Formerly an 1880’s landmark blacksmith-hardware post one-mile south of University of Maryland, industrial retro-contemporary tin edifice, FRANKLIN’S RESTAURANT & BREWERY, had downstairs general store, right side bar, cafeteria dining, and exposed ductwork. Bright red, yellow, and amber paint matched café-styled tablecloths and menu included sandwiches, pizza, soup-salad, seafood, and meat dishes on November ’06 visit.

Behind upstairs left bar were glass-encased brew tanks, where several fine brews were crafted. Both lemon-soured wheat-straw Kolsch-styled Bombshell Blonde and bark-dried, grapefruit-peeled, lemon rind-embittered Anarchy Ale had maize-hazed hop depth. Dryly phenol, piney-hopped, apple-pear-inferred Sierra Madre Pale Ale was bettered by similarly mannered, daintily juicy-fruited, English-styled Twisted Turtle Pale Ale. Mocha-burnt cherry-pureed fig-dried Coffee Stout went well with dessert.

Best bets were oak chip-burnt, sharply red-fruited, floral-hopped Chaos and more deviant crystal-chocolate-malted, ice coffee-segued Rubber Chicken Red. Not to be outdone, watercress-like, earthen-grained, cherry-apple-apricot-spiced Private IPA and its stylistically superior banana-creamed cherry-oozing Nitro IPA are highly recommended.

Bought Green Flash West Coast IPA, Ridgeway Lump Of Coal, and Three Floyd’s Brian Boru Irish Red Ale at Franklin’s general store (reviewed in Beer Index).

During January 2011, sojourned once more to Franklin’s, meeting brewer Mike Roy for short conversation before drinking five previously untried brews at upstairs bar next to glass-encased brewtanks.

Brown-sugared caramel-creamy chocolate-roasted molasses-malted raisin-dried cherry-soured Old Miser Old Ale and equally fine chocolate-browned cocoa-milked vanilla-daubed cherry-pureed peat-malted Highland Hugh Scotch Ale suit dessert connoisseurs. Cask ale heads will enjoy nitro version of Oatmeal Stout, a soft-watered oats-toasted with black coffee, dark chocolate, and vanilla tones.

Approachable medium-bodied Private IPA contrasted twiggy bark dryness, orange-peeled grapefruit rind bittering and fungi yeast funk against perfumed peach-pineapple-mango tang. Just as interesting, though bitterer, Northwest Alpha Double Black IPA paraded roasted mocha malts and easygoing tar-like hop-charred bittering across citric-juiced fig-date conflux and latent licorice lick.


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