good - /ɡ'ʊd/ - adj. - of a high quality, standard, or level
head - /h'ed/ - n. - the layer of small bubbles that form on the top of the beer

When I travel, I go looking for one thing: beer. You can learn a lot about people from the beer they drink, what they eat with it, and where all this consumption takes place. Questions? Buy me a drink.

We think GH might have a theme song.

Against the Grain Keinfächefnmein Nachbar Keller-Zwickle

INFO: 5.5% | 35.0 IBU

DESCRIPTION: This was the “bonus” beer on the menu, seemingly somewhat of a wildcard offering. Also, I may be completely butchering the spelling of the name - I had had a lot of beer at this point. It was clear, clean, and golden - very German, and with almost no hop presence. It smelled and tasted like good bread baking. Had a very warm mouthfeel, but a little too “yeasty” for my taste. Also, it’s probably better colder than I had it.


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Against the Grain Rauchman Randy Beverage Rauchbeir

INFO: 5.2% | 26.3 IBU

DESCRIPTION: AtG’s “smoke” beer, it poured a dark golden, almost honey color; very clean and sparkly. Damn, is it smokey. I’m told they use beechwood (with natural sorghum), which gives the malt a very smokey presence. this would be a damned fine cooking beer. I need to marinate some ribs or pork shoulder in this stuff.


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Against the Grain Quiet Rye-It Rye Porter

INFO: 6.5% | 31.0 IBU

DESCRIPTION: This is a very black beer. I mean really black. Black bear in a cave at night black. Fitting, seeing as it was AtG’s “dark” selection. It would be overbearing in flavor and mouthfeel, but the rye whiskey (did I mention they add rye whiskey?) cuts it down to almost a strong black lager, but with more complex flavors. They may have created, dare I say, a “summer porter.”


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Against the Grain The Dilator Oak-Aged Doppelbock

INFO: 7.8% | 26.2 IBU

IMPRESSION: I have to admit, I was looking forward to this one. AtG’s “malt” offering, the Dilator (good name) poured a nice dark brownish-red; clean & dark. And wow, was it tasty - mild nose, rich, warm body, and balanced finish. It drank a little spicier than I expected, but it was a subtle spice.


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Good Drinker

Against the Grain London Balling…

INFO: 12.5% ABV | 80.0 IBU

IMPRESSION: …Bourbon Barrel-Aged English Barleywine. Long name. Good great fucking fantastic beer. Seriously. This fell into AtG’s “whim” category, and if this represents the kind of whims that brewer/owners Jerry Gnagy, Sam Cruz, Adam Watson, and Andrew Ott, then please, by all means, trust your gut and go with it more often. The beer poured a beautiful cloudy red, with a clean head. It smelled like sweet bourbon, and tasted thick, rich, sweet, balanced, and smooth. My God, is it dangerous, because it doesn’t taste like it’s 12.5%. No aspect of it is overwhelming - it’s like drinking a smoother Nosferatu with some really good bourbon in it. I’m told that the barrels used to age the beer are old Angel’s Envy barrels, which before being used to age whiskey, are used to age port wine. Damn. If I was to nitpick, and at this level I am, it could stand with a little more roasted malt. But seriously: damn.


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Against the Grain Big Falcon Deal American Pale Ale

INFO: 5.5% ABV | 47.1 IBU

IMPRESSION: AtG’s “hop” offering. It poured orange, and looked a bit lighter than I expected. It had a strong hoppy, floral nose, but had an enjoyable, balanced taste on the palate. The finish was a little light, and kind of bitter, not necessarily in a good way.


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Against the Grain Pat’s Blew Bow Lite German Lager

INFO: 3.5% ABV | 22.0 IBU

IMPRESSION: This was their “session” beer, billed as a German-inspired Pilsner, so I wasn’t exactly excited; Not really my mug of ale. It poured clear and golden, like you’d expect, but the flavor was a little unexpected. There was body, and a little hop bite to it, with a reasonable mouthfeel. I doubt I’d get it again, but within the style, pretty tasty.


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Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

Well, I do love it when I find something new, and AtG is truly that - they opened for business October 4, 2011. I happened upon them by accident as I was walking past Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky (home of the Cincinnati Reds’ AAA-affiliate Louisville Bats), and caught the smell of beer brewing on the air. “A brewery in a ballpark?” I thought. “This is too good to be true.”

And I dig this place. Besides the great food (smoked wings in BBQ sauce, served with a side of local honey, and smoked gouda beer cheese), they take a different approach to their beer offerings. Instead of a few regular brews, and some rotating styles, they have categories (session, hop, whim, malt, dark, smoke, & bonus), and brew something new in each in regular rotation. So no latching onto a favorite, but a great way to cover all your bases, and not end up with 10 beers on tap, all with way too damn much hops.

The staff was friendly and knowledgeable - that would be how I found out it was brewer-owned, which is a definite plus - and the crowd (at least while I was there) was pretty relaxed. All in all, a very nice place, and a destination in the future.


Against the Grain

Anchor Brewing Co. Steam Beer

INFO: 4.9% ABV | 2-row Barley Malts

IMPRESSION: What can I say about Anchor Steam that hasn’t been said before? It’s a damn good beer. In fact, every time I have a pale ale or IPA, this is secretly what I want. Big, bold, strong, and tasty. Especially when you’re lucky enough to find it on tap.


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