Social media has done so much for the craft beer community as well as the breweries in it. Although, it has probably done more for the people who drink craft beer, because you’ve got this growing list of breweries and beers that you’ve never heard of before with the potential of finding your new favorite. One of the best things about social media is that it can connect you with complete strangers who share similar interests with you. Such is the case I was just in a few days ago. I’ve been following a brewery from South Carolina called Holy City Brewing with a serious desire to get my hands on their beer that is only distributed in South Carolina. Lucky for me, I was also connected with a guy on Instagram who lives in Charleston, where Holy City Brewing is located, and is a big fan of the Holy City brews. I reached out to him and stated that I had been following them for a while and was wondering if he would be interested in a trade for some local stuff from Birmingham. He obliged and shipped out a six-pack of Holy City’s Chucktown Follicle Brown Ale. I chilled it down, cracked one open, and man, oh man, this is everything I wanted it to be. Here are my thoughts:
First of all, it’s worth noting that the Holy City Beard and Mustache Society connected me to this guy. They are a group of bearded and mustached gentlemen who compete in competitions around the country as well as globally in addition to raising awareness for local charities. Now, this guy’s name is Paul Roof, and Paul has an interesting story to say the least. When the Chucktown Follicle Brown was released the image on the can shares a resemblance with Paul, but it’s also fair to say that could be any bearded man with enough length and hair product, but that’s neither here nor there. Paul was an associate professor at Charleston Southern University and when his students began to see the beer can, they began posting pictures online and sharing the photos of what seemed to be their professor. The university became aware of this and wasn’t happy to say the least. Paul was terminated from his position and was basically asked what kind of message was being passed on to his students as well as how it affected the Christian environment. Long story short, the whole situation was a bit ludicrous, but the Charleston community as well as a large number of people nationally and globally stood behind Paul in support. Either way, this guy is cool in my book and I’m jealous that my “likeness” didn’t make it on to a beer can first.
Anyways, all that aside, let’s get to the most important thing here, the beer. As controversial as it may be, the beer can is actually really cool. I dig the all black can and the weathered serif font; it all comes together really well and actually makes me think of Charleston. I poured this into a pint glass and saw a deep, dark brown body with a like brown, almost tan colored head that formed up to about 2-2 ½ inches. The aroma from this beer was unlike anything I’ve had before. Most brown ales have that classic nose characteristic of nuttiness or strong caramel scents, but this one is much different in that it has a bit of a brighter, more complex scent. There’s some great chocolate and caramel, but the use of Amarillo hops gives it a citrus aroma that mixes well with the malt forward profile and creates a unique aroma that I had yet to encounter up until this point.
Before we go into taste, let me just say that sometimes there are beers that are just good. Like, the flavors are great and everything blends together well and it’s just good. Other times though, there are beers that really force you to sit back and take a moment just to process everything, and this is one of those beers. When you take the first sip, you’re hit with an immediate chocolaty, caramel-y flavor that is pretty standard, but then, as the flavor progresses, you start to pick up these juicy citrus flavors that just develop into this bright, beautiful flavor that creates such a unique flavor profile from such a common style of beer that is often dulled out just make a beer. Each sip finishes fairly dry for the style and you’re left with this great chocolate and citrus flavor on the back of your tongue that leaves you wanting more and wishing that you had a twelve pack of it; at least I did.
Mouthfeel is pretty nice overall. Carbonation was a little high for a brown ale in my opinion, but that’s the most I can say that was wrong with it. The dry finish aided in the roasted and chocolate flavors and the citrus really left a nice tartness that complemented the dry mouth as well. I can’t really say anything else about it other than it’s hitting most of the right marks
for me.
Overall, this is a great introduction to Holy City Brewing. I’m glad I reached out to Paul, and I’m glad that he was such an awesome person for gladly buying and shipping a six-pack of beer to a complete stranger, but he need not worry because I’ll be reciprocating the favor very soon with some of my Birmingham favorites. This beer was wonderfully executed and if this is any indication of how their other beers are, sign me up because this one was fantastic. If you’re ever in Charleston, I highly suggest seeking out the Chucktown Follicle Brown and showing a little support a really good brewery and a really cool guy whose likeness was cool enough for a beer can. Man, I’m still jealous I wasn’t put on a can first.

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