Thursday, July 28, 2011

Four Horsemen Brewing Co (South Bend, IN)

"Brew Like a Champion Today!"

I gave you all a taste of my trip to Four Horsemen Brewing Company this week, and now I'd like to share with you the entire experience...

First let me say how great these guys are for letting me stop by to tour their operation. I briefly met Stephen Foster, Master Brewer, as he was busy brewing his ass off in preparation for the opening, which should be coming the week of August 15th. Trained in Germany combined with years of experience working for micro and macro breweries, Stephen is certainly a seasoned veteran. Of course, working for SAB Miller in South Africa at one time in his career, I had to make sure they will not be using adjuncts in their beer; they will not.

Ben Roule, part owner and responsible for marketing was kind enough to show AV and I around. Since we went in through the delivery entrance around back, he brought us up to the front, where people will come in on their way to the tasting room. There isn't a ton of parking in front (think 3 Floyds, only a little smaller), but you can also park along the road, which should be plenty of space. Walking through the front door you'll notice cubicles and offices on either side, as it guides you past the bathrooms and Stephen's office/lab to the tasting room.  From the pictures you've seen, it's not huge, but it's very nicely done with around 20 or so seats. It has a cool industrial feel that I really dig, and could see myself downing a few pints at the bar. From what Ben says, the tasting room should be open Wednesday through Friday, from 3-8, and Saturday 12-6. On tap first will be an Irish Red, Irish Stout, a Pale and a Blonde. After that, they will be bringing out some IPAs, Black Lager, Irish Lager, and more. 

Speaking of beer, we were able to try some. Ben set us up with a couple Four Horsemen glasses and we headed over to the fermentation tanks. Up first was their pale ale that they will be opening with. Keep in mind, they are establishing their base with beer that everyone can enjoy, and that certainly is the case with the pale. Subtle sweet malt and subdued hops gives this one a very drinkable quality to it. A little on the green side, but in time it would mature and taste great. Next up was another pale, brewed with all English malt. This was was much maltier and sweet, but still not overdone. Ben mentioned they are considering blending the two pales, which would be interesting to try.  While we were there, they were also working on their stout, which still needed time to develop, but it was a great peek into what it would become. Roasty, chocolatey with a touch of tobacco, this had a great flavor profile for only using 4 ingredients and was also a very easy to drink beer. At Four Horsemen, their aim is to brew mostly session beers, with exception of their Horsepower series that they will be coming out with.

Want to buy some of their beers? Stop by and have a pint, get a growler and pick up a sixer, all of which will be available. You'll also be able to find their beer at local liquor stores and on tap at area watering holes as well, so you have no excuse to not give them a try and support a local brewery. You'll also have access to bottles of beer by Evil Genius, for whom  Four Horsemen is contract brewing.

This was a really great trip, I'm glad I had the opportunity to check this place out before it opens. Having a brewery in the South Bend area is a great thing!

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