Franklin's Brewery

Friday, December 24, 2010

Old Miser

Its that time of year again when spirits are merry and tidings are good. Sometimes this can get a bit overwhelming and when it does sometimes you need a little something to take things down a notch. That's where our Old Miser steps in with its rich warm malt body,hint of molasses, mellow fruitiness and 8.5% ABV to take the stress off the holidays. Who knows, after a glass or two you might actually find yourself with more cheer than before.


Highland Hugh

Scotch ales are big bold statements of a beer. They fill you with sweet warm cheer and never leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Our Scotch ale is no different as its brewed with a thousand pounds of malt and a touch of dark brown sugar. We also take the time to slowly caramelize a portion of the wort in the kettle by preheating it, allowing it to slowly trickle in and boiling it down. What's left is a full bodied dark copper ale rich in caramel malt sweetness and a warming alcohol presence. Highland Hugh is named after Hugh Colston, a long time friend of Franklin's. I first met Hugh almost a year ago upon my arrival. Hugh welcomed me with a sweet warm cheer and always had a great story to tell me. Farewells are never an easy thing in life, so instead we'd like to say welcome Hugh, with a beer that we hope brings as much warmth and good times as you did.


Monday, November 15, 2010


In ancient times...
Hundreds of years before the dawn of history
Lived a strange race of people... the Druids

No one knows who they were or what they were doing
But their legacy remains
Hewn into the living rock... Of Stonehenge

I just couldn't resist a Spinal Tap reference for a beer that is a revival of an "ancient" English beer style. English Dark Milds can be some of the most interesting and satisfying of session beers. They can have a rich and complex malt depth while still have a light and refreshing body. Stonehenge is no different with its deep ruby brown color accented by roasted malt lending a touch reminiscent of coffee and sweet finish.

Pumpkin Pie Stout

It was ten years ago this autumn while brewing at IncrediBREW in Nashua, NH that I formulated my first ever brewing recipe, Pumpkin Pie Stout. So with the harvest season upon us and the dreaded thought of brewing the traditional old pumpkin ale I went back to my Hall of Beer Records and dug up my virgin brew. Ten years gone things are bound to change including tweaking this recipe slightly to marry a more modern approach to brewing as well as increasing the batch size from 15 gallons to 310! This recipe was quite fun to create and brew, but not to cleanup after. For those of you in the know the first attempt at brewing this beer was met with a bit of disaster. While trying to bring the wort to a boil in the kettle I had some mechanical issues with the brew house and couldn't generate steam flow into the kettle to bring it to a boil. This resulted in the infamous home brew Stout giveaway....more on that story to follow. So with a few repairs made we were back up running the following week and the results can now be tasted for yourself here at Franklin's. The recipe utilizes English Maris Otter malt for a rich malt profile,along with Crystal,Roasted and Chocolate malts giving this beer a rich black color,tan head and full body. The nose is a blend of pumpkin,spices(cinamon/nutmeg) and roasted malt. Sipping through the creamy nitro pour you'll be awakened by liquid pumpkin pie, minus the whipped cream. Roasted malts balance the sweetness as the pumpkin coats and your tongue sizzle with the dazzling of seasonal spices. Enjoy it now bef0re your Mom gives your relatives the leftovers to take home.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hop E Soul

The Hippity Hoppity Series
Volume 3

Beer glass beer glass on the bar
Tell me beer glass have I gone too far?
Could it be this watering hole
Or is it just my Hop E. Soul
What I brew ain't make believe
I brew it honest that's no lie
But when it comes to being Hop E
It's just me myself and rye

The third installment in the Hippity Hoppity Double IPA series is Hop E Soul. This beer is probably the most unique so far in the series as it utilizes a large percentage of malted rye in the grist bill which brings out an interesting spice character. Combined with heavy handed usage of Chinook,Liberty and Columbus hops it electrifies your palate with green bitterness,floral and citrus accents. Orangey-copper in color with a thick light tannish head, the aroma hits your nose with floral,citrus and spice. Its full body stickiness coats with an impression of bitter oranges and spicy grain as its 8.7 % ABV warms your mouth as it trickles towards its final resting place.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Well here we go, a Franklin's farm exclusive...Saison. OK, so I know we're not a farm brewery, but the spirit of this beer definitely is. Saison, which is French for season, is a rustic Belgian Farmhouse ale. Traditionally brewed by Wallonian(Southern Belgian)farmers during the fall and winter so that they could be consumed during the warmer weather. They are in short Belgian Pale Ales that are highly hopped (for Belgian standards),sometimes spiced and always very refreshing as they were consumed by farmhands who's access to potable water at the time was limited.

Our version is a pretty straight forward entry, made with 100% Pilsner malt, Saaz hops and a yeast from a classic Saison brewery in Belgium. Its moderately higher carbonation really helps the esters and hops come forward to your nose. On the first sip it attacks you with a pleasant bitterness,citrus, a touch of tartness and a subtle sweetness in the finish.

Miami Weiss-Version 2.0

Great literature isn't written, it's rewritten...

We just tapped our new batch of Miami Weiss yesterday, a slight reformulation from the version we introduced this spring. This time around I added twice as much Orange Blossom Honey and three times the sweet orange peel. In addition I changed the hopping to try to bring a little more citrus into the fold. In the end I think we are closer to the vision of a South Florida orange grove in your mouth,fortified with barley of course. This version has a bit more honey upfront and in the nose, while the citrus zest from Centennial hops have a lingering finish. American Wheat beers don't all have to be boring, this one is far from it...though far from perfection, stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Overdue Oktoberfest

Hey all a quick shout out since I'm overdue on an update, we just tapped our Oktoberfest tonight (September 22 2010).I'm very happy with the way this beer turned out considering all the issues we had this summer. This pseudo lager was fermented at 55 degrees and lagered for three weeks at near freezing temperatures. Its crisp,clean with a toasted malt backbone and balanced with enough hops not to be cloyingly sweet. It checks in at 5.7% but is extremely quaffable, come on in and tell me what you think yourself.

As you all know we've had some issues here at the brewery this summer, but I'm happy to say things look they are in the clear . We now have full temperature control of all our fermenters and I've already started the exciting process of brewing and filling them up. Right now we've got Oktoberfest batch #2 lagering, Hop E Soul (double rye IPA),Sierra Madre and a Belgian Saison that's pumping in as I type.Upcoming beers include Miami Weiss version 2.0, an undecided upon Stout and bigger beers for the cooler months...stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Malty Mark and the Hoppy Bunch

The Hippity Hoppity Series
Volume 2

Come on sniff it.
Come on sip it.
It's such a good emanation.
It's such a bitter sensation.
I've a got my pint so get yours.
I wanna see lupulin comin' out your pores.
Strictly High Alpha-Hop boy, I ain't slingin' this.
I’m sippin’ this.
Bringing this to Franklin’s nation.
Come on come on.
Sip it sip it.
Taste the sensation.

The second installment in the Hippity Hoppity Double IPA series is Malty Mark and the Hoppy Bunch. As the name would suggest, a malty profile was sought for this beer, so almost 50% of the grain bill was Munich,Vienna and Cara-Vienna malts. This helped bring out a richer malt character to go up against a bunch of hops (pun intended). Kettle additions were Warrior,Centennial and the unlikely Saaz. Saaz is a noble hop of Czech heritage with a profile that typically resembles earthy,herbal and spicy flavors/aromas. Its not really known for its use in IPA, but I've had some really nice Imperial Pilsner done with Saaz and wanted to try it out myself.The beer was later dry hopped with a blend of Saaz, Centennial and Amarillo, the latter two giving off more of that familiar Pacific Northwest character of fruity citrus.

The result is a double IPA with a rich orange color and white head. The nose is a unique blend of herbal spice and mellow citrus. The flavor hits you with a big bitterness and warming malt sensation, leading into a long lingering bitter finish. Overall, this Double IPA is unlike anything I've ever brewed before, it truly has its own unique hop character and I encourage you to try it for yourself and give me your feedback.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bear with us

Hey everyone, just wanted to give you all a heads up to the goings on around here and apologize for any inconveniences you might encounter in the upcoming weeks. We've been having some major issues with our chilling system that controls our fermenters and because of that have had a long layoff in between batches. We're now running at about 40% so I was able to get two brews in this past week, IPA and Blonde, and we hope after some upcoming repair work the Death Star will be fully operational. In the meantime there might be some gap in time of certain brands running out until we can get them on tap again, so please bear with us. We're not going to be even close to running out of beer, but we may not have every brand available. So maybe this is a chance to try something new and hopefully in a couple weeks things should be back to normal-The Franklin's Way.

Hope ya'll having a great summer.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Bourbon Smoked Porter on Cask Today

Just tapped our Bourbon Smoked Porter on cask and its tasting delicious.Smoked Porter aged on American white oak and Jim Beam Bourbon. First come, first serve, don't expect this to make it past tonight.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Take home a little Bliss

Well kids, I've gone and done it now. Here at Franklin's we are now selling pre-filled one liter growlers out of the General Store.A while back Papa Franklin and I went up to Duclaw Brewing and checked out a one head counter pressure bottle filler they had for sale and well...bought it, along with a sh$* ton of one liter flip tops. So last week Jared Aumen(the brewery's summer intern/lackey) and myself took the task of filling these packages complete with a label.The first offering is our Tripel Bliss, a Belgian-style Tripel that checks in at 9% ABV. These one liter flip tops are unfortunately not refillable in the pub, but they have many other great uses including using them for home brewing,crafts, storing oil/vinegar/homemade hot sauce or anything else you can think of.These are limited, so when we sell out we sell out. We don't intend to package our whole lineup, mainly just some of the bigger/specialty beers that we feel will hold up decently in the bottle.


Friday, June 25, 2010

From Dairy to Brewery

Today we welcome our Milk Stout to the taps for our customers to enjoy. Now as we know, historically stout derived from porters in the 18th century, Milk Stout hit its height following World War II. In fact it was common for breweries to tout its nutritional value and promoted it to nursing mothers.Now while we are in no way touting our Milk Stout as a replacement for any of your daily vitamins, we do believe it will hit the spot for the kid in you that wants a more "grown up" chocolate milkshake. Now to make it clear, this beer is in fact brewed with lactose (milk) sugar so if you have an intolerance to this sugar derived from cow's breast milk than I suggest you avoid it. We're pouring this beer exclusively from our nitro tap at the upstairs bar so expect a rich creamy mouth feel with notes of creamy chocolate and subtle roast.

Picture note: The above image is not our Milk Stout, just thought it was a fun picture that conveyed the idea. We won't lace your glass with syrup before pouring, so don't even ask.

Peace, Love and Beer,

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Here's one for all you wheat beer drinkers out there, our Hefeweizen is soon to be tapped( most likely this weekend June 26-27). Its a beautiful looking beer with a deep hazy straw color and stark white head. It's very refreshing as it tips the scales at just under 5% ABV and has a devastatingly complex fruit and spice character.Personally I get a nice mix of banana,citrus,clove and mellow bread. Get it while you can as I expect the tank to go down quicker than a Bavarian sunset.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Operation keg kick

This past weekend's American Craft Beer Fest in Boston was a success in my mind as we poured 3900+ beers in under 7 hours of festival time. Accordingly to the festival staff we were the second brewery to run out of beer as we kicked the last drops of Sir Hop-a-Lot around 6:30pm Saturday night, 30 minutes into the last session, with 3 hours still left! We made a lot of good contacts, ran out of business cards and spread Franklin's Nation to crowds upwards 15,000 people over the three sessions.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

American Craft Beer Fest

Hey gang I'm heading up to Boston this weekend to pour Franklin's beer at's American Craft Beer Fest and marking the first time Franklin's will make an appearance on the New England beer scene. Boston is a strong craft beer market and already in the few months I've down here inside the Beltway I've had several visits from beer drinkers from these parts. Just trying to further our exposure and make sure that when beer lovers come to the D.C. Metro that we make their short list with the likes of places like the Brickskeller and Churchkey.....I know those are high hopes, but I think lofty goals are the ones most fun to strive for.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Even white boys got to shout!

We're proud to announce the first beer in the Hippity Hoppity Double IPA series, Sir Hop-a-Lot, has been tapped today. Coincidentally, today I brewed the next beer in the series, Malty Mark and the Hoppy Bunch.

Peace, Love and Lots and Lots of Hops,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Van Damme

"In an action film you act in the action. If it's a dramatic film you act in the drama." - Jean Claude Van Damme

"At Franklin's when you order food you eat it. If you order a beer you drink it." - To embarrassed to be sited in a public forum guy

So here we go the last of the bigger Belgians you'll see rolling out of the brewery for a while, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale....Van Damme. Why name a beer after JC? Why not? He's Belgian, has a great name and is one of the world's most sensitive action film stars.

Ok, maybe JC hasn't gotten better with age, but his namesake beer has. Its been lagering in the cellar for eight weeks and will no doubt hold up well as I plan on storing some of it away for future vintage releases. At 10.2 % ABV this beer has some interesting depth balancing a large Belgian malt bill including Special Aromatic,Biscuit,Cara-munich malts and over 100 pounds of sugar added to the kettle to help with some caramelized flavors and a lighter body. Abbey yeast from Belgium gives this beer a distinct fruitiness and complexity along with a touch of sweetness.

Like our beer menu states, "enjoy this from a tulip glass,minus the roundhouse kick".

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Hippity Hoppity Series

Volume 1

Sir Hop-a-Lot

I like big hops and I cannot lie.
You other hopheads can’t deny.
If you like ‘em bitter and juicy.
Taste this juicy double.
Hop-a-Lot’s in trouble.
This beer’s got hops!

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later, you know when your adolescence merges with adult hood. In this case its the hip hop music of the 80s & 90s merging with the big bold hop flavors of a Double IPA,thus giving birth to Franklin's Hippity Hoppity Series.

The first installment is Sir Hop-a-Lot
, an American Double IPA loaded with hops from front to "back". Despite its clever and witty name, this is a beer that's meant to be taken seriously. To ensure this I employed massive amounts of honorable hops including Warrior, to unleash the fight within and Glacier because SHL is not only hoppy, but cool. This however wasn't enough because I felt the need continue hopping this bad boy with Centennial,Chinook,Columbus and Simcoe. Enough hops already right? Wrong! Its a Double IPA which means its not finished until its dry hopped, so pound upon pound upon pound of hops were added directly to the fermenter. Now this is where a bit of selfish gluttony comes in...I dry hopped it a second time!! That's right,wash,rinse repeat..

So what's the outcome you ask, well its a highly drinkable 8% IPA loaded with the character of peaches,apricots,orange,grapefruit and basically an aroma I wish I could turn into an air freshener.
I'm watching and tasting this beer very closely to assure you the customer get the highest quality, but I can not guarantee how much this will yield or how long it will last. Look for it on tap in mid-June but don't be surprised if we're kicking the keg by Independence Day.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Smoked Porter

Our latest offering is one of my favorite styles of beer that I feel never gets enough love. Smoked Porters are sort of a niche beer in the way that people tend to love or hate them.The ones that love them tend to describe them at times as drinking a barbecue pit, the ones that hate them describe them the same way. I side with the former as I'm a fan of smoked food whether it be meats,fish or cheese. This is a great beer to enjoy with such treats as it will not get buried in flavor like some lighter ales and lagers might.
This version utilizes an English-style robust porter recipe consisting of mainly Maris Otter barley malt,Chocolate malt, Black Patent malt and caramel malts.The smoked malt however is derived from a German maltster who smokes their barley over Beechwood fires producing and extremely pleasant smokiness without much acrid character.Its hopped with English East Kent Goldings and fermented with an English ale yeast which leaves some subtle fruit esters and residual sweetness to help balance the smoke and roasted malts.At 5.5 % ABV its very session-able yet is a very full bodied beer.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bees do it

No, not that, they make honey, glorious,glorious honey.

Deep down inside all of us lurks a character that you would not simply match with what you know about someone's background. For me its that despite being from Northern New England a large part of my heart and soul is actually that of a Southern boy. Make all the jokes you want, but its not going to keep me from being ashamed of the fact that I enjoy collard greens, dirty rice and of course biscuits.

If only one could drink a biscuit.....

Our newest offering is a beer that combines Buckwheat honey and Belgian Biscuit malt. Buckwheat honey is much darker than other varietals, its coppery in color and is sometimes referred to as “black” honey because unless light shines through it, it appears to be very dark. It has a huge depth of flavor, often being very earthy with a rich malty molasses like character. Combine this with Belgian Biscuit malt which yields a very bready/toasty malt note and you have a very interesting Belgian Pale Ale we are calling Biscuit de Miel (Honey Biscuit). It checks in at 6.25% ABV, is unfiltered to allow its Belgian yeast to shine through with a complex fruit note and finishes with a slightly sweet flavor.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Extended Spring Training

Greetings y'all, its been quite the interesting spring and things are blooming here at Franklin's. Business seems to be rising with the thermometer so to help battle this upcoming heat we'll be releasing our Belgian-style wheat ale entitled Witty Twitty.

Belgian-style witbier (white in Flemish is wit,bière blanche in French),is traditionally a top-fermented(ale) beer that gets its name from the high percentage of wheat and yeast used in the recipe. Wheat proteins as well as a yeast that stays in suspension cause this beer to look very cloudy/hazy and since the beer is very light colored the appearance is said to be white( to me its more reminiscent of lemonade). This style derives from an age when hops were not common place in brewing and other flowers,herbs and spices were used to balance the sweetness by providing bitterness.

Our take on this style produces a brilliantly unfiltered and hazy ale with a fluffy white head. Its refreshingly light bodied and tart with subtle fruit and spice character. Look for it on tap this week!

Monday, April 19, 2010


^^^^^^^The new Blonde straight from the filter^^^^^^^

Watch out for these things, sometimes they appear out of nowhere, suck you in and make you not update your blog for three weeks...

In case anyone has been wondering what's been going on here at Franklin's, I'll give you the lowdown. The last few weeks has seen some new beers,revisions and old "new" favorites return.

First things first I'm happy to report our new batch of Bombshell Blonde hit the taps a couple weeks ago and I'm really happy with the results. There were no big changes with this beer, only a slight modification, but the results are highly noticeable. The major change with this beer was the use of our new house yeast which I implemented a "pseudo lager" fermentation. Fermenting this beer at lower temps (mid 50s F) helps make this beer much cleaner,smoother,crisper and anymore adjectives you'd like to throw on here. The result is a beer that although technically an ale resembles a lager due to its decrease in fruity esters and cleaner,crisper finish.Its already gaining more sales then the its previous versions and the weather is just starting to warm up, look out summer!

We've also tapped a new Belgian-style Tripel named Tripel Bliss. At 9% ABV this interpretation is quite legit as it incorporates a mix of fruit esters,delicate spice, candy sugar sweetness and a touch of alcoholic warmth underneath it all. Made with primarily Belgian Pilsner malt and a large addition of sugar this beer has enough complexity to continue to develop as it ages but is highly drinkable even now at eight weeks.

Finally we've tapped our encore batch of Golden Opportunity, but who am I kidding, this beer will no doubt be making more regular appearances throughout the year as time/space allows.Enjoy it while its here, if history is any indicator, it won't make it through Maryland graduation.
Every job has its perks.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Check out this article on----->

There's no press like free press,though they say the camera adds 100 pounds...damn cameras!

Posted by Drew Long, Mar 24, 2010

There's been a changing of the brewing guard in Hyattsville.

Charles Noll, Franklin's first and only brewer, has returned to upstate New York. In his place, owner Mike Franklin has hired Mike Roy, a New Hampshire native who was brewing and bottling at a Boston area brewpub chain.

Understandably, the switch caused some concern among Franklin's regulars. It caused a little concern for me. After all, I did just name them a Best Beer Bar. That means something, folks. Sure, Franklin's has also been touted by The Washington Post and the Washingtonian, but it's the seal of approval from your favorite blog that carries the weight around here. Charles was a talented brewer who built a loyal following and put the brewpub on local beer geeks' maps.

So how does Mike Roy follow that? By building on Charles' success and putting his own signature on the brewpub.

Although Franklin's is a favorite among local beer enthusiasts, the restaurant side of the operation is the money maker. Given the rise of craft beer and the notoriety Franklin's has gained, owner Mike Franklin sees an opportunity to improve the brewpub's brewing operation, a lot.

When Mike hired Mike (I know, this can get confusing), the owner told the brewer that if nothing else he expected him to maintain the popularity of the beer program. Ideally, though, both Mikes want Franklin's to be among the premier craft beer spots in the Baltimore-Washington area.

Based on the beers Mike Roy has produced in his short time at Franklin's, the new guy just might do it.

"You don't need 100 taps to be a great beer bar," Mike Roy told me. "You can have 10 taps and have a great beer bar."

(Quick aside. During the transition from Charles to Mike, the production of beer dropped a bit. As Mike Roy gets his new lineup of beers brewed, Mike Franklin put regional craft brewers on tap, including Heavy Seas, Troegs and Dogfish Head. He could've cut back on the number of beers available or put something cheaper on draft, but he didn't. That's worth noting.)

Out of the gate, Mike Roy is giving local beer geeks exactly what the want: hops and Belgian-style beers. Big, hoppy beers were a signature of his predecessor, and they will remain a staple of the Franklin's lineup, but they won't dominate the draught list as they did. Even Mike's first hoppy beer wasn't an IPA. Instead, Mike led with his hopped Scotch-style ale, Hop Zen. Scotch ales are traditionally a favorite of the malt-head set, thanks to their sweet, rich character, but Mike adds just enough hops to not only balance the malt, but give the beer a pronounced bitterness. It's a good beer.

In a couple weeks, the Hop Zen will be followed by a double IPA he's calling Hop Madness. Here again, Mike goes a little nontraditional. Most double IPAs follow the recent craft beer trend of big alcohol bombs (not that I'm complaining), ranging anywhere from 7 percent A.B.V. (Hair of the Dog's Blue Dot) to 18 percent (Dogfish Head's 120 Minute IPA), with most imperial IPAs pushing double digit A.B.V.s. So where does Mike's Hop Madness come in? At about 8 percent. As breweries continue to wage Cold War-like campaigns to make bigger, badder beers (See BrewDog v. Schorschbraeu), Mike is rolling out a double IPA his customers can quaff a couple of without falling off their stools.

During our interview, Mike gave me a sneak peak of the double (yeah, it's a good gig). While the beer is still a couple weeks from finishing, the flavors were all there. The bitter Columbus hops were braced with a dark, caramel malt, and the Simcoe buds gave the beer a beautiful citrus, hoppy nose and taste. It's going to be a good beer.

In addition to the hoppy beers, Mike has brewed a couple Belgian-style ales, Golden Opportunity and Dubbel Vision. If anything, this is the style Mike plans to use to make his name. Golden Opportunity is a 6.5 percent Belgian-style golden ale that's a little sweet and fruity, with the tell-tale clove notes and enough carbonation to give the beer some bite. Dubbel Vision, a Belgian-style dubbel, is richer than the golden ale, with a slightly molasses-like character, but only bit higher in alcohol 6.8 percent A.B.V. Of the five beers Mike has on draught now (there's also a red ale, dry stout and a porter) these two Belgian-style ales are his best. (If you're keeping score, Mike has made a golden ale and a dubbel. So yes, a Belgian-style triple is on the way. One day, that triple might be available by the bottle in Franklin's General Store.)

Mike also plans to tinker with Franklin's standards: the Twisted Turtle Pale Ale, the Bombshell Blonde, the Sierra Madre Pale Ale, and the Private IPA. It's not yet clear how different these beers will be, but Mike says that when he's done, only the names will be the same.

Belgian yeast strains and hoppy Scotch ales aren't the only things Mike brings to Franklin's. He's also started a blog to keep customers informed about the beers on tap and what's coming up. It's part of his plans to interact with his new regulars, so they can stay in the loop on what he's brewing and he can find out what's working for them and what's not.

Mike says he likes feedback and enjoys interacting with his customers. I might chalk this up to a new employee saying the right thing about his customers, but Mike is a gregarious guy. I stopped by Franklin's to do a quick interview, but we ended up talking for two hours, including a good 30 minutes on yeast strains, hops and beer brewing software. When we were done, he waded into the crowd waiting for him at the bar.

During our conversation, we also covered how he got from Boston to Hyattsville. In short, Mike's previous job at the brewpub chain Beer Works wasn't the best situation and Franklin's gave him the opportunity to take over the brewing operation of a thriving business.

He actually cut his teeth at the do-it-yourself brewery, IncrediBREW. By guiding novice brewers through the brewing process, Mike ended up cranking out dozens of beers a week and learning a lot about raw materials, yeast strains and the brewing process.

Now he's in a situation where he can use his 10 years of brewing experience to make a good beer operation great. And as head brewer, it's his vision that will take the brewpub where he and Mike Franklin want it to go.

"The day that I rest on what I did in the past is the day I need to get out of this industry."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Encore for the G.O.P.

That would be Golden Opportunity of course before your mind starts wandering into places where it shouldn't least not on this blog. What can I say? There was so much positive feedback from you, our loyal customers I gave this beer another go around.I mean one family approached me and told me that their mother never drinks beers, but she loved this and was asking to come back just to have about encouraging. I thought it would be popular but I under estimated its appeal and well "give them what they want". This of course makes me very hopeful for the warmer weather beers to come, including a Belgian Wit, German Hefeweizen and Belgian Saison. First things first though we'll need to drink our vegetables so help out and have a pint. Look for this beer in early April.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I've hit the BIG TIME!

The March Edition of the Hyattsville Life & Times...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hop Madness is almost here!

Near daily quality assurance tastes straight from the fermenter are telling me to stop hoarding good hop juice, its time to share this with you all. So in honor of our nation's celebrated student athlete peach basket tournament I give you Hop Madness. This week, that's right, just in time to follow your brackets, a Double I.P.A. to sooth your #4 seed losing to a #13...hey it happens, I could have warned you. Hop Madness checks in at 8.0% ABV and a wheel barrel full of IBU's( International Bittering Units, which correlates to....lets just say its bitter). I loaded this DIPA with plenty of Simcoe and Columbus, but just to be sure I added more Simcoe and Columbus. Wash,rinse,repeat, you get the picture by now. There's no telling how long this beer will last on tap, but if the sales of Hop Zen are any indication this probably won't make it much past the deciding game in Indy.



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Championship Week

Its that time of year again, when the best of conference match ups collide head to head. This week its been Mike vs. Private IPA, Mike vs. Bombshell Blonde and Mike vs. Miami Weiss- all worthy competitors. They were all hard fought battles but I'm happy to say they all went down like the sweet little unfermented worts that they are and are currently under lock and key in the fermentation room. Look for the Miami Weiss to hit the taps sometime around March 25th-ish, I think this is one of the most interesting beers I've made in a while and will no doubt be a perfect accompaniment to the spring weather ahead.Its a Orange Blossom Honey Wheat with orange zest.If you're wondering about Orange Blossom Honey its described as "juicy" honey, sweet with hints of citrus or as I like to refer to it in technical professional brewer terms, "yummy". This past weekend was highlighted by the tapping of our Belgian Dubbel and Dry Stout, which we are serving on nitrogen through a stout faucet as well as straight CO2, so take your pick which version you like,just promise me you'll try both.

A little beer conditioning up date, kind of like the progress report you got at school, the Tripel Bliss (Belgian Tripel) and Double IPA are really starting to take shape. The Tripel finished at 9% ABV and is really started clean up nice, its very smooth on the pallet considering its warmth. The Double IPA do I say...hoppy, there I said it. It finished out at 8% ABV and is slowly dropping yeast which helps bring those hops a little more forward each and every day.

Well I'm off now to a food show at Fed EX Field, I'm hoping to come across some nice specialty glassware that we can serve our high gravity and half pour Belgians in.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Big beers on the way

Its good to be back at Franklin's after a long weekend up North with family. Last week was a big brewing week here as a Belgian Tripel and a Double IPA made their way into the fermenters. So beware of big beers here in the future on Baltimore Ave, proceed with caution and sip away to your hearts content. I'm thinking the Double IPA should hit the taps in later March and the Tripel in April to help warm those bones from a record winter of snowfall.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Belgium comes to Hyattsville, The Black Stuff and Bee Stings

I'm happy to announce that we've tapped Golden Opportunity and its pouring quite nicely. It checks in at 6.5%, though unfiltered is clarifying nicely via time and cold temps. Its successor, and soon to be metaphorical big brother the Belgian Dubbel has finished fermenting. At 6.8% its a much richer,fully bodied family member with a toasted malt profile.Its going to need some lagering time rounding out some of its flavors but expect to see it in early March.

The horizon here at the brewery is also showing signs of Irish cheer and warmer spring days to come. In the fermenter this week is an Irish-style dry stout, expect it to be dark with lots of roasted malt goodness and very sessionable. For anyone who has not been around a mash tun with lots of roasted barley in it, its much like a big pot of coffee...yet different. I don't drink coffee, but sipping first runnings from the mash is a similar experience of drinking roasty goodness except I still have $5 in my pocket and I'm not wired on caffeine.

The delivery guy stopped by this week and dropped off a 5 gallon/60 pound pail of Orange Blossom Honey for me. What do I have in store for it you ask? Well I'm going to add it to a beer of course. Some hints, think about Southern Florida,wheat and Crockett & Tubbs.

Thats all for now, more to come soon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Winter of My Discontent

My friend Andrew brought to attention to me tonight that I might have jinxed myself.Upon arriving in Maryland back in January, I sent out this text message via my cell phone, "No snow on the ground,home sweet home." Flash forward a month and we are in the middle of yet another blizzard. Hyattsville is starting resemble Hoth and I think my Tauntaun has frozen.

Thankfully though things are warming up at Franklin's as last night the neighborhood came down to introduce themselves and try our two newest offerings,Hop Zen and Porter.From all accounts everyone seemed to enjoy the beers,myself included. There's a lot of positive energy buzzing around the pub and I'm really digging it. I think its going to offer a really great environment to be creative in and I trust I will get sincere feedback from our people.

Prior to the meet and greet last night I was able to fill a fermenter with "Please name me soon" Belgian Dubbel. It was fun to brew, so many nice toasted Belgian malts and its fun dumping sugar into 300+ gallons of boiling liquid.I tasted it today(Wednesday), and even though its only 24 hours old, its beginning to take shape quite nicely.

Stay warm and keep you beer cold.

Thanks for Noah Giebel for emailing the photo above,as its a great way to conserve energy by turning off your beer fridge and allowing nature to be your walk-in cooler.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Snow,liter flip tops and Rubber Chickens

I'm not quite sure how long I've been fond of Rubber Chickens, and frankly some things are best left a mystery. That said I've always found them to be timeless,humorous and one of life's great constants. If its possible to be an animated inanimate object then the RC is it. Apparently 30 foot tall RC's are hard to come by, thus why Franklin's has a beer called Rubber Chicken Red and not a giant RC perched on its rooftop overlooking Baltimore Avenue. This week I got to brew again(life is good) and the RC Red was my task. While transferring the wort(unfermented beer) from the kettle to fermenter I saw it, the beautiful fried egg of a beer or as I like to call it, the "trub cookie". Now don't let your digestive juices start flowing just yet,the trub cookie isn't really a cookie, besides what the heck is "trub" anyway? Well simply put its the material leftover in the kettle when the wort is transferred out. When it first starts to appear in the kettle as the wort volume lowers it makes its birth looking like cookie dough(hey its steamy in there and my imagination not to mention low blood sugar can get the best of me), hence where the term "cookie" derived.So check out the pic and take a look at a Rubber Chicken Fried Egg or trub cookie as I like to call it.

Well a little fun update to report,on Friday while the area was being threatened with a down comforter layer of snow, we received a drop shipment courtesy of the fine people up at Duclaw Brewing.We were able to get our hands on their former single head bottle filler and just under 2000 liter flip top bottles. So be on the lookout for some small specialty bottles available in our general store.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Golden Opportunity

Belgian season has begun. Our first Belgian-style of the year is in the fermenter as of this afternoon, Golden Opportunity should come in at about 6.5% and hit the taps in three weeks time. This beer has many distinctive firsts for me here at Franklin's, but the most interesting one is that it was the first beer that I got to use my new grain hopper on. Previously mashing in required two people, one in the cellar pouring no more than one 55 pound bag at a time of malted barley into the hopper which dropped into the mill and was then sent two stories up to the brew house and one at the mash tun controlling temperature and water flow. Now thanks to Papa Franklin and the boys over at Metal Fab Inc. who built us a stainless hopper that holds 1000+ pounds of grain,I can pour the malt in the night before and be ready to mill in the morning without the need for additional help. Here are some pictures of what she looked like on arrival and after being set up in place.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Wort Bites The Dust

Another day, another batch knocked into a fermenter. Today it was our Sierra Madre,which will not be ready in time for when our current batch runs out, but sometimes that's just how the barley kernel crumbles. On a happier note our Belgian yeast shipment arrives tomorrow (Wednesday) and I'm excited to say I'll be brewing a string of Belgian styles in the upcoming month or so. Tentative names include Golden Opportunity(6.5%),Dubbel(7%),Tripel Bliss (8-9%) and an unnamed Belgian Strong Dark Ale (10-11%).Maybe you have an idea for a name,email it to me and if we use it you'll win....something.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Out of the dark and into the light with tears of joy. That was what I was feeling a few weeks ago when it finally sank in that I was moving south to Maryland to take on the new challenge of brewing at Franklin's Restaurant, Brewery and General Store. I'm happy to say now on January 23 2010( three weeks into the job)that the 16+ hour car ride without a radio,dining at rest stops on the Jersey Pike and a six hour interview with Mike "Papa" Franklin have been all been worth it and that feeling still resonates.

So with that said, onto the beer. The brewery itself despite its quirks is in good working order. There's a few odds and ends that need some touch up but overall its a setup that will produce good beer. Speaking of beer,I'm happy to announce that my first two batches, an American Strong Ale and a Porter are in the fermenter as we speak. Franklin's is planning a "Meet the Brewer Night" on February 9th at 6:30p.m. where we will debut these two new beers. I'm looking forward to meeting all the regulars and newbies.

Peace,Love,Beer-Mike Roy