The first time I ever had Manzanita Brewing Company, I was searching for an East County brewer to purchase a growler as a gift for an East County friend. Manzanita popped up and was relatively close to his house. So I purchased a growler fill of Gillespie Brown Ale.
Six months later and Manzanita has grown. You can now purchase two of their beers (I am not 100% sure on that, but I saw two at the store) in bottles. I was excited to find a Gillespie Brown at the Corner Market in Normal Heights.
According to their website, Gillespie Brown is a “malty and sweet brew followed by a toasted chocolate flavor. Its dark brown appearance and deep roasted aroma translates into a smooth warm distinct finish.” It has an ABV of 8.1% and an IBU of 73.
The 22 ounce bottle poured smoothly into my Indian Pale Ale glass. While I did not enjoy it with the recommended chocolate, it did pair well with a fine home-cooked meal. From what I can remember of my first taste from the growler, this tasted really fresh, a testament to locally brewed and bottled beers.
The price was a little steep at $7 (I can buy a six pack of another beer for about $2 more), but it was well worth it knowing I was supporting a great and growing local brewery.