High Water Series at Great Flood Brewing Company

Great Flood Brewing Company has been the new kid brewery on the block in Louisville for one year now. No, really, tomorrow is their one year anniversary. I’m not part of the “Louisville Beer Snobs,” but I am part of the “people that love awesome things in Louisville” so I found Great Flood to be amazing from the get-go. Three guys, about my age, doing something a lot homebrewers only dream of – it’s a great story. They rallied the community around their opening, did a great build-out of their space, and it was hit immediately.

But those aforementioned beer snobs of Louisville would occasionally jab at me for my love of GFBC. Using words I can’t pronounce to tell me a beer I enjoyed was poor. To be honest though, there were a couple in those first weeks that I didn’t like too. My point being, at one year in, these guys have moved from amateurs to pros very successfully. The new High Water Series of barrel-aged beers really seems like the cap that says “we know what we’re doing.”

As members of the Flood Liars Club, Amber and I got to attend the release of all four of these beers at a members-only guided tasting. We also bought 4-pack #10 of these limited edition delights.

The first beer in the guided tasting was the Velvet Racer. It’s an imperial red ale, with a lot of rye in its grain bill. It was aged in bourbon barrels, like the rest of the High Water series, but we can’t speak to what brand of bourbon. “Velvet Racer” got its name because there was a roller coaster in Southern Indiana during Louisville’s Great Flood of 1937 (the brewery’s name sake) that was destroyed when an entire house floated into it.

Velvet Racer
Velvet Racer

Next up was the Double Eclipse Imperial Brown Ale. The Eclipse Brown is a big hit at Great Flood, since day one, so this big brother version was a good call for them to create. Doubly so because the regular version rides the line between Brown Ale / Porter, and this beer just takes it right on into that latter category. One of the things they did to get it up to a whoppin’ 12% ABV was to add brown sugar. It’s a big beer, but really smooth.

Double Eclipse
Double Eclipse

Tribulation is not a new beer for Great Flood, though their first batch sold out quickly so it’s still new to a lot of folks! It’s a barrel-aged breakfast stout that actually got about 3 to 3.5 months in the barrel, longer than the Velvet Racer and Double Eclipse.

To make the beer, they actually added lactose, as you would a milk stout. But there’s also oats like an oatmeal stout, and coffee from Sunergos (like a coffee stout.) A true Louisville take on the breakfast stout. Matt, the head brewer, said the goal of this beer was to balance all the ingredients, “not too much coffee, not too much oats,” and that it’s the beer of the evening he was most proud of.

Tribulation
Tribulation

The “Old Imperial 37” is a barrel-aged vanilla porter. They actually made their own bourbon vanilla extract for it! I love vanilla, and this is one of the best vanilla beers I’ve ever tasted. “I’m in love with this beer,” Ber said to me after her first few sips.

Old Imperial '37
Old Imperial ’37

All in all, an incredible evening with tasty brews. We played a game of Catan Dice and goofed around a lot too.

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