Tour of Thomas Creek Brewery

A few of we The Bird & Baby Philosophy Club folks were given a tour of Thomas Creek Brewery here in Greenville, South Kackalacky. Big bearded Bill, an architect for 42 years, and now co-founder (along with his son) of his second dream career, showed us around.

Definitely a worthwhile visit, not least because of the free samples. We got to walk around the place with small glasses of the Pump House Porter and the Up The Creek IPA.

We went from (forgive the lack of technical, aka correct terms) the mashing tanks to the fermenting tanks to the filters and finishing tanks to the bottling machines. And the whole thing was done at a leisurely Southern pace that was occasionally frustrating ("What's next, what's next?") but mostly led to an easy back-and-forth as Bill and our little group asked questions and discussed beer. If you live in the area, try calling them and setting up a tour.

I have to be honest and say that until yesterday I was not familiar with a good few of their beers. Besides the ubiquitous (in this area) Amber and Red, I had had their porter, which I like, although it can be a little fruity. The Amber and the Red are forgettable, to be honest, but the sad thing about it is that most local grocery stores stock only those two Thomas Creek brands, which does them a disservice. Still, you can pick up all their beers at Whole Foods in Greenville.

If you haven't had the Up The Creek, do it. It's an "extreme beer", but it's not as outrageously floral as you might think. It's smooth, with a touch of an almost creamy Belgian element of dark fruit and spice. Buy some.