We walked into the Bull and Goat Brewery and were greeted with open arms. By the end of the evening, people were actually reading aloud from my blog while at the bar. One couple even offered me a place to stay at their house during the next beer festival. Friendly, fun people, plenty of games and tasty beer – I think I’ve found my “Cheers” bar. There is only one problem – it is a 1.5-hour drive from my home in Columbia.
My last visit to Centreville was in the 90’s on the Cycle Across Maryland Tour. Two thousand exhausted cyclists rode their bicycles into this sleepy town of 4 thousand people, took showers and drained the aquifer. Because I arrived later than most, I had to wait hours for a shower. My next visit to Centreville seems more fun.
Behind the bar is half of the brewer/owner partnership – Jake “the Bull”, who claims to be bull-headed. Jake and his business partner – Jeff “the Goat”, ’cause he’s ornery – started up their cozy brewery a year and a half ago. Before that, they worked together, often on business travel. Because they worked so well together and shared a love of brewing and beer, they decided to start a brewery. The rest is history.
Currently, they brew twice a week on their 2-barrel system. (A barrel is 31 gallons.) Their doors are open Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:30-9:00 and Saturdays from 2:00 – 9:00. Plans are in the works to expand to a 7-barrel system in the near future.
The 4 of us shared a flight of beers to sample their beer selection. For a nano-brewery, they seem to have something for everyone. Here are my notes:
- Raft Up – a Belgian Wit, My least favorite (but wits usually are) – a very wheaty wit with an unusual fruity tang.
- Pale Ale – a sweet ale. Jake says it’s very popular beer. Too sweet for me.
- Hard Apple Cider – Smells wonderfully of apples and tastes quite tart.
- 67 IPA – a well-balanced IPA with a solid malt backbone. I ordered a pint of this and loved it! Citra hops?
- Frank Amber Ale – a solid malty amber. I was surprised it’s a lager, I thought it was a brown. Easy drinking.
- Craft Root Beer (Pilot) – an enjoyable root beer.
- Front Street Porter – Nice roasty, coffee flavors with a creamy mouthfeel.
Jake gave me the tour. Jake and Jeff did most of the work themselves – like this cold room.
Around back is their granary, which previously served as their brewery. With the grain mill in use, I imagine it gets quite dusty.
Jake hopes to start a sour program. For those loyal readers, you know sours are my passion. I promised to come back again sometime and sample one of them. I can’t wait.