Clearwater Brewing Company has kept a low profile since opening this year, but the beers on tap are surprisingly good, especially for a place that’s still under the radar.
Of various standouts on the current tap list, including a fantastic smoked lager and the rarely seen Kentucky common, the best has to be the brewery’s Lullaby Rye, a remarkably rich brew that manages to check several boxes: great complexity, major drinkability and a unique flavor that’s tough to squarely put your finger on.
Despite the name, Lullaby Rye is a predominantly barley-based brew, though the addition of rye to the mash contributes more than a little of that grain’s signature spice to the finished beer.
Appearance-wise, Lullaby Rye pours a light amber, like a medium-bodied pale ale.
On the nose, however, it’s closer to a hefeweizen, with clove and cinnamon notes emerging from a blanket of sweet fruitiness, most likely esters from this brew’s particular yeast strain.
The beer’s flavor is more focused than you might expect, with a dry, peppery spice smoothing out an otherwise fairly sweet base. This gives the beer contrary characteristics: sweet and full-bodied, but with exceptional drinkability and no lingering finish.
There’s quite a bit to think about with this beer. It’s relatively straightforward, eschewing exotic hops for stalwarts like Cascade and Saaz. The addition of rye is not especially novel. The beer looks and tastes like something you’ve had many times, but it’s pulled off so well that you can’t help but love it.
You’ll find Lullaby Rye at one place, and that’s at Clearwater Brewing Company’s tasting room — built in an old gas station at 1700 N Fort Harrison Ave. Stop in and try it, along with the brewery’s other well-crafted brews.
These folks are going places.
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