Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mattingly Brewing Co.: Beer served by rough looking characters

Something Irish Red
BrightSide Belgian White
Black Dawn Coffee Porter
Homeward Brown
Black Sky Stout Porter
HOPtimal APA
This was the line-up for my first time visiting this establishment which is still in it's infancy. Before i say anything else, i must say this: The price was fantastic. I had six 5 oz. samplers and i paid $7.00 total. I couldn't believe it! When Hamster was here last, we went to the Stable and had six 3 oz. samplers and paid $12!
Brightside Belgian was laid down closest to my mouth, so of course, this is what i reached for to begin. I still can't place the taste but i am confident that i have tasted something nearly identical to this in the past. I don't know what the White refers to, but it was not sweet like a traditional Belgian. It was very low key and had a chipper bite to it towards the end. I did not taste malt or sugar at all. It would be a pleasure to drink this in the summer. Not the best by far, but it wasn't bad to start with either.
The Irish Red somethingorother was next and was a disappointment. I was thinking of Killian's the whole time and i have to say that if you were to take a bottle of Killian's and dump it into a plastic container and then filled the rest up with water and stirred it (like making orange juice from concentrate) then you would have the taste of this beer. Completely watered down. If i were any part Irish, i would have burned the place down. Luckily for me i am German and English, so i sat and complianed while musing over the destructiveness of my ancestors.
Homeward Brown was up next and i was more pleased. Quite nutty and fuller bodied. It was a lighter brown and looked more like a washed out amber ale. The flavor was much more distinct and hinted of toasted almonds and butter. Actually, that sounds even better than it tasted, i'll admit. It was decent but not one i will want to go back and get.
I took one sip of the APA and thought, nope better not. Then i slid it to the end for reasons i'll explain shortly. (This was strongly urged by Church Key, ...good advice.)
Ok, i kept getting confused about which of the dark beers were which. They were written on the board over the bar, but i had nothing written down by me so i had to know by memory. Then i smelled them and the coffee porter was a dead giveaway.
Black Sky Stout Porter: Porters have never done it for me. Sorry to any out there that crave porters. I was intrigued by the name but his thing tasted watered down again. It roused memories of a beer i had ingested only minutes before and only reinforced my reasons for not caring for porters. I can't even tell you a flavor profile on this. The aroma was faint and confusing. It smelled sort of like a stout, but also like honey. It was a bit sweet and the malt might have been overbearing if only it had more flavor.
Black Dawn Coffee Porter. Wow! Hell yea! This tasted amazing. For those who know me, you know my stance on coffee. Can't stand the stuff. It is oppressive to the point of torture to my tongue and would, i'm sure, destroy my bowels if given a chance. More importantly is that coffee tastes like liquified tractor tire to me. With that said, i am rating this bastard high, not because it tasted particularly amazing to me, but because it tasted so strongly of black coffee and so little like alcohol, that i have to imagine anyone else would be captivated by this beer. This kicks the asses of all the coffee stouts i have tasted and makes the Schlafly coffee stout tasting like an accidental swig from a muddy lake. The only thing i can think of is that they brewed several pots of coffee, brewed some beer, and then dumped it all together.
Hoptimal APA: I was impressed with this sucker too! All in all i'd say they are doing well to have 2 fantastic beers, 2 so-so beers, and then two beers i'll have if you buy it for me. The APA was impressively well-balanced and smooth. It at no time felt harsh, yet the hops were very present and even up front. This beer had a nice fruity element that came through simultaneously, like a grapefruit and a hop were holding hands and skipping on a grassy ravine--niether one in a hurry--both refusing to walk in front of the other. I like it when the elements mesh, and it is even more impressive in strong pale ales because i am wanting a dominant hop presence.
All in all, i was distinctly joyful after leaving this place. My friend's Ryan and the Church Key himself sampled some food; a burger, fries and fish n chips. Neither one raved about the eats, but we agreed that it was worth coming back to.
Oh, i forgot to mention i saved the APA because i knew it was gonna be good after one sip.
Also, the waiting staff was very punky and rough looking. It looked like they recruited the "skater" clique from my high school to run the joint. Fun times.


  1. Nice review of the place. I felt the White Belgian was identical to the Lemongrass beer at Square One in Lafayette Square (STL). However, at Square One I had 12 oz. of the Lemongrass and at Mattingly I had a little sip of the White Belgian so I could be wrong. But still, both reminded me of hay and horse piss.

    I don't think I will be returning to Mattingly. The pricing WAS good. The food WAS decent. But the only thing they have for me to drink is the APA.
    I entered a drawing for a keg party there and left comments that they need to have an IPA.

  2. What?
    How could a coffee lover such as yourself not be smitten with the coffee porter?

    did you taste it?

    You should have a full glass...

  3. You suckers think that just because I have a kid I can't stomp around trying new joints?...well, you're right, but I am jealous. Where is this place? We should make a trip to Augusta Brewery. It is a bit of a drive (out by the Augusta Wineries) but we should be able to get Tim to go...he has a growler to fill. It is a different experience, and is owned by the same people that run Square fact, Augusta was there first. How about May to Augusta. My birthday is in May, so that's what I want! (of course I will be happy with any beer drinking in the month of my birth)

  4. It was a last minute after work deal. Mattingly is down the road from my office, about 1.5miles. It is on S.Jefferson, south of I-44.

    I like your May plans.

    Baker...I did like the coffee porter. I agreed that Mattingly had an excellent Coffee Porter, but I wouldn't travel to Mattingly just to order the Coffee Porter - I wouldn't even travel to the Tap Room for a Coffee Stout. I wouldn't pay for a sixer of coffee beer (maybe a mix-n-match six with 1 coffee beer). For me, coffee beer is not a "regular".

  5. all you basards - you think just cause i live in the heart of the republic, down here with all these bluebonnets and yellow roses, that i can't meet up for happy hour near church key's office? bastards! i want evites sent to me just so i can decline!

    church key - the only photograph i ever owned of you personally (my wife has several and you are even on one of our walls in a group shot) is one that seanboy took of you at our place in kansas city. you had a big clear beer mug filled all the way to the top with coffee. as an addict myself, i always found that photograph inspiring. in fact, i've shown it to others over the years, adding "you think you could pull that off in the evening?" no comment ever, just silent awe.

    baker - i am late on this. for that i apologize. you write good reviews. i hold them off sometimes until the proper moment.

    i am sorry you hate coffee. coffee is beautiful. coffee makes the world go round. i drink it everyday and nearly every afternoon as well. i am not addicted to beer, but i am addicted to coffee. oh look, what's that here by my left hand? a cup of coffee! happy thursday morning, everybody!

    still, and because you hate coffee and slightly despise porters (though not to the same degree), i give you mad props for trying a coffee porter. and your description of what soars in this beer charmed me over and over, like one of those little weiners in the gasstation weiner turning machine.

    the last time i tasted a schlafly coffee stout, i nearly spit the damn thing on my friends cream carpeted living room floor. this shocked the melted tire right out of me because, at one time, i loved the schlafly coffee stout. no more. i renounce my love for that shite.

    on the other hand, bell's java stout is a beast to wrestle with. love it. very big, very burly, liquified chest hairs and molten mr. miagi crane kicks, this beer would be an excellent breakfast item. it is only a matter of time before mcdonalds sells these things through the AM drive-thru.