BY MIKE PUCKETT
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Cycler’s Brewing Company is located in Montgomery, Texas. That is about all you need to know as the tasting room here is not open to the public. It is only on rare occasions that the outside world gets the pleasure of stepping foot on to the property where the brewery sits. This is a special place that took extremely detailed directions to get to. Hidden deep inside the beautiful Sam Houston National Forest, we finally found a gate that lead us to one of my favorite breweries in Texas.
Just traveling through the Sam Houston National Forest is a treat in itself. This is such a beautiful area and only one of four National Forests in the state. I can see why my new buddy Clay decided to live in these parts and as I get a chance to see the property a bit… I have to admit, I’d like to stay!
So the brewery is in a large building overlooking the lake and we aren’t positive that we are in the right place, but are immediately greeted by a number of super friendly dogs, which is great! Finally I get the wonderful aroma from the brewing process and make my way towards the gold mine. This a very cool place! As you can see in the photography they have a cool little tasting room with enough taps to make a guy like me really happy. We take a tour of the facilities and I am really impressed. After visiting so many breweries all over the country I have a good understanding of what kind of work goes into brewing your own beer and it really becomes a piece of you.
We head upstairs and it is absolutely country cool. They have their own man cave with ping pong, darts a pool table, well you get the picture. It is kind of hike to get up here, but the view is amazing in both directions. You have the lake out the window on one side and shiny tanks full of craft beer on the other. I can imagine there have been some good times up here and hope to be invited back to test that theory.
So we make our way back down to try the beers and out comes a buddy of Clay’s. That is what I love about Texas on a summer night. People are so friendly out here in the country and just all around good people. Clay asks us if we would like to try a pint out of the tank that is ready go as of today. I will be drinking the freshest beer I have ever had. What an amazing experience, it is out of this universe!
We all hang-out for a bit and then Clay’s wife arrives. Come to find out, she is a foodie and we get to talking about restaurants in the area and who we are going to visit. Come to find out this all has a large impact on Cycler’s Brewing. They explain that they have always enjoyed the taste elements in food. Clay said they just transferred this over into their varied creation of ales and the taste elements they enjoyed. Wha-Laa! Cycler’s Brewing in a nut shell.
Well we had to go, and way too early I might add. I will jump at the chance to make it back out here and pay a visit to my new friends and break bread with wonderful craft beer to pair. Clay said they make it out to the city from time to time and partner up with different restaurants for special dinners with pairings. So if you hear about one of these events, I highly suggest you go and enjoy yourself as much as we did out here. It was really a great time, right along with great beer
PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE PUCKETT
Good Eats says you need to taste the beers below at Cycler’s Brewing Company…
ABV 5% 10 IBU
Our American version of a Belgian Wheat Ale. Traditionally unfiltered. Along with the Wheat Malts and Organic Oats, you’ll find hints (yes… hints, not bombastic amounts) of Coriander, Lavender, and Bitter Orange peel, which gives it a slight lemony touch. We use aged hops, so there is very low levels of hops in both taste and aroma. Our Wit beer helps to sooth that summer heat away, just like a domestique (helper) that brings water and supplies from the support cars up through the peleton to the front end riders for relief.
English Style IPA
ABV 6.4% 62 IBU
Our British friends needed hops to preserve their beer in the long voyages over the ocean to the British Indian colonies. Preservation is necessary when it comes that time that you feel you can breakaway from the main field. Nice and hoppy with a properly balanced malt front end, and significant aroma that carries’ thru on the taste. This is Cyclers View of what an example of an English IPA should taste like, with an immediate crack on the taste buds from the vast variety of hops. This beer has a wonderful full flavor profile. Grapefruit and a slightly pine backbone.
ABV 6.6% 68 IBU
Back In the day, it was ruled that Rye would only be used for making bread. That didn’t last long.. Rules….We all know how we feel about rules! Especially mountain bikers! These guys are risk takers! Trails, tree roots, mountain sides, just don’t matter! We took that same mentality, along with the risks, creating this beer. Rather pale in color, having a sharp, complex, grainy flavor, and well…you guessed it..HOPS!! No rules for this beer.
55-11 DOUBLE RED
Imperial Red Ale
ABV 7.9% 62 IBU
In a competitive time trial race, If you select this gear package…You better be a man! (or woman if it fits). But if you can successfully turn it, the rest of the field better watch out! The same holds true with our Imperial Red. Murky, malty, almost plum like color, with a tan head. Little hop bite, but balances well. Hits your mouth with a decadently sweet toffee and toasted nut flavor and then scours it away with citrus and pine hop spiciness. You think you can turn this one?
PALMARÈS, RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT
RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT
ABV 9% 82 IBU
A Cyclist Palmarès is quite simply a list of the individual riders accomplishments. Our Russian Imperial Stout was a defining moment for Cyclers Brewing, and landed high on the list of our achievements. One accomplishment for the majority of us might be just getting on a Bike with our family, or friends, or staying true to our training regimen, despite the conditions. Regardless of our individual Palmares, a basic rule of training is to train what you aim for. Training with an intensity close to your Maximal Oxygen consumption (Vo2 Max) is the most effective way to increase your performance. We took this same frame of mind in creating this jet black, smooth, slick, masterpiece!
ABV 8.5% 78 IBU
In the Cycling world, there’s a lot of hub-bub about the pronunciation and spelling of this word. Just remember, Dee-Rail-ur. Simply put, it’s a mechanism that transfers the chain from one set of gears to another. Its important to have your gears shift smoothly, and we took this same idea to combine these two styles of beer into one great tasting motion. Malt forward with gravity is the order for Scotch ales, and the porter style balances this with chocolate and roasted flavors. A fluid peddling style is important for a good cyclist and is most desired. Our Scotch/Porter’s smooth transition into the slightly roasted finish will give you a whole new meaning to the word DeRailleur!
PALMARÈS, RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT
RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT
ABV 10.8 %
Our Palmeres Russian Imperial Stout aged with bourbon.
Trappist – Abbey Style Double
The Belgian Dubbel is a rich malty beer with some spicy / phenolic and mild alcoholic characteristics. Not as much fruitiness as the Belgian Strong Dark Ale but some dark fruit aromas and flavors may be present. Mild hop bitterness with no lingering hop flavors. It may show traits of a steely caramel flavor from the use of crystal malt or dark candy sugar. Look for a medium to full body with an expressive carbonation.
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