BEL AIR, MARYLAND
Open for biz since 2015, INDEPENDENT BREWING COMPANY celebrated its seventh anniversary this past October. Occupying a gray grain house with blue brick base, decorative grain silo and rusty metal roof awning, this rustic barnyard pub utilizes aged aluminum, metal and wood to create its homespun warmth.
A black metal-enclosed front deck (with bark top side table) leads to the cream taupe-walled interior where a lacquered wood serving station offers over a dozen homemade draughts. Barreled, bark-topped and community tables (with low hanging caged Edison lights) fill out the cement floor space alongside the left side wood-furnished couch lounge area. Glass-encased brewtanks are behind the bar near the side garage door.
I settled into all twelve available suds on this amicable early March ’23 stopover before heading to DC for the weekend.
Totally sessionable pre-prohibition pilsner, Siebel OneFiveO, let musty hay-dried mineral graining and salty herbage seep into mild lemony perfume musk.
Combining the candi-sugared citrus spicing and fungi herbage of a Belgian blonde with easygoing gin-teased white wining and cidery tartness, Blue Eyed Blonde escaped simple stylization.
Dewy orange-oiled lemon spritz and diacetyl buttering paced bland Get Off My Lawn!, a sessionable pale ale with pasty malts.
A collab with all eight Harford County breweries, Come See About My Pale Ale retaineed dry lemon-rotted orange tartness, mild green grape tannins and teasing vegetal herbage above musky pale malting.
Exceptional flagship IPA, Carpe Diem, placed mild orange-peeled grapefruit, pineapple and lemon bittering alongside lightly grassy hopped pine tones and floral herbed respite over dry pale malting.
Infused with tart blood orange, offshoot IPA, Blood Orange Carpe Diem, had sourer citrus fruiting and less insistent piney herbage than its year-round bellwether.
Brisk lemony grapefruit bittering and subtle mango-guava-lychee tropicalia brightened Nasty Woman NEIPA, gaining resinous pine tones atop its creamy oated wheat base – not as juicily fruited or yogurt-milked as most hazy Northeast ilk.
Sour-candied light body, It’s The Pits Cherry Wheat, let juicy Montmorency cherry preserve tartness take control as lemony mandarin orange wisps and oaken vanilla tannins were setback.
Nutty dark-roast chocolate and coffee settled beside mild soy saucing for Poots Magoots Baltic Porter, leaving subtle Blackstrap molasses treacle.
Easygoing dry Irish stout, Wooden Coat, stayed dewily mossy as dark chocolate saturated Blackstrap molasses-embittered burnt wood tones.
Creamily lactose Breakfast Stout, Cereal Killer, wed nutty chocolate to medium coffee roast and mild espresso snips as its light hop char embittered the molasses oats base.
In its fluffily creamed nitro version, CK’s dryly nutted chocolate and espresso frontage obtained tobacco-chawed hop sear.