What better way to celebrate an opening day than to give back to the community that has supported Goshen Brewing Co. through its development?
At 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, before official opening time, about 20 people gathered outside the front door of the new Goshen brewery, where owner Jesse Sensenig auctioned off the first pint and first T-shirt.
Money raised from the auction went to the Elkhart County Clubhouse, located at 114 S. Fifth St., Goshen.
Clubhouse is a community where people who have a persistent mental illness can come to rebuild their lives. It offers support for education, or for returning to the workforce through a variety of entry-level positions.
- RELATED: Diagnosed with mental illnesses, Goshen man finds purpose at Elkhart County Clubhouse, March 6, 2015
Clubhouse Director Rich Meyer was on hand to see his son Jonny Gerig Meyer win the first pint with a high bid of $500. Jeremy Stutsman had the high bid of $250 for the first T-shirt.
After joining Jonny inside for his first pint, Rich told some stories of home fermentation experiments that didn’t go exactly as planned. It is my understanding that Jonny has come a long way since those first attempts and is quite a good homebrewer now.
Around 30 people were waiting to experience Goshen’s first brewpub when the doors opened. I recognized many familiar faces as well as many new faces. A steady crowd flowed in and out and once again I was very impressed with the support from the community.
Since I was there, I made it through the rest of the beer list that I didn’t get to at the soft opening.
- RELATED: Hop Notes: Goshen Brewing Company will open Wednesday with eight great beers on tap, May 18, 2015
I was asked several times what is my favorite GBCo. beer. It is always so hard to answer that question, because there are so many different styles to like.
While I was waiting for my friend Dick to arrive, I ordered Shoot the Moon (black IPA, 6.3 percent ABV, IBUs 51). This was new to the menu since the soft opening, and I really, really like hoppy beers — Shoot the Moon did not disappoint.
It poured a pitch black with a nice, thick tan head. There was plenty of pine and citrus in the aroma and flavor with a big malt backbone. It was medium bodied with a good roasted malt flavor that was nicely balanced with the hops.
I have had The Grind (coffee brown ale, 6 percent ABV, IBUs 15) before, but it is currently offered on both CO2 and nitrogen taps. Nitrogen generally delivers a creamier mouthfeel and since I had not had it on nitrogen, that is the way I ordered it.
There was a good nutty flavor with roasted malts coming through, with a good strong coffee flavor. If you do not enjoy coffee, though, I do not recommend this beer.
Goshen Brewing Co. Young Scotch Ale (Eric Strader/Hop Notes
Lastly, I sampled Young Soul (Scotch Ale, 6.7 percent ABV, IBUs 18). There were some differing opinions around our table as to the favorite of the two Scotch Ales. I thought that Young Soul had a bit more complex flavor, but I may just have to spend some more times with these two beers.
Even though it was only comfortably busy in the afternoon, I imagine it was quite a bit busier during dinner time. Jesse (the brewer), Jesse (the chef) and crew seem to have things pretty well in hand. However, I do recommend not being in a hurry these first few days, and give them a bit of grace as they work out any of the small kinks they many encounter.