On tap at Hoover’s Tavern, well regarded ‘signature dark ale’ from Cali stays creamily smooth as luscious cafe latte, milk-sugared coffee and cappuccino tones receive capacious vanilla-chocolate sweetness over molasses oats base. Vanilla coffee creaming picks up candied Milk Dud chocolate splurge as well as lesser glazed hazelnut, pecan pie, macadamia and candied walnut snips.
On tap at Hoover’s Tavern, raw-honeyed dry maize sinew contrasts corn-flaked vanilla sugaring of pale malted cream ale (with a snazzy dessert-like Creamsicle twist). Doughy Danish pastry finish picks up cannoli, zeppole and marshmallow sweetener that absorbs mild tea latte snip. Fairly unconventional stylistically.
Richly creamed cocoa-nibbed brown chocolate spicing embellished by sweet molasses-burnt bourbon vanilla persistence and light whiskey snips to its sugared oats spine. Maple-sapped caramel chocolate center countered by cedar-charred hop roast. Ancillary cookie dough, toffee, cappuccino and hazelnut illusions surface at the serene bourbon-whiskeyed chocolate finish.
Well-designed West Coast IPA thrusts forth with sweet tangerine tanginess. Ample tangerine juicing gains lemony Mosaic hop tropicalia, distant pine forestry and light sugar wafer-like pilsner malting above simple wheat cracker base.
KINSTON, NORTH CAROLINA
Taking up a whole street corner in Kinston’s rustic downtown, MOTHER EARTH BREWING has taken the Inner Banks section of North Carolina by storm and helped revitalize the small community since starting production during 2009. Run by owners Trent Mooring and Stephen Hill and brewmaster Josh Brewer, Mother Earth’s expanded into a large operation with its own bottling line, beer garden, windowed brew tanks, boutique store and exquisite modern deco-styled taproom (with U-shaped 16-seat bar, side tables, couched lounge and snazzy blue and white hanging lights).
During my mid-morning stopover June ’16, I picked up five bottled and one canned brew running the gamut from ever-popular Weeping Willow Wit to stylishly wondrous Endless River Kolsch to sessionable Park Day Bohemian Pilsner to Sisters Of The Moon IPA to Dark Cloud Dunkel Lager and Old Neighborhood Oatmeal Porter (all reviewed in Beer Index). But the best way to discover Mother Earth is thru its sterling taproom, where limited edition, one-offs and seasonal specials prove just as worthy as the bottled-canned staples.
The environmentally responsible brewery also makes use of recycled material, organic compounds and spent grain. Anyone traveling thru the heartland of Carolina needs to discover this fine gem.
Subsuming cocoa-dried Bakers chocolate entry picks up creamed coffee supplement and sour nuttiness above latent earthen brown tea bittering. Dank dark-roast chocolate malting confirms bittersweet mocha finish.
Old fashioned dark lager parades dark-roast chocolate malts across black rye breading, mossy peat dewiness and dried fig swig, recalling English-styled ESB with its underlying earthen brown tea bittering. Tertiary toffee, pecan and burnt toast reminders waver.
Casual moderate-medium body evenly spreads lemony yellow grapefruit spicing, tangy orange-peach-pineapple-tangerine-mango conflux and resinous piney hop herbage atop pastry sugared pale malts, finding middleground between sessionable easygoing fodder and sharply bitter Imperialism.
These sessionable light-bodied American kolsch-styled ales just keep getting better and Mother Earth’s relaxing clear-strawed version is quite precise. Delicate moldy orange tartness gains light lemon-rotted white grape souring, tangy citrus peel sweetness, mild grassy hop bittering and floral-spiced pale malting above sourdough-influenced baked bread bottom. Crisply carbolic citric spritz tingles the tongue.
Dry Bohemian pils breaks free from standard biscuity Vienna malt assurance and grassy Tettnang hop neutrality. Lightly pined lemon spicing picks up straw-dried hop astringency and earthen wood-toned herbal sensation, creating more rounded stylistic profile.