Brau Brothers Brewing Company - Bancreagie
- ABV: 7.8%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 20
- Serving Temperature: 48-55º F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter or Tulip
- Malts: Golden Promise, Peat Smoked, Crystal, Munich, Cherry Wood Smoked
- Hops: Target
Our Scottish Gaelic is a little rusty, but we’re told Bancreagie is pronounced “bon-cray-gee” and means “valley of the white rock” – in honor of a granite aquifer beneath the brewery. Not all Scotch Ales are made with peat-smoked malt but, traditionally, many of them are. The same technique leads to the distinctively smoky character of Islay Scotch, and this is what Brau Brothers were going for with Bancreagie. We’re excited to have encountered a good American version to share with you. On the pour, this brew offers a deep, rich amber color with an ample head of beige foam. Look for richly malty aromas showing deep down toasty, bready notes and just a touch of that peaty smoke. Fruit esters abound, too, including dried fruits, plum, and hints of cherry. Those fruits come through with prominence on the palate, as well, offering a bright and refreshing angle within a broad, malty core with plenty of caramel. The smoke is noticeable here, adding a drying quality similar to deeply roasted malt while conjuring that Islay whisky character. The smoky edge and a dash of spicy, fruity alcohol meld with mild hop bitterness to provide a balancing counterpoint to the residual malt sweetness. This is the type of beer we love to enjoy as an after-dinner libation or as a nightcap, but it can work nicely with food, too. Roasted root vegetables with grilled game and other meats come to mind. Smoked Gouda or Cheddar cheeses are a good call, too, as are desserts with caramel and toffee. Cheers!
Straight out of college in 1999, Dustin Brau and his wife, Mary, bought a restaurant in the small town of Lucan, MN (approx. 200 residents), which they named BrauHaus. In order to attract more of the local population to come enjoy a meal in town, the duo decided to begin offering their very own BrauHaus beers made on-premises, thus turning their homebrewing hobby into a legitimate microbrewery. Their tiny 2-barrel system was barely enough to keep up with the demand of their restaurant, so in 2006 they moved their beer production to a larger building in Lucan. It was at this time that Dustin's brothers, Trevor and Brady, joined the enterprise, and their father, Dale, joined in to help too. With space to brew more beer, the team could now take the business to the next level. Brau Brothers Brewing Company was officially founded. A bottling line was installed and their beer began flowing out of the town of Lucan to retail accounts throughout the area. Additionally, they began farming their own hops and barley on a few acres of nearby land.
In 2013, an even bigger step was taken when Brau Brothers moved to an even larger facility in the city of Marshall, several miles to the west. BrauHaus was closed in order to focus entirely on the brewing company, which now enjoys 37,000 square feet of space, 3,500 of which is devoted to barrel-aging, allowing Brau Brothers to produce a wider variety of beers, including sours, not to mention their own line of sodas. The brewery's Tap Room offers over two dozen taps and, in addition to providing tasty pub fare including burgers, pizza, and sandwiches, also offers growler fills so visitors can take plenty of beer home with them. For more info, contact them at 507-929-BEER, or visit www.braubeer.com.
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