Add A Comment September 3rd, 2012

Rockmill Brewery Visit

Posted by Kyle

Mike and I are fortunate enough to work at a really great company. In addition to comprehensive benefits, a fun environment, and genuinely rewarding work, our employer takes us to places like Rockmill Brewery for our summer outing, like they did this year. The only unfortunate thing is that Mike was on vacation when we went.

That fact aside, the visit was incredibly enjoyable. Right around noon, about 40 of us hopped on a bus and made the trek down to Lancaster, Ohio, where Rockmill’s facility is located. After we arrived at their gorgeous estate, we were taken into their tasting room where Matthew Barbee and his crew had prepared a sizable food spread, with each dish to be paired with one of their five Belgian varieties on hand: Witbier, Saison, Dubbel, Tripel, and Cask-Aged Tripel. Some of the food pairings included pork belly sliders, fried chicken with kale crepes, and a tomato gazpacho, among others.

The food was delicious, and paired wonderfully with their hand-crafted brews. While we were imbibing, we were very much left to our own devices; some people wandered the grounds looking for the rumored waterfall, some received a thorough explanation of the various beer styles, and others just sat back and soaked up some rays on a beautiful Ohio afternoon.

After a while, once we were all fairly well-lubricated, Matthew took us on a tour of his production facility. Housed in an old stable, the brewery wasn’t anything like what I was expecting. It was really straightforward. Just a scaled up, very refined, hombrewing setup. He explained that their low-tech approach afforded them quite a degree of control over their process, a process that starts with the unique — and fairly perfect — water supply they have running through their backyard, and ends in one of their 18 50-gallon Blichmann fermenters or nine OYO whiskey barrels.

Matthew and his team were extremely gracious hosts, and very knowledgeable guides who patiently answered any and all of my questions about their yeast strains, production schedule, distribution channels, future plans, et al. But instead of me just telling you about all that, I recommend you take an afternoon and head down there yourself. The tasting room is now open to the public on weekends, and I’m sure Matthew, his team, and their brew dog Scooby would love to have you. Maybe you’ll even see Mike there, making up for his missed opportunity.

Leave a Reply