RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
More like a crazy-ass Confederate co-operative than a humble Carolina craft beer station, LONERIDER BREWING COMPANY make ‘Ales For Outlaws’ at its off-the-beaten-path Industrial outpost since January 23, 2009. In a chocolate brown aluminum warehouse with a glass-windowed tasting room sidling ‘The Hideout’ (a connected restaurant), Lonerider employs three owners, four brewers, two bottlers-keggers and at least three bartenders as of my June ’13 sojourn to Raleigh.
Utilizing the purest water source imaginable, this ever-expanding microbrewery delivers a wide range of crystalline ales for a thirsty local crowd that keeps ‘em busy. A few community tables and the 12-seat bar (with eight tap handles) gets crowded by the time I depart this Friday afternoon.
Betty the Bartender serves my wife and I the soft-focus German-styled summertime ale named after her first. Soothingly smoothShotgun Betty Hefeweizen lightened up the tongue with tangy hop-spiced lemon spritz, stylishly sweet banana-clove-bubblegum illusions and soda-breaded white wheat wisps.
Next up, wondrous Peacemaker Pale Ale brought caramelized apple, peach, pear, orange and pineapple fruiting to resinous floral-pined hop-spiced vegetal musk.
Sessionable True Britt English-style Pale Ale enhanced its light nuttiness and bready pale malting with subtle earthen hop bittering, retaining a mineral-grained dewiness to the finish.
Sweet Josie Brown Ale layered molasses-sapped toffee and dark-spiced black chocolate over walnut, hazelnut and Brazil nut in a truly definitive way.
White and black peppering spiced up The Preacher Saison, a fruity summer seasonal with lemon-dropped bruised orange, banana and tangerine tartness.
The darker offerings were just as fine. Mild dry-bodied dark lager, Mad Dock Weizenbock, married sweet cocoa malting to raisin-breaded fig, date and plum illusions, picking up cinnamon apple nuances along the way.
For dessert, tried the luscious Hangman Barleywine, a sugary caramel-chocolate malted full body withlingering Blackstrap molasses bittering, creamy vanilla sweetness and cherry-bruised candied apple tartness.