Right Brain Brewery | Concrete Dinosaur
Often when I have friends who travel outside of Chicago they’ll text me when they wander into a local brewery and ask if I want them to pick me up any beer. Every time the answer is ‘yes’ and that allows me to try beers from all over the country without having to leave the Second City.
When my friend Erin was in Traverse City, Mich. (her boyfriend is a founder at Hop Lot Brewing Company), she went to Right Brain Brewery and asked if I wanted anything. I’ve heard of Right Brain but had never had anything from them so of course I took her up on the offer to pick me up a beer from the brewery.
She came back with Concrete Dinosaur, their Brown Rye IPA that took home a silver medal at the 2015 GABF in the Rye Beer category. I didn’t give her any suggestions on what to bring back so the fact that she brought back such a highly coveted beer was very exciting.
The beer pours a dark brown which should be expected for a brown rye. On the nose you get light citrus and floral notes but nothing too overpowering. This beer packs a punch when it comes to the rye taste but it’s very well balanced and a really delicious beer. If you don’t like the rye flavor you’re not going to like this beer but for a rye IPA this is one of the best and very deserving of a GABF medal.
What I really liked about this beer was the different flavor profiles that you get in one sip. It’s malty then a bit bitter on the end all while showcasing the strong rye flavor. I think rye IPAs are a bit harder to brew than a standard IPA because of the different flavors you have to work with and Right Brain nailed this one.
Many people that I’ve talked to about this beer describe the classic bitterness of an IPA but say that it might even have a bit more bitterness than a standard IPA. For me I didn’t get that much bitterness. Yes of course it’s an IPA so it will have some later bitterness but I thought overall the rye flavor took control of this beer.
It’s always exciting getting to try new beers that are not normally available to you. Right Brain is fairly well-known for being way up north in Michigan. They feature a wide variety of year-round beers but also feature a nice rotating selection of seasonal beers.
MIKE ZOLLER IS THE CHICAGO EDITOR FOR PORCHDRINKING.COM. FOLLOW HIM ON INSTAGRAM: @CHICAGOBEER AND PORCHDRINKING CHICAGO’S TWITTER FEED: @PORCHDRINKCHI