Last Thursday, Churchkey from Moylan’s and Marin Brewing with Denise Jones and Arnie Johnson, brewmasters of both places, on hand to answer questions and share some beer.
My first beer was the Chelsea Moylan’s Porter. It’s a nice smooth porter with some chocolate and fruity tastes, very light on the bitter coffee notes. Denise said that she just brewed another batch of it last Sunday and that this is going to be their next bottled offering. Pretty light for a 7% beer.
My favorite was the Ryan O’Sullivan’s Imperial Stout. When we asked Denise who Ryan O’Sullivan is, she said, “He’s our piper.” Which lead the more sloshed among us (hey, I’d already been to a Moonlight event that night) to be amazed that a brewery was such a complicated place that they needed an employee dedicated purely to taking care of the pipes. Luckily, I didn’t say this outloud. Then she continued, “He comes every St. Patrick’s Day. You guys should really come up and listen to him play this year.” Right. Bagpiper.
It’s an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels from Heavenly Hill in Kentucky. The taste is more bourbon than beer. Chocolately and rich, set up next to the Bill Brand Barleywine we had next, it looked as black as night. It’s a beer you want to sip and savor–if you can get any. As far as I heard, what they had there that night was it.
The Bill Brand Barleywine was also aged in bourbon barrels, but it was a markedly different drink. This was Joe’s favorite. It had that candied barleywine taste and, like I mentioned, was a lighter brown, though still entirely opaque, brew. Joe hoped for this to win a medal at the barleywine festival, but they didn’t place. The brewer mentioned to Joe that night that he didn’t think it had enough of the “typical” barleywine flavors to make it to the final rounds. Definitely not typical–definitely delicious.