Friday, November 4, 2016

A visit to Kilstone Brewing Company

After finishing at Rhombus Guys, we made the hour and a half drive down Interstate 29 to Fargo, where we would be spending the next couple of days for my birthday weekend. I had heard through the grapevine there have been some pretty solid breweries setting up shop in Fargo since the advent of Fargo Brewing Company. After making it to our hotel room and getting a growler of Surly Darkness.....wait, did I mention I got a growler of Surly Darkness, because I totally did!

A store called the Bottle Barn, which was located a couple blocks from our hotel, had a growler fill station! While the selection was more lacking than what I was used to, seeing Darkness available to go in a growler more than made it up for it. Plus, I literally paid less for a growler than I would've paid for a bottle of Darkness. Sure you'll have those who'll say you can't age a growler, but standards be damned, it was awesome to have and it made for a nice birthday gift!

Anyways, I made my way over to a relatively new brewery called Kilstone Brewing, located in the Near North End of Fargo in a warehouse complex. The taproom consists of some barstools and tables, along with an impromptu stage area right by the garage door.

There was some drumsets and a couple guitars there but we didn't stick around long enough to see the live music. According to what I found out, these guys have been open since February of last year (2015) and are available in a few locations in the Fargo-area.

Now let's talk about the beer. There was a nice variety to choose from here and since I was operating on a schedule, I only sampled a few before heading out for the evening.

Cinnimini Donut (Brown Ale, 4.8% ABV, 20 IBUs) - Well well, looks like someone has been taking notes from the Minnesota State Fair! This came with a glass that was rimmed with copious amounts of sugar and cinnamon. The beer itself has some nice chocolate malts and light roastiness with some bitter hops on the end. Paired with the sugar/cinnamon rim, it actually tastes like a mini donut; In fact, I'm going to say that this tastes more like a mini-donut than Lift Bridge's famous creation! It may be a novelty, but it's a very good novelty at that!

Crooked Captain Caramel ESB (Extra Special Bitter, 5.8% ABV, 20 IBUs) - Mild floral hops with a nice caramel malt backbone with some bitter hops on the back of the palate to even things out. I haven't had too many ESBs recently but this one was definitely nice!

Pac's Porter (Porter, 5.8% ABV, 30 IBUs) - Strong roastiness and chocolate malts upfront that linger throughout with some light floral and bitter hops on the back end of the palate. Nothing that I haven't already seen in a porter before but it was well put together for what it was!

Polyphonic Pale Ale (American Pale Ale, 5.2% ABV, 64 IBUs) - Surprisingly bitter hops with an almost equal toffee-like maltiness, along with some biscuit and yeast notes. Nothing special, but drinkable nevertheless.

Slovenian Titan (American Pale Ale, 5.8% ABV, 48 IBUs) - Now this was a very interesting beer as it uses hops grown in the mountains of Slovenia, but the location of where the hops are from isn't what makes this beer interesting. The hop profile is a mix of floral and resin esters with some light pale maltiness. However, there's an encompassing light spiciness that I was told comes from the hops used, and it really adds some character to the beer and it left me impressed!

All and all, Kilstone has some pretty good things going for it and I was fairly impressed with the offerings I had there. If I had more time, I would've stayed around to try the rest, but I'm satisfied overall with that I saw there and I hope they go on to do great things in the future!

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