Newly-opened local micro Coast Brewing Company celebrated the recent release of three brews on Thurs. Nov. 8 with a rousing happy hour tasting at Charleston Beer Works. Brewers/proprietors David Merritt and his wife Jaime Tenny (at left) were on hand to sample and discuss the light and malty 32/50 Kölsch, the highly-hopped, full-bodied, Hop Art I.P.A, and the intensely malty Chocolate Rye Brown ale.
Kölschbier (usually ordered simply as “Kölsch” ) is a top-fermented, straw/golden-colored specialty from Cologne, Germany. Soft, slightly bready, and highly drinkable, it’s difficult to find the States. Coast’s 32/50 Kölsch is just a bit darker and fuller in body than the stuff in the Rhein (my inner German said, "Thet hat 32/50 Kölshcbier ebenso wunderbar als irgendein bier in Köln geschmeckt"). Coast’s brown ale bursts with chocolate and caramel malt flavor and aroma, and, at around a seven percent alcohol content (by volume), packs a big punch. The I.P.A. (short for “India Pale Ale”) stands a between seven and eight percent alcohol content (by volume). Copper in color (Merritt's holding a pint at the left) , it’s certainly the hoppiest, best conditioned (the head retention was impressive) and most intense of the three.
Kegs of all three styles are en route to several select restaurants and bars, including EVO Pizzaria, Gene’s Haufbrau, Charleston Beer Works, Taco Boy, El Bohio, Red Drum Gastropub, and Johnson’s Pub. Cheers!