The man behind beers like an asparagus ale, a sour barleywine and an ancho chili double chocolate porter is looking for a new venue to unleash his talents. Two sources, and now Right Brain Brewery, have confirmed that both John Niedermaier – and his assistant – are no longer at the Traverse City, Michigan brewery. Owner Russ Springsteen has taken over the brewing operations and has also taken on a new assistant.
John had, what appeared to be a “I don’t give a ****,” attitude towards brewing. Not in the sense that he didn’t want to brew good beer, but rather a fearless desire to brew off the wall creations. He pushed the envelope of style guidelines and helped put Right Brain on the map of must-visit breweries in an area that already had heavy hitters Jolly Pumpkin and Short’s. Right Brain was well known for not having something that most breweries do; a flagship beer. You never knew what you were going to get on tap when you strolled through the doors and that was the fun of it.
We don’t know the circumstances that led to John’s dismissal and, frankly, we don’t need to. What we do know is he brewed some amazing creations and his talents would be an asset at any brewery in the country.
Karl recently visited Right Brain, read about his experiences HERE and HERE. We’ve also reviewed one of John’s creations, a Honey Basil Ale.
If this beer is a garden, the color is the soil. (Or something like that.)
Right Brain Brewery’s Honey Basil Ale
Fruit/vegetable beer, 5.3%ABV
Over the past couple days we’ve been heralding the brewing of Traverse City’s Right Brain, and it’s only fair that rather than just stick with the views of one Guy about the place, how about get everyone involved with one of the more curious brewing choices?
Karl brought back a growler of Right Brain’s Honey Basil Ale to bounce off the other gentlemen, and here’s what they thought (and then we’ll quit the adoration until the next trip): Continue reading
If you missed it, you can find the first part of our look at Right Brain posted here.
The other part of the pub, including the Mug Club wall - unfortunately not accepting any new additions right now.
Yesterday we ran through a couple choices from Traverse City’s Right Brain Brewery, and if you want more evidence of the wide range of beers they crank out you should check the brewery’s BeerAdvocate page for selections they’ve created. As I mentioned, if any of those look good, don’t get your heart too set on them – they occasionally revisit some recipes but otherwise it’s like one of their taglines say, “Beer today, Gone tomorrow.” Too true. Continue reading
I recently spent a couple days in Traverse City, Michigan. In a state that’s rich with excellent breweries, the Traverse area is particularly lucky to have not one but two restaurants with brewpubs (Mackinaw Brewing Company and North Peak Brewing, both with average to above-average beers) and a Jolly Pumpkin outfit up north on the Old Mission peninsula. In addition to all of these, Traverse also has one of the most interesting yet unknown breweries in the state – Right Brain Brewery hidden in the Warehouse district.
The lack of discussion about Right Brain Brewing is, I believe, by design. If you had someone who I heard repeatedly described as a “mad scientist” of brewing working his magic in your own backyard, would you tell people about it? Or would you keep it under your hat and drink it all yourself? Continue reading