We’ve been waiting for a good opportunity to visit Montgomery Brewing Company for some time now. After hitting many other breweries in the southern metro we finally decided it was time to make the trip. They are actually the closest brewery to our hometown, so it’s a shame it had taken so long. Following a quick round of coordination we decided on a Wednesday evening in early March.
Montgomery Brewing opened in late 2014 in a 130 year old building which was originally the location of the town’s old brewery. Revitalization of these historic buildings and unused industrial spaces is one of the hidden advantages of the recent brewery boom. They also made news last May by becoming the first brewery in the state that was able to sell growlers on Sunday. With red concrete floors, signage and logos that nod to yesteryear, and a small equipment room, they’ve got a feel that is very different than the majority of the breweries we’ve visited.
I’d heard a lot of good things from some of my friends and family about the brewery, so it wasn’t a surprise to find that it was pretty busy when we arrived on a weekday night. The taproom is small so busy is a relative term, but it’s a good size for the town that it calls home. Luckily there was a spot for our group when we arrived at a large vintage wooden table saw in the corner. It was the perfect size for our group of six: Samantha and I, Mitch and Megan, our friend Dustin, and my father.
My father said he had previously tried visiting for the grand opening only to find out that they sold out within an hour or two! Whether this was a testament to the quality of the beer or just the locals itching for something new we’d quickly find out. I can’t speak for the latter but after our visit I can safely say that the quality was definitely on par with other breweries in the state. There is nothing here that jumps out at you for being too adventurous which I believe is by design. The brewers have decided to focus on familiar styles done well.
I tried each of their beers on tap, seven in total. Four were flagship with three rotating. After chatting with one of the workers they said they plan to expand to ten total taps this summer. Available that night were the Northside Blond Ale, Flag Street, The Chief, Shelterbelt Brown Ale, Golden Ale, Double IPA, and Smoked Porter. Their flagship beers were well balanced, great tasting, and excellent representations of their style. The final three were also well done and it’ll be interesting to see how they fill out their last three taps in the upcoming year. Their strategy of having their core selection cater to newer craft drinkers and having a couple of other different styles available to taste is a good one that should serve them quite well.
One special thing to look out is their kolacky flavored beer which is available during Kolacky Days. For the uninitiated, a kolacky is a Czech pastry with a fruit filling that can range from apricot to prune to poppyseed. Their flavor last year was apricot and I heard it was a big hit. I think they’re also planning on trying out at least one additional flavor next time. This is a great nod to the Czech heritage that can be found in a small pocket of towns south of the metro area.
The staff was really friendly which added a nice touch to our overall experience. One of the workers came over and asked if we had any questions, chatted with us for awhile, and put up with our jokes. There is no food available but we were able to get some excellent pizza delivered to the taproom from Pizzeria 201. The taproom itself is small, quiet, and intimate. Combine that with great beer and you’ve got a recipe for success!