Malts: 2-Row Pale, Dark Caramel, Vienna, Victory, Chocolate
Hops: Perle, Challenger, Willamette, Glacier
This beer just took home a Gold Medal in the English Brown Ale category at the 1st Annual United States Open Beer Championships. Expels deep breaths of toffee and butterscotch amidst a rich undercurrent of malty sweetness and a citrus edge provided by the American hops. As the beer reaches full warmth, look for a slightly roasted profile with faint hints of chocolate and coffee. These two will manifest themselves on the palate as well when the beer has come to cellar temperature. This medium-bodied beer is sweet and rich on the palate, leaving behind notes of caramel, toffee, salt-water taffy, and orange and pine notes. Bitterness swoops in quickly to tame the hefty malt bill with some toasty Vienna malt notes, which are some of the last to hold on into the finish as the citrusy hops dry things out. This beer reminded us of a good pancake breakfast; there are notes of brown sugar, maple syrup, and fresh oranges. Consider starting your day with this beer. Tons of flavor for a modest alcohol level brew. A fine way to kick off a weekend morn.
The decision to found Tallgrass Brewing Company was made by Jeff Gill and his wife Tricia on April 8, 2006. Tricia had asked Jeff THAT question: “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” Jeff had been mulling over that exact question quite a bit. “I want to start a microbrewery!” Jeff answered. He had been an avid homebrewer for six years and loved to brew beer. At that point, he and Tricia made a commitment to start a new microbrewery in Kansas. It would mean moving from where they lived at the time, Jeff giving up his career as a geologist, and Tricia changing jobs.
After the decision was made, the next 12 months were a flurry of activity: Jeff juggled a full-time job while trying to gain as much experience in the craft beer business as possible, and Tricia gave him her full support along the way. They chose Manhattan, Kansas, for the location of the brewery, and chose Tallgrass for the name. They had always wanted to settle in this area to raise their family and live near the scenic Flint Hills and Tallgrass Prairie surrounding Manhattan. It just so happened that the water near Manhattan is an excellent choice for brewing beer, too!
When the spring of 2007 rolled around, Jeff was ready to speak with friends and family about investing in their dream to start Tallgrass Brewing Company. With the money raised and a lot of hard work, the brewery was built at the edge of the Flint Hills and housed a beautiful copper-clad brewhouse. Their first beer was brewed in August 2007 and has rapidly been growing in popularity.
This just in from the brewery: “we’re not (just) in Kansas anymore, Toto!” Congrats to Jeff and Tricia; they recently began to distribute outside of Kansas, into Nebraska. We’re glad to get a chance to feature their well-made beers so early in their careers—and we’re sure we’ll be revisiting them so we can try more of their brews down the line.
For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (785) 537-1131 or check out their web site at www.tallgrassbeer.com
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