Motorworks Taproom Takeover – April 14, 2018

So, it’s been a while. Life keeps getting in the way of writing time. I have notes for a couple of weeks’ worth of beers, and I hope to start playing catch up. However, I have a write-up that needs to jump to the front.

MW LogoThis past Saturday, 4/14, the 7th Hill Taproom had a Tap Take Over by Motorworks Brewery. To save you the need to look up Motorworks, they are out of Bradenton, Florida. A former manager of 7th Hill is the representative for Motorworks in the area, and it was exciting to see what beers she had to offer. Let’s just say of the 24 taps, 16 of them were replaced with Motorworks brews. Talking with the current manager, they are planning on leaving the brews up for a little while, which means I get to sample the beers that I didn’t get around to on Saturday. I’ll apologize now for the lack of pictures, I was a little distracted.
7th Hill MW Takeover

I’d like to do a shout out to Dehawk and Hemisharp for joining me for this particular Saturday. It was nice to have someone to compare notes with. We also made some interesting discoveries. First, the total sensory experience of drinking beer is affected by the type of glass used. I was drinking primarily from tulip shaped glasses so that I could get a clear picture of aroma, and one of the guys was drinking from 5oz sampling glasses. The aroma was very different between the two. The other thing is I was pulling one beer at a time, where as one of the guys was pulling 4 beers to create a flight. Interestingly, the aroma and flavor experience was pretty different for those beers that rested longer because he was slowly drinking his flight.

Based on this information, I plan on writing about my experience by pulling one beer at a time and immediately drinking it. This is likely to let me write a fairly consistent experience. I am simply fascinated how a beer can go from a Citrus aroma to having a hint of gym socks.

Enough chit chat, now for the beers:

Hearth and Harvest

Brewer: Motorworks (Bradenton, FL)MW Hearth and Harvest
Style: Coffee Rye Ale
ABV: 10.5%
IBU: ?
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 10oz Tulip
Rating: Good

The Hearth and Harvest was described as having some flavor qualities of a Barleywine. I debated starting with this particular beer, because I was concerned about the impact of a strong beer on my senses. After talking it over with the crew, I decided to go for it.

When it was poured, it was a very dark beer with a whitish head. The smell was that of coffee with a light malt and a hint of fruitiness. The texture of the beer was think and coating, almost syrupy, with a mild carbonated feel. The flavor was a sweet, with strong coffee and a slight fruitiness. Overall the beer worked really well, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not sure that it’s a top 10 beer, but it’s definitely one that I will drink again, if it’s available. One of my fellow conspirators said that it was probably the best beer he’s had in a while.


2 Stroke

Brewer: Motorworks (Bradenton, FL)
Style: Double IPA (Indian Pale Ale)
ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 130
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 10oz Tulip
Rating: Good

This was the second beer of the day. It was also the second of two Motorworks beers that wasn’t self-serve. IPAs are some of my favorite beers, and this one didn’t disappoint. The beer poured a dark gold with a creamy white head. The aroma was a hoppy citrus, tending toward grapefruit, as would be expected by an IPA. The flavor was a strong grapefruit with a slight bitterness, almost like a bit of orange rind. In the mouth it was a very light beer with a light carbonation. In all, it was a solid Double IPA. Needless to say, the Motorworks lineup was not disappointing me at this point.


Midnight Espresso

Brewer: Motorworks (Bradenton, FL)MW Midnight Espresso
Style: Coffee Porter
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 32
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 5oz Tulip
Rating: Great

The manager recommended this one to me, right off the bat. I really enjoy a well done coffee porter, and believe me you can get this combination wrong, and when it’s wrong it produces a beer that is undrinkable. Motorworks Midnight Espresso is hands down one of the best Coffee Porters that I have had. The sales rep said that for this one, the brewery roasts their own Sumatran coffee beans, brews the coffee, and centrifuges that coffee for concentrated coffee goodness.

The Midnight Espresso poured dark with a creamy mocha colored head. The aroma was strong coffee with hints of dark roasted malt. The flavor was Coffee first with hints of roasted malt, chocolate and a little bit of smokiness. The beer was smooth with a very slight carbonation. All in all, the aroma and flavor worked very well together. I enjoyed it so much that I used the remaining balance on my tab to pull a full 10 ounces before calling it a day. Definitely a top 10 coffee porter, for me.


Lavender Ale

Brewer: Motorworks (Bradenton, FL)
Style: Scottish Ale
ABV: 6%
IBU: 0
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 5oz Tulip
Rating: Good

This one was my first foray into some of the odder beers on the list. In doing so, I learned a few things. Scottish ales. I had mistaken a Scotch Ale as being the same as a Scottish Ale. The Scottish ale is fairly light where a Scotch ale is really heavy. So, imagine my surprise when the Lavender Ale came out light and refreshing, instead of thick and heavy.

The Lavender Ale pours a brownish gold with a light white head. The smell light and flowery with a hint of hops. It was definitely Lavender. The flavor was sweet and was what I would I expect Lavender to taste like. The beer had a creamy texture with a very light carbonation. Everything about this beer was about being light and flowery. It was pretty surprising. I will definitely drink it again, if given the change, however, it would be interesting to see how many of these I could drink before the flavor became too much for me.


Mango Habanero Snowflake

Brewer: Motorworks (Bradenton, FL)
Style: New England IPA (Indian Pale Ale)
ABV: 6.9%
IBU: 85
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 5oz Tulip
Rating: It’s Aight

This one was my next odd beer on the list to try. I say that it’s odd because Mango and Habanero are two things that I would never really associate with an IPA. In hindsight, I probably should have tried the normal Snowflake to make the comparison of the base product to the enhanced product. Maybe, I will get to try it on Tuesday.

This beer poured a cloudy light gold with a light white head, which is about right for an unfiltered IPA. The aroma was a little sweet and fruity, with what could be mango. The flavor was a bit surprising in that not only was it mango fruity, but it had a bit of heat. The heat was a quick flash that didn’t linger long. In all, it wasn’t a bad beer. Given it’s unique characteristics, I felt that it was ok and that I might be tempted to drink it again.


El Challaco

Brewer: Motorworks (Bradenton, FL)
Style: Passion Fruit Chica
ABV: 5.0%
IBU: None
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 5oz Tulip
Rating: Meh

According to the sales rep, the El Challaco is a traditional South American beer made with maize as its primary grain. I’ll have to ask a couple of people that I know from South America about this type of beer and try to get their take on it. Anyway, this makes it the third odd beer that I was going to try. I guess that I was in the mood for sampling brews that were outside of my box.

I have to say that El Challaco was probably my least favorite of the day. The beer had a reddish/pinkish tint to it, with a whitish head. Given the lighting, I couldn’t tell if the head was pink, also. The aroma was a mix of sweet, sour and fruitiness. The flavor was odd it was tart, not quite like a sour, and had hints of fruit. There was something else that I can’t describe, like it wasn’t malty, but something else. The other interesting thing was that it had a dry finish, almost like a dry wine or champagne. I’m not a big fan of dry beverages, and the flavor wasn’t in my wheelhouse, which was why I only gave it a Meh.


Pulp Friction

Brewer: Motorworks (Bradenton, FL)MW Pulp Friction
Style: Grapefruit IPA (Indian Pale Ale)
ABV: 6.3%
IBU: 85
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 5oz Tulip
Rating: Great

The Pulp Friction is one of Motorworks Core Lineups, like the Midnight Espresso. This is one of the beers that had a vastly different experience depending on the type of glass used and the amount of time you took after the pour. It was very interesting to witness beers poured from the same line be that different.

Anyway, the beer was a medium golden with a light white head. The aroma, at least for me, was very citrus that tended more toward tangerine, instead of grapefruit. There were also hints of hoppiness. This was hands down my favorite smelling beer. The flavor was a very strong grapefruit with a slight bitterness. The feel was light with a slight carbonation. It’s hard for me to say if I liked this one more than the Midnight Espresso. These two beers alone make a very strong lineup for the core, in my opinion.



Brewer: Motorworks (Bradenton, FL)
Style: Kolsch
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: None
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 5oz Tulip
Rating: Ok

As my sampling day was winding down, one of the guys recommended that I give the Cruiser a spin. He felt that it would be refreshing on a hot day out in the yard. As a result, I made it my last beer of the day.

The Cruiser poured a light golden with a white creamy head. The aroma was a light malt with a slight hop, and oddly a hint of cucumber. The beer was light with a hint of fruitiness. It had a slightly dry finish to it. For me, it was an oddly unremarkable beer. It wasn’t really my type of beer, either that or being at the end of a 8 beer sampling run I could give it the credit it deserved.


In Summary

I have to admit that I loved the part of the Motorworks lineup that I was able to try. I like when a brewery’s view point comes close to matching my own. I managed to get through half of the beers that were brought in. If it wasn’t for a previous commitment, I would have tried to sample all 16. My two favorites were part of their Core brews. The rest were seasonals that were a mixed bag of beers that ran from good to not so good. In all, it was a good sampling day.


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