, and only the South. We’re proud to stand alongside grits, hound dogs and Mama as embodiments of the Southern Lifestyle. We’re proud to be beer from around here.
The particular offering I have imbibed from the lovely catalogue of beers in Red Brick’s arsenal is its Brown (6% ABV), an ale that’s dark colour belies a sort of sneaking sass in its taste. Caramel notes play with an unexpected hint of bitter-sour bite. The smell of it has that lovely reassuring fragrance of Good Beer: toffee, a slight hint of hickory smoke (could be the “roasted almonds” per its description). A fan of brown ales, I found this beer easy to drink, and it was gone before I really knew what happened.
“Oh…. Aw, man.”
Ah, it was good. The taste of it lingered on the mouth, a honeyed flavour with the backbone of barley. The Red Brick Brown is a beautiful example of a brown ale, the type of ale often overlooked in favour of the hoppy IPAs with a high alcoholic content or the pretty, light hefeweizens. Sometimes you just need a basic beer, one to drink while people-watching on the front porch or sittin’ around with friends at a local establishment where people gather and shoot the shit.
So long as it ain’t up North or otherwise outside of the Southern states.
Red Brick Brown is a brew I’d drink again in a heartbeat, and if you’re in the Glorious South and happen upon it, take the opportunity to sample it or another one of Red Brick’s selections. Because, hell, where else are you going to drink it?
- Beer: Brown (Ale)
- Brewery: Red Brick Brewing
- From: Atlanta, Georgia
- Purchased at: Stardust Coffee & Video, Winter Park, Florida
- Notes: Snappy at first, but mellows out after the first few sips. Honeyed toffee, roasted almonds, barley. A good match for an array of foods: barbecue, pizza, sausages, grilled tofu, pressed sandwiches, baked beans, chili dogs, etc.