Lore Brewing Company | Derby Brown Ale
ABV: 5% | IBU: 40
WARNING: Cheesy horse racing references and puns abound in this review. There are also two allusions to How Stella Got Her Groove Back. I apologize in advance.
I don’t like to speak ill of any beer, but I also won’t endorse a beer just because it is “craft” or “local” or “Kentucky Proud” or has a clever name (though that may be why I buy it in the first place). That said, my last two reviews have been a bit on the pessimistic side, but today’s beer helped this Stella get his groove back. Having been disappointed by my last horse-themed Kentucky brew, I decided to get back in the proverbial saddle, and throw my money down on the progeny of another marriage of Commonwealth tradition and brewing creativity. This time the mount would be a relative newcomer to the Central Kentucky Beer scene, Lore Brewing Company (Danville, KY). They have just begun distribution in the Central Kentucky area selling 22 ounces of both their Freya’s Stone Amber Ale, and their Derby Brown Ale (appropriately titled for this time of the year). I went for the latter.
When poured into a pint glass Lore Brewing’s Derby Brown Ale sports a dark, coffee brown body accented nicely with a frothy cream-colored cap. Derby Brown starts off as a typical brown ale, chocolate and coffee flavors abound. No nuttiness in this one. But, then creep in the hops. A strong hop presence is not something to which I am accustomed in a brown ale, but at 40 IBU their pleasant presence cannot be ignored. Nor should it be, as the slightly sweet but mostly bitter finish balances the darker malt start very well. This is a really nice beer that I could drink on a regular basis (Stella be groovin’).
With exception only to the fact that their company logo comes uncomfortably close to the lower back tat of your mid-30s Waffle House waitress, Lore Brewing Company has a lot going for it. This beer, in particular, hits the beer shop quick stop trifecta: 1) it is a very good beer, balanced and pleasant to drink; 2) it comes in a 22 oz. bottle, perfect for a one off on a work night (also it looks cool in a paper bag when drinking it on the porch or stoop or walking down the street); 3) the label art captivates as a graphic of a moustachioed man in a brown derby hat positions itself front and center. Final results for the Derby Brown Ale – it wins in every place that it shows.