And by collaboration I mean, Stephen and Ben from FHBC allowed Jeremy from Fiddler’s Hearth and I to choose what to brew out of two style options, as well as perform most of the manual labor under Stephen’s very thorough and detailed tutelage. Some of you know what I do for a living, and it has absolutely nothing to do with manual labor, but with that said, pouring malt into the liquor and stirring is probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Of course they didn’t just invite us down to brew with them for any old reason, they did so because we plan to release this special, high gravity beer for all to try at “The Beer is Good at Fiddler’s Hearth” event on November 5th.
While the liquor was heating up, Stephen, Ben, Jeremy and I all had a great opportunity to talk about their beer and where they fit into the regional craft beer scene. I think we all know what they aren’t. FHBC isn’t about huge, in-you-face hop explosions or motor-oil thick stouts aged in barrels that Merlin originally used to store potions. They are being different by not being extreme; brewing beers that are easy to drink and won’t knock you on your ass after one or two. Don’t like a particular beer they have on tap? Try again in a couple of weeks, because they are diligently tweaking the recipes to get them just the way they want them.
Amid the brewing, talking shop and watching ESPN, they also brought out some very special beers to sample from other breweries. I won’t give away the styles or breweries we “researched” in case they want to keep what they are working on a surprise, but Jeremy and I had a lot of fun. Stephen’s knowledge of the style, its history, how it’s brewed and why was more in depth than I could have imagined.
When it comes to the beer geeks, well they aren’t easy to please… I know because I’m a card carrying member of this club. If the session beers that FHBC is crafting now aren’t your thing, look for their higher gravity brew they will be tinkering with soon. Overall, their goal is to perfect the styles they consider to be their flagship products, before going off on wild tangents.
I originally intended this piece to be about the special FHBC brew that Jeremy and I came to help out with, but it quickly turned into our entire experience with these guys. If you haven’t stopped out to the tasting room, I highly recommend it. They are passionate and knowledgeable about beer, they have a vision for how they fit into the beer scene, and are extremely welcoming. Jeremy and I agreed, hanging out with these guys was one of the coolest experiences we’ve had during our journey through the craft beer world.
Make sure to stop by Fiddler’s Hearth on November 5th to taste this latest creation, it’s certain to not disappoint.