When I started Hops & Hickory, it was purely for my own enjoyment. I assumed a few people would visit it here and there. But, even if nobody read it, I'd press on, happily writing away, beer in hand. Still, I've built up a small following and regularly get encouraging comments, tweets and emails from other beer lovers.
One particular message that caught my attention was an email from Sean Lilly Wilson, the leader of North Carolina's Pop the Cap effort from 2003-05, which succeeded in raising the ABV limit on beers sold in this state.
Sean's latest endeavor is Fullsteam Brewery, which is currently under construction in Durham and is expected to open later this spring. He offered the opportunity to try two of Fullsteam's beers before they go into full-scale production.
First up is Hogwash!
Hogwash! is - or will be, anyway - part of Fullsteam's Plow-to-Pint series, designed to be a celebration of Southern agriculture. Plow-to-pint beers will be made primarily from local ingredients, and are a bit more experimental than Fullsteam's true-to-style Workers' Compensation series beers.
Crafted specifically to pair with NC barbecue, Hogwash! is a porter brewed with barley that has been smoked over local hickory.
Hogwash! is very dark brown... nearly opaque with a soft, golden brown glow around narrowest part of glass. It poured with a tall, frothy cream head that dissipated quickly and left modest lacing.
For starters, it smells like BBQ... sweet and smoky. It has a distinct hickory aroma, with some brown sugar and a tart apple cider fruitiness in the nose.
Taste & Feel
The flavor is delicately sweet and malty. Hickory smoke flavor is present, but not overpowering. Hints of apple peek through in the malt before the light, smoky finish.
It has a light-medium body and a clean mouthfeel.The carbonation plays nicely off of the fruitiness.
Hogwash! was meant to be paired with barbecue and it achieves that goal nicely. It's smoky and sweet, but not so excessively thick or flavorful that it competes with the meat or can't be paired with lighter-tasting foods. Once it becomes available, enjoy it with your favorite pulled pork.
What I'm Drinking (via Untappd)
abbey ale amber bar barleywine barrel aged BBQ beer beer list beer selection belgian black ale black IPA blog blonde bourbon brett Brettanomyces brewery brewing brewpub brown ale canned cask chocolate coconut coffee craft beer craft brewing disclaimer documentary dopplebock double IPA double stout dubble durham ESB event festival film fruit funding hazelnut helles holiday hops ice imperial import IPA kickstarter Kölsch kriek lager lambic letter limited local marzen Meat Week movie NC nc beer month news nut oaked oatmeal oktoberfest organic pale ale pilsner pork porter project pub pumpkin quad raleigh rauchbier red ale restaurant review ribs rye saison scotch ale seasonal smoked sour spiced store stout survey sweet potato tap room tour tripel TV vanilla wheat white white ipa winter wit