I can’t think of a better way to start a Louisville, KY experience than to go to a brewery that uses bourbon barrels from Kentucky and is connected to a ballpark . That is exactly what Against the Grain is, but they are so much more than that – our experience there was incredible. Co-owner Sam Cruz met with us on the gloomy, near-tornado-storm-but-nothing-actually-happened Monday and was able to tell us about their constantly changing beer selection, on-site malt smoker, broad distribution, multiple collaborative efforts, and more. Their brewing equipment is located on the second and third floor, which is visible through glass panes for your viewing pleasure from the bottom floor where the taproom and dining area are located. With so many experimental styles and a warm, welcoming staff, this is a destination that you cannot miss out on!
Once we were done with visiting breweries in Connecticut, we headed back into New York for the second time where we first ended up at Peekskill brewery in Peekskill, NY, north of NYC near White Plains. This is the first brewery we have been to that sends every single wort of theirs through a coolship after boil and they offer multiple different styles. As for the facility, it is a 3-story building with the Cheers-like bar area and brewing space on the first floor, a more upscale, family-dining area and grain room on the second floor, and the coolship is located on the third floor with some storage space and offices. The train from Grand Central Station in NYC comes right by the brewery, is about an hour commute, and the view of the Peekskill Bay is incredible from this location. Next time you’re in the area, be sure to enjoy everything they have to offer with a good beer in hand!
After waiting out another winter storm, on 3/4/14 we headed east from Greensboro to our first brewery visit in North Carolina’s ‘triangle’ which, for those unfamiliar, consists of the area between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. We were very happy that afternoon for the opportunity to speak with Les Stewart, head brewer for Trophy Brewing Company. Trophy is a 3 bbl nano-brewery that was founded by Chris Powers and David Lockwood who also own Busy Bee Cafe, a popular Raleigh beer bar. The brewpub just celebrated their one year anniversary before our visit with a party in the roped off parking lot featuring some special release beers and has been seeing expedient growth since its inception. The restaurant and bar area are fairly limited in space and they were previously only open for dinner, however, have opened up their doors for lunch on the weekends to accommodate demand. While Les and his assistant brewer, Josh Wing, are certainly making some great beers for the area, he was quick to give a lot of the credit for the success and quick turnover in beers to the pizza. “Those guys do an amazing job,” he said about the kitchen staff who are busy turning out pies with many locally sourced ingredients as well as a meat and veggie feature pie every day – they even utilize the beers in the dough and sauce.