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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

From the Ashes of Millbock

Back at the start of the '10s (that just doesn't have the same impact as the 70s or 80s, does it?), a small production brewery opened its doors in Linglestown, PA. That brewery was Millbock. (Their web site is no longer active, but you can check out their Untappd page. They were responsible for such local beers like Hop Slobber and Richard Cranium.) I had the pleasure of performing with my band herbie at their official launch party at O'Reilly's Taproom in Harrisburg. For about four years, dual owners/brewers Alan Miller and Albert de Bock brewed small-batch beers (about 50 barrels per year) with a European flair at their tiny 450-sq. ft. brewing facility. Like many other new start-up breweries, Millbock was born out of the pair's love of home-brewing. I always felt that the pair had a good yin & yang thing going on; Albert was rooted in traditional Euro brewing, while Alan contributed the eclectic American experimentalism. In the end, Millbock folded when they came to a crossroads that required them to quit their day jobs and continue brewing on a full-time basis, or simply bow out. Miller chose to keep brewing, but under a different name. So out of the ashes of Millbock comes Boneshire Brew Works.

Inside Boneshire's tap room.
We'd wanted to visit closer to the grand opening, but we just couldn't squeeze it into our schedule. After a few weeks, we finally had a free Saturday to head over and check out the new digs. Upon perusing the beer selection, I was stoked to see not one, not two, but THREE Imperial Stouts available. They rounded out the taps with a few others including a rye beer and a test batch IPA. We tried them all except for the Tried and True, a Belgian-style Witbier. We just weren't in the mood and also wanted to leave a bit of extra space to enjoy all three Imperial Stouts!

IPA Hop Test #1 - brewed with Citra, Centennial and Mosaic hops
LazaRIS - Russian Imperial Stout with coffee, cocoa nibs, cinnamon and habañero peppers
LazaRIS Unrobed - "naked" version of LazaRIS minus the spices and additional ingredients
Devil's Burden - Roggenbier (rye beer) with tons of Cascade hops
Dark of the Forest - Imperial Stout with coffee

IPA Hop Test #1
It seems like big, bold stouts are Alan's forte, and let me tell you, both Brewslut and I have no problem with that! I believe the LazaRIS is an updated version of Millbock's The End, a RIS brewed with the same ingredients listed above. Sadly, I never had the opportunity to try this beer, but it seems like Alan took an obvious cue from the many beer fans who sang its praises. While I admit that LazaRIS was pretty bangin', of the three variations available during our visit, both Brewslut and I enjoyed the "Unrobed" version most. The base beer is thick, chewy and viscous with lots of dark fruit, chocolate, leather, and tobacco notes and just a hint of smoke. Nice and complex with a great mouthfeel, which is how I like 'em!

Food-wise, they feature bar snacks like bologna, hot peppers and the like. However, on weekends they feature some pretty tasty BBQ from the local Nomad BBQ (operated by an awesome guy called Shawn Grant, who used to work as a Sous Chef in the Snack Bar at Tröegs). We were pretty hungry, and we were elated to see chicken skewers on the menu. We ordered six of them and they were finger lickin' good! They also had pulled pork that looked tasty, but we've been mammal-free for several years. Glad to see something a little different than the typical food truck offering at a small brewery.

Cool mural decorating the wall at Boneshire.

I'm glad to see another brewery so close to home doing good things, and I'm anxious to see where Alan & Co. take Boneshire. With Millworks, Evergrain, Pizza Boy, and now Boneshire all within close proximity of one another, it will allow beer travelers to make a whole day of it and experience everything the area offers. Then there's that place in Hershey, too. What are they called?

Until next time...

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