The Beer Scout’s Review of Danny Boy Beer Works of Carmel
My first taste of Danny Boy Beer Works was at the Brockway Public House in Carmel last spring. I heard the pub had great food and, when I saw Danny Boy Black IPA on the menu, I put on my happy face. The food was really good but the Black IPA was even better, and the wait was on for Danny Boy Beer Works to open their own microbrewery in Carmel. In November of last year, Danny Boy brewed their first beers in their new Village of West Clay location, and the brewery finally opened to the public on January 24th at 12702 Meeting House Road in Carmel, Indiana.
It took me a month to get there, but man am I glad I did. I stopped by on a late Friday afternoon on my way home to check out what Kevin Paul (“KP”) and his crew of family, friends and brewers have brought to the Indiana Craft Beer scene. The first thing I wondered as I navigated the twists and turns of the Village of West Clay was what kind of brewery was I going to walk into. The Village is definitely an upscale area in the upscale community of Carmel, but Danny Boy’s logo has a distinct hardcore Irish Boxing feel to it. In my mind these two pictures were not quite matching up, but one step inside and you are thrown into a very clean industrial looking space with a feeling that blends the two very well.
Step up to the bar area and you are met with a variety of choices. There are ten taps dedicated to Danny Boy’s own where you can get your standard pours; there is also a variety of “nitro” pours for that smoother, non-carbonated pour that adds to the flavor profiles of the same beer you would taste on the standard CO2 tap. There are also up to thirty other guest taps full of local, national and international choices. The kitchen is open Thursday through Sunday 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Though the kitchen was not open when I visited, Greeks Pizzeria is right across the street, so a simple call had some good pizza in front of me within twenty minutes (I love me some Greeks from my Ball State roots). Finally, the staff was great. Not only did they have a great understanding of Danny Boy beers, they were also obviously fans of the craft and other microbreweries across the city and state.
So what about the beers? I had five beers in my flight: MexiCali, Miss Ginger Witte, Mac Daddy, Rock-n-Rolla and Danny Brau. I also finished my visit with a full pint, a nitro pour of my first Danny Boy Brew Works favorite Black IPA. I highly recommend either the nitro or CO2 pour of the Black IPA, but on this visit I measured the five standard CO2 pours.
Danny Boy’s Industrial Design is One-of-a-Kind.
Miss Ginger Witte, a 5% Witbier, was a tasty second and a Danny Boy staple. Miss Ginger, as you can tell by the name, has a hint of ginger, but also a nice citrus smell and taste without being overly sweet. This is definitely a great beer for those not into the stronger Porters and IPAs.
Mac Daddy is another DB Staple. This 9.0% ABV Scottish Strong is a good Scottish Ale. The recipe is one handed down to owner KP from his father. His father brewed this with a friend who was a retired, Detroit firefighter, hence the awesome skull in a fire helmet logo.
I can’t go to a microbrewery without trying a standard IPA. Rock-n-Rolla is a 6.9% ABV, American IPA. Rock-n-Rolla is a lighter IPA. As an IPA drinker I enjoyed this beer and I am sure other IPA drinkers will enjoy this on their next visit to Danny Boy.
My final CO2 pour of the day was Danny Brau. Danny Brau is a 7% American Brown Ale. I always try to give a good, honest opinion of my experiences. That said, I really did not enjoy my Danny Brau pour. I have read some of the other reviews of this beer and I am convinced that I just had a bad day. This beer is consistently rated 4 stars on Untappd. So don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. I will definitely have it again when I return to prove my first experience wrong.
Now let me write a bit about my nitro pour of Danny Boy Black IPA. First things first, it was DELICIOUS. I have touched on the subject of nitro pours in previous submissions, see Grand Junction Brewing. But I thought I would spend just moment on what a nitro pour is and why some think the beer is flat. A nitro pour replaces your standard CO2 pour. CO2 adds additional carbonation to your beer. It is the standard pour that we all grew up with so it is where we feel comfortable. So if you like your beers to have a carbonation feel to it, that is great and you should stick to a CO2 pour. The nitro pour gives the beer a creamier, smoother feel to your beer. Typically you will see the nitro pours used with your darker Stouts, Porters and in this case a Black IPA. It’s not for everyone, but I encourage you to try it out.
Well that’s it. Danny Boy Beer Works is a hit. I loved everything about it and encourage everyone to get there or find their craft on tap at many bars, restaurants and on guest tap at many other microbreweries. Thanks for checking out BeerScoutBasics. And remember when keeping it to the basics; drink what tastes good to YOU!
For more information on the other beers I try or where I may be next, follow me on Twitter at @BeerScoutBasics.