Beer Review 0480: Hi-Wire Bed Of Nails Brown Ale

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Hi-Wire Brewing have taken over the old Craggie Brewery location in Asheville, North Carolina, and have just started producing beer. The theme of the brewery is the circus, which they feel embodies the fun, authenticity, and creativity of craft beer.

Just a few months in, Hi-Wire have a dedicated year-round lineup it calls “Main Attraction” beers — a Pale Ale, IPA, Lager, and a Brown Ale, which we are reviewing today. Bed Of Nails is an English-style, unfiltered Brown Ale that hits 6.1% ABV (alcohol by volume). The artwork on the bottle is awesome, and it, like all their art, is hand drawn by a local Asheville artist. Six-packs of all “Main Attraction” beers are available in fine bottle shops across the state of North Carolina; fairly impressive for such a new brewery.

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Bed Of Nails pours a small, soapy head that quickly diminishes. The color of the brew is a very dark amber to a lighter brown, and despite being unfiltered, it is translucent and I didn’t see any particles or sediment. Lacing is fair, leaving behind just a few pieces of thick foam. It’s a very nice looking beer, if just a shade off in color on the light end.

The aroma is very pronounced for a Brown Ale, and is a refreshing change from what can typically be a bland style. This has excellent notes of creamy milk chocolate laced with sweet caramel and a hint of sugary coffee. There’s a darker touch here, too: plenty of toasted and roasted malts, and some dry toffee. All this is balanced by just a touch of a sudsy herbal hop. Smells like a Brown Ale ought to.

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Roasted malts and milk chocolate flavors greet the palate in a warm welcome — the chocolate dominates and guides a transition into complex notes of caramel and toffee. The finish is both sweet and clean, continuing the excellent creamy note of milk chocolate and edging into some mildly sweet coffee laced with cream and sugar. There’s even a hint of raspberry if you click your tongue to the roof of your mouth. I found Bed Of Nails to be medium-bodied with a thin, creamy, and foamy mouthfeel.

Two thumbs up to Hi-Wire on this very early look into things to come. They’ve taken a style not known for a lot of complex flavor and have done it well, with a strong foundation of chocolate malts, a nice, smooth body, and a twist of fruit on the finish. Well done — I’d like to see this in my everyday lineup of beers, and I look forward to seeing what they produce in the future!

Hi-Wire Bed Of Nails Brown Ale, 92 points. Price: $11.50 US for a six-pack.

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