Beer Run: Boylan Bridge Brewpub

beer tasting flight at Boylan Bridge Brewpub

beer tasting flight at Boylan Bridge Brewpub

On a windy, warm Saturday afternoon, you could feel like you’re at the beach on the outdoor deck of Boylan Bridge Brewpub in downtown Raleigh, N.C. Except that the roar you hear is a passing train, not waves. Before long, there may be a view of Kudzu Jesus to admire. I felt a little guilty having to drive to this spot, since it’s such a great walking destination for residents of nearby Boylan Heights and other downtown denizens.

Owner Andrew Leager, a cabinetmaker who has a business in the basement of the brewpub, offers a list of beers and rotating seasonal brews. Boylan Bridge is also a restaurant, so you can order salads and sandwiches.

My husband and I ordered the tasting flight of all six beers currently offered: Public Transportation Pale Ale, Gantlet Golden Ale,  Trainspotter Scottish Ale, Southbound Stout, Pullman Porter and Sidetrack Summer Ale. The flights came on a conveniently labeled placemat that made it easy to keep the beers straight. I’ve learned in our “beerventure” so far that I do not like the bitterness of heavy hops flavor. The Pale Ale had a lot of hops and the Gantlet Golden Ale, even more. I felt like all I could taste was hops. The Pullman Porter had a more complex flavor, a fascinating blend of roasty-toasty tastes and coffee that seemed to change with each sip. This would be an interesting beer to cook with. (Barbecue sauce or chocolate cake? And why doesn’t the brewpub kitchen cook with the beers?) The weather was a little warm for me to appreciate the Southbound Stout, but it had a thick, creamy head.

The Scottish Ale, with its sweet, slightly roasted flavor, was my husband’s favorite. Maybe it was the day and longing for the beach, but I liked the Sidetrack Summer Ale. It was light in flavor, not too bitter, and just a nice beverage for the day.

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