A local brewmaster is rolling out the barrel with his very own beer.
Alex Rhinehart, 35, of Martinsville, recently debuted his own beer at TinCap in Wilmington after it made its initial debut at Warped Wing Brewing Company in Springboro, Dayton and Mason — where Rhinehart is an assistant brewmaster.
The beer “Falling Darkness” — a Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale — is a “roasty and hop forward dark beer with tons of dark malt flavors and aromas, but with a definitive hop character. Made with lactose,” according to a release from Warped Wing.
Rhinehart told the News Journal that when he was brewing the beer, he sought to brew something that celebrates and bridges the gap between the transition between winter and summer — a dark, bitter beer.
“In today’s beer market we are seeing pastry stouts pushing sweetness to the extremes in dark beers. I missed the days of great dark beers with a little punch of bitterness,” he said. “So I sought to brew a beer rich with roasty malted flavors balanced by a sizeable hop addition, paying homage to the classic hops from the Cascadia region and a hint of body and sweetness from the lactose. Overall, it’s a beer that will make you spend some time exploring everything it has to offer.”
He indicated that it could fall into the categories of American Dark Ale, American Porter, Black IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale — none of which describe his beer.
Rhinehart had been involved with Warped Wing in the last year or so and has had a hand in brewing their beers — all recipes are from Brewmaster Jon Haggerty.
When time allows, Rhinehart and other assistant brewmasters get a chance to be creative and brew their own beer recipes. Those beers are released in small quantities as the Brewers’ Select Pilot Series.
“When I had the opportunity, I knew I wanted to write the recipe and brew a dark beer as described above,” he said. “There are a few beers brewed by some of my favorite Ohio craft breweries that I drew inspiration from. I wasn’t trying to replicate their beers, but wanted to brew one inspired by, and on par hopefully, with those beers.”
While the Brewers’ Select Pilot Series is a Warped Wing taproom exclusive, Jason Vaughan of Wilmington’s TinCap on Sugartree Street was able to get a keg to serve.
Falling Darkness has been well received, according to Rhinehart.
“I’m happy with how the beer turned out, especially since it is the first beer recipe I wrote from scratch, and I’m happy that people have enjoyed the beer,” he said. “If Falling Darkness isn’t your jam, I’m OK with that, too. No one makes a beer that pleases everyone; that is why there are so many different styles of beer out there.”
He describes being a pro brewer as being a physically demanding job — especially on large production systems — but there are definitely enjoyable parts of it.
“The best is to see people sit down, talk, and find common ground over a beer you made,” he said.
Falling Darkness will be served at TinCap until they run out. Meanwhile, only 14 kegs were made for Warped Wing locations for now and will cycle on and off, according to Rhinehart.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574