According to the Brewers Association, the average American lives within ten miles of a brewery. If that’s the case, I’m above average, as Big Boss Brewing Company is exactly 4 miles from my front door.
With this month’s Session, hosted by Gastronomic Fight Club, focusing on local beers, Big Boss makes my job both easy and flavorful. Big Boss is a re-branding of an existing brewery under new ownership. With the steady hand of brewmaster Brad Wynn at the helm, Big Boss stands poised to offer some of the area’s finest beers. Presently, Big Boss is available on draught around the Triangle area of North Carolina. They inked a distributor deal this week, so bottles will soon be hitting the shelves.
With local beers in mind, I made my way to the Tavern (the brewery’s upstairs taproom) on two occasions this month. Big Boss will be bottling four year round beers: Hell’s Belle Belgian Blond, Angry Angel German Pilsner, Bad Penny Nut Brown and High Roller IPA. Seasonal offerings will include the likes of double IPA, double wit, farmhouse ale, pumpkin ale, stout, coffee stout and bock. The attentive Big Boss fan will show up on the second Saturday of each month for a free beer-laden brewery tour. The really attentive beer drinker will be ready for the monthly cask-conditioned ale, always a surprise and a treat.
I made it out for this month’s cask ale, their Double Tavern Ale, which was unfiltered and about 8.5% abv. In the vein of an English strong ale, this slightly cloudy, copper-colored dandy was malty sweet, with just enough hops to make you smile. I’m thinking a meal centered on meat, either ribs on the grill or a pot roast that’s been simmering all day long would be an ideal pairing.
On another occasion, I focused on the Belgian Blond. At 7% abv, this one was a hazy golden color with a wispy white head that didn’t persist. The aroma was initially a subtle touch of perfumy fruity esters, but as it warmed clovelike phenols came front-and-center. The flavor was similar: fruity, tangy and refreshing with a slight spicy cinammon character moving over for a dominant clove finish. A slice of pumpkin pie would be perfect with this beer.
A little out of the way, the Tavern is a great place to unwind, sample a few excellent brews or, you know, study for the BJCP exam. This was one of the “libraries” I frequented during my recent preparations. Ken (brewer) and Jonny (sales manager) can often be found working behind the bar treating patrons like gold. Pool tables, darts and friendly bartenders make it a great stop for the local, and a don’t-miss for the wayward business or pleasure traveler passing through Raleigh.
Big Boss Brewing Company
1249-A Wicker Drive
Raleigh, NC 27604