Pouring Our First Festival

This past Saturday, for the first time ever, we poured our beer for the public at the King Farm Wine and Music Festival. It was a huge and exciting milestone for True Respite. Naturally, it was rainy and cold when we arrived but it still felt amazing to put up our brand new True Respite tent, pull out our kegs, and set up the jockey box. We cannot wait until this is a regular weekend occurrence for us!

Fortunately, the Maryland Comptroller’s office issued us a homebrew exhibition permit that allowed us to participate in the event without yet being a licensed brewery. We’d like to offer a huge THANK YOU to them for working with us on a short timeline!

We served three beers: Our Roasted English Stout, our Belgian Dubbel, and our Grisette-Au-Vin Blanc. Each beer offers something distinctly different.

Our Beers

The Roasted English Stout is jet black in color and very malt forward with hints of nuts, dark roasted coffee, caramel, and chocolate. We were shocked by how many “stout people” we met, especially at a wine festival! Those who self-identified as “stout people” absolutely gushed over this beer. It was quite humbling–though we definitely agreed.

The Belgian Dubbel is complex, malty, and presents a full-on estery Trappist ale flavor profile. It’s a deep reddish-copper color with a thick, long-lasting head and a moderate-to-high alcohol content. This seemed to be our “Goldilocks” beer that hit the sweet spot for most beer drinkers. It was appreciated by dark and light beer lovers alike.

The Grisette-Au-Vin Blanc is light and refreshing. It was born as a marriage between a sessionable saison and a white wine. The result was fabulously crisp and drinkable, drawing many oohs and ahhs from people who claimed they’re not usually “beer people.” We think this beer really got its moment in the sun due to the fact that the festival was both a beer and wine festival.

We are very proud to say that each beer was very well received. It was an incredible feeling to have our customers repeatedly ask to buy growlers or where to find our beer in stores. Unfortunately, we had to let everyone know that we can’t sell our beer yet. Still, it was nice to be able to refer them to Facebook and our other social media outlets so that when the day comes, they’ll know! (“And here–take a sticker!”)

It was extremely special to us that our daughter, Aislinn, was there with us to help serve the public for the first time. We got some great pictures with her and we’ll make sure to tell her all about it when she’s old enough to understand and appreciate it. We missed our son, Aidan, dearly but knew that if our two year old was with us we’d be chasing him around all day and would not be able to give our full attention to our guests.

Good Crowd

Overall, it was such an honor to get to participate in this event. We had so much fun! We LOVED being able to share our story with so many wonderful members of the community. We also loved learning more about our customers and getting excited together for the arrival of True Respite in Rockville. It was a nice bonus that many guests noted we’ll be walking distance from their homes and jobs. In fact, Google Maps told us the festival grounds were just a 29 minute walk from our future brewery location.

We want to take this moment to say thank you to everyone who stopped by. The Rockville community is incredible. Everyone was so welcoming and you all deserve the very best brewery in the DC metro area. We can’t wait to bring it to you!

Cheers

Cheers!

The True Respite Team

Homebrew Con 2016

In early June, Brendan took a weekend trip up to Baltimore to enjoy the American Homebrewers Association’s annual Homebrew Convention. The atmosphere was relaxed and social as beer geeks from across the country congregated in the Baltimore Convention Center to share beers, recipes, brew stories, and our general love for beer. We also took time to meander haphazardly through what seemed to be an endless assortment of vendor setups displaying cutting edge brewing equipment and technology. All around us, industry professionals were running live podcasts and the biggest names in craft beer greeted us with open arms. As a matter of fact, I happened to have met Randy Mosher as he was jumping off of a podcast at one booth in the vendor hall.

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Meeting Randy Mosher at Homebrew Con 2016

Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head gave a great keynote speech and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan made a surprise cameo to officially announce that June 9-11 were to be known as Homebrewer’s Days in Maryland.

In the end, the team decided to purchase a Blichmann BrewEasy LTE 10 gallon turn key brewery for perfecting recipes and entering homebrew competitions. We’re looking forward to kicking out our favorite recipes to finally get them into the hands of our closest supporters (albeit in extremely limited volumes.) Maybe one of our next posts will have a few pretty pictures of brew day!

Cheers!

Rubbing Elbows with the Biggest Names in Craft Beer

Savor 2016 was a fantastic welcoming party to DC! The biggest names in craft beer were all around and I had plenty of opportunity to bump elbows with all sorts of people who were willing to share a kind word and some great advice. Dogfish Head Founder Sam Calagione (pictured with me below) took some time to discuss the future of craft beer:

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The best conversation of the night happened early on with Richard Norgrove of Bear Republic as we discussed what could have been a large feud over branding. (This story was covered in “What’s In A Name?“) It was cathartic to stand with him discussing old issues and laughing them off over a freshly poured Bear Republic beer. New friends are great, but new friends made from old disputes are even better. This right here is why we decided to leave a life of being cattle herded from cubicle to cubicle and instead join the craft beer revolution:

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The festival itself was spectacular! The Brewer’s Association did a fantastic job making the event feel cultured and high end while still leaving plenty of room for aimless wandering and tons of beer and food tasting. I especially loved the way the food and beer were presented together as a single paired entity:

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I tried a lot of great beer and dishes, but my absolute favorites were the sweet chili fried chicken and the Allagash/Deschutes Belgian Pale collaboration called Pettygrove’s Chance. This beer in particular was featured at the Salon covering the sourcing of local ingredients for beer production where we were also treated to a very special tasting of a few of the two breweries’ rarest specialty brews:

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All in all, it was a fantastic night of great food, great beer, and great company. I had certainly found my True Respite for the evening, and I encourage all of you craft beer fanatics out there to make sure to include Savor on your list of must-see beer events.

Cheers!

Brendan