Equinox Brewing had their grand opening yesterday. Equinox is located right next to (and is a part of) Hops and Berries a local homebrew supply. The SWMBO and I was there yesterday and I thought I would give my impressions.
First - I think the owner, Collin, has a great idea. He is focusing his business on the homebrew community and will be offering recipes for each beer he has on tap (although on the opening day the recipes were no yet available). There were many home brewers in attendance on the opening day and I got into some great conversations with a few of them - really enjoyed it!
Second - My wife and I really liked the "feel" of the place. The storefront is nondescript but inside the muted pastel wall paint and dark wood work impart a relaxing feeling. This is a place where I could spend some time with friends.
Third - As you can imagine the place was busy! You order your beer at the bar and most of the time there was a long line. My wife and I were lucky to get a seat at the bar. Many people had to stand. The staff was great! They were struggling to serve the beer quickly but this is just opening day stuff. They all had great attitudes. I asked one of the servers a question about there brewing process that he could not answer. Almost a half hour later, when the owner, Colin, came behind the bar to help, the server remembered my question and came to me with the answer - even though they were CRAZY BUSY! It is obvious that their mission is to support the home brewer! Great service!
Fourth - Oh yes the beer. I was surprised that they had so many offerings on tap. The six beers they had on regular tap was:
* Zenith IPA
* Orbit ESB
* Jonas Porter
* Sunrise Golden Ale
* Eclipse Brown
* Vernal Hefeweizen (Spring Seasonal)
They had two beers on beer engines
* Sunset Stout
* Dark IPA
And they had a firkin of Golden Ale! Lots of choice.
They offer tasting trays of either 4 or 6 tasters for $4 and $6 dollars respectively, your choice of beers. 20oz imperial pints are $4.50. A growler fill is $8.50.
I began my tasting session with a taster tray with 5 of the regular tap beers but I substituted the Dark IPA for the Sunrise Golden ale. My wife got a pint of the Stout. I really believe you can not get to "know" a beer from a taster. For me it takes a pint, however, the taster tray was a good start to see what beers I would like to try later. First impressions. The porter was good, the IPA OK, the dark IPA OK, the ESB I really liked, and the Hefeweizen I surprisingly liked. I am usually not a fan of banana flavors, but this Hef was well done.
Later I ordered a pint of the IPA - I began to really enjoy this well balanced beer. I then tried a pint of the Dark IPA. This IPA has a maltier finish that I liked. I heard a lot of positive comments about the Dark IPA. The last pint I had was the Golden Ale from the firkin. I usually like darker beers but this Golden had a malty taste that I enjoyed. My wife, who loves stouts, said the stout was really good.
So, although not an in-depth analysis of the beer, those were my first impressions. Equinox is definitely worth a visit if in the area. I look forward to many future visits and many discussions with fellow home brewers over a pint.