Sunday, December 21, 2014

Toxic Brew Co. - Dayton

Toxic's EXCELLENT Belgian Quad
Back in October, my wife and I visited the Toxic Brew Company in Dayton's historic Oregon District.  Toxic specializes in beers with Belgian, Bavarian, and American backgrounds.

During our visit, their list of drafts included an Oktoberfest, an IPA, dark wheat, Belgian Quad, Belgian Blonde, Double IPA, Belgian Tripel, Stout, Wee Heavy, and Pepper Ale.

Since my wife was the designated driver on this trip, I had the opportunity to sample almost everything they offered.  Not being a fan of the hoppier styles, I avoided the ISO Heaven IPA and Cap City Hustler Double IPA... but I did get to try pretty much all the rest.

Toxic offers 4, 8, and 16 ounce drafts of most of their beers - as well as growlers.  The higher-alcohol beers like the quad aren't offered in 16-ounce glasses or growlers.   Prices ranged from $2 for a four-ounce draft of some beers up to $8 for a 16-once draft of their Double IPA.

The atmosphere is pleasant.  Music isn't too loud and was good.  The bartender was excellent.  She offered recommendations and advice, but wasn't at all pushy.

Their taproom doesn't offer food, but you can order in from a number of restaurants nearby.  They have a popcorn machine in the corner that provides free popcorn while you drink.

In the end, I left Toxic thinking that this might well be my favorite brewery in Ohio.  Their beers, apart from the IPAs, aren't overly hopped.  Most come in between 17 and 35 IBUs, which is well inside my range.  Pricing is good.  The beer is good.  My only complaint is that they're in Dayton and I'm here in Columbus... which is hardly their fault.

If you find yourself in Dayton, I can't recommend visiting Toxic strongly enough.  If you only get to go to one brewery or beer destination in Dayton, it should be Toxic Brew Co.  Period.  Do not pass go, do not collect 200 growlers...

Here are my thoughts on their line of beers:

Their Porn or Pawn Pepper Ale pours a clear amber-like brown with a white head. The aroma is strong with habanero pepper.  The flavor is primarily malty with a fresh habanero pepper flavor to it.  Initially, you don't feel the pepper warmth, but it creeps in slowly after you drink it.  I rated it 6/10.

Abby's Cure Tripel pours a clear amber with white head.  The aroma is pure Belgian Tripel, with malt sweetness, fruit, and spice notes.  The flavor starts sweet, fruity, and malty.  There's a warming alcohol note throughout that lingers after you finish drinking.  The finish itself is warming and mildly bitter.  I rated it 8/10.

Dark Dunkel pours a cloudy brown with white head.  The aroma is surprisingly mild for the color, and is malty and sweet. The flavor is a perfect balance of malt sweetness and hops bitterness.  The finish is malty.  I rated it 7/10.

Black Tonic Stout pours a dark black with beige head.  The aroma is malty and has hints of coffee and chocolate to it.  The flavor backs this up.  It starts mildly sweet.  A chocolate flavor swells up, then some coffee.  The finish is coffee.

Abby XXXX Quad is quite simply FANTASTIC!  It pours a clear mahogany with a white head.  The aroma is sweet, malty, and spicy.  The flavor starts with a sweet malty note, followed by fruit and alcohol warmth, with a very mild hops bitterness.  The finish is malty and bitter, and the warming note lingers afterward.  It's definitely one of my favorite quads.  I gave it a 10/10.

Loch Ness Express Wee Heavy pours a nearly opaque dark mahogany with a white head. The aroma is sweet and malty.  The flavor starts out with a strong warming alcohol note with a strong malt backdrop.  It becomes slightly bitter after that, gets a little warmer in the middle, and finishes mildly bitter.  A nice beer.  I gave it 7/10.

Toxic's Octoberfest pours a hazy medium brown color.  The aroma is malty.  The flavor is a dead-on Oktoberfest style beer.  It's malty but not sweet, has a roasted barley element to it, and a good hops balance.  The finish is clean and malty.  I gave it an 8/10.

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