Review Date 6/12/2010 Last Updated 5/29/2014 By John Staradumsky
I have this thing, you see, for little breweries mysteriously ensconced in the oddest of places. Old factories, abandoned dairies, ancient mills-if you've built a brewery in one of these places, it's likely I'll hunt it down. After all, these places may be obscure and off the beaten path, but no matter: the brewer is still omnific here, able to bend malt and hops to his will to create all sorts of wonderful delights.
So then you can imagine my interest in the latest addition to Georgia's brewing scene: the Jailhouse Brewery in Hampton, Georgia. What could be more poetic, after all, than a brewery located in a former jailhouse? What's more, Jailhouse's beers were all the more alluring since they're so hard to find even here in Georgia, sold only on tap at a few locations. Jailhouse beers are not yet bottled (though that will be changing soon), and I simply had to try them.
And so we made the trip to Hampton, and were not disappointed. The tour will set you back all of eight bucks, and for that you'll learn about beer, get a 12-ounce souvenir tasting glass emblazoned with the Jailhouse Brewing Company logo, and the rights to fill it with four half-glass samples of your choice.
My favorite of the three beers ready to sample was the Breakout Stout. All of the beers, of course, offer variations on the jailhouse theme, which only enhances the fun. Would that Georgia allowed purchases of beer at the brewery; if they did, I certainly would have bought some of this to bring home. It was that good.
My glass of Jailhouse Brewing Breakout Stout poured to a jet black color with a light creamy tan head formation and a wonderfully appetizing nose of roasted malt and chocolate. Taking a sip, I found the beer to be of moderate body, but that added to it's drinkability in all reality. In flavor, Breakout Stout surely makes a run for the taste buds: bittersweet chocolate, a hint of coffee, roasted malt all vie for their attention. The finish was so nicely balanced with herbal, minty hops that it was hard to stop sipping.
I could imagine this one pairing perfectly with a thick slice of Boston Cream Pie. But it was pretty wonderful all by it's lonesome, and I can't wait to see it in bottles. The company motto is "Beer so good it should be outlawed". Does that mean drinking it is a crime? If so, lock me up and throw away the key. As long as I'm sentenced to a stay at the Jailhouse Brewery, of course.
Update May 29, 2014: Breakout Stout is now available in six-packs! Pricey at $10.99, but still cheaper than the bomber bottles which were running $7.99 last time I bought one. Still a hefty stout at 8% ABV, this one is packed with roasty coffee and espresso in the nose, more of the same with a hit of chicory, dark bakers chocolate and definitely licorice and some caramel in the big, almost harsh roasty palate, all balanced out with some herbal, grassy aromatic hops, a minty bitter hop buzz and a roasty bitterness too.
May just be my very favorite beer from Jailhouse, my favorite Georgia brewery.
Glad I tried it? T
Would I rebuy it??
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.