It’s always fun to see new breweries bring their wares to town. Sure, the typical styles will all be there – nothing really new under the sun, you know – but we get to check out their interpretations of ale and lager. And it’s always nice to be the first in Pensacola to introduce said beer to our guests.
Thirsty Dog Brewing is new to Florida yet they’ve been around since 1997. Their recently-expanded presence is due to their increase in production last year and the introduction of a new, higher-capacity bottling line this year. It didn’t take them long to begin garnering accolades for their beer, either. It only took three years to win their first World Beer Cup award for the very same beer I’m about to get into today.
They followed that success with multiple honors from the Great American Beer Fest, New York International Beer Competition and more from the WBC. Pretty tough fields to crack considering the enormous number of craft breweries that submit beer for competition!
The beer bug bit former lawyer John Najeway in the 90’s after a client took him to a beer camp in Kentucky. What followed was him opening a brew pub in Canton, Ohio that quickly spread to multiple locations in The Buckeye State before settling down in a 120-year old building in Akron that once housed, serendipitously enough, a brewery.
This brings us to the beer itself. It might be a test of the bounds of this publication’s decency, but there’s simply no getting around the name. Their love of canines inspired the brewery’s moniker, so it follows suit that the beers receive equal association. Y’all will please pardon me, but I’d like to review their Old Leghumper Porter.
I’m sorry, but it’s something dogs do! They can’t help it. It’s one of many ways they display their, uh, affection… Much like I’m about to do for this beer. Show affection, that is. Not the other thing. Okay, stop.
Time to get excited and show my love for this tasty beer. Darkest brown bordering on black with garnet highlights around the edges, Ol’ Leggy here sports a mile-high head visually reminiscent of a cross between pancake batter and fresh, hand-whipped cream. Talk about head retention! The one in my glass kept one 2 inches tall for over 10 minutes before keeping a quarter-inch presence for the rest of the glass. Very chocolaty on the nose with scents of carob, smoke, flint and salted nuts. It walks the tightrope between bitter and sweet with flavors of Tootsie Roll, coffee – black – and toasted grain. Looks mean and heavy but drinks medium-bodied and creamy.
Welcome to our fair city, Thirsty Dog! Now if you’ll be so kind, I need my leg back. Thanks.