by Sandy Maxwell

#makingwaterawesome is an ambitious claim to make. But the crew behind Missing Falls Brewery is more than capable of backing it up.

The massive brick and glass facade of Canal Place on South Main Street is a strange contradiction to the warm, welcoming taproom you’ll find inside. I was delighted upon walking into a beautiful open floor plan full of chrome and colorful lighting. Strolling around the room I found plenty of bar seating, tables capable of accommodating large groups, and a cozy leather couch area with books and games.

I hopped onto a seat at the bar and was immediately greeted with a tap list. A generous portion of popcorn (accompanied by a shaker of crushed hops and salt!) quickly followed. The kitchen is slated to open in a couple of months, but in the meantime you can bring your own food, or order in from a nearby restaurant. Food trucks like Eddie’s Cheesesteaks make frequent stops at the brewery as well.

My initial flight of four included 11:59 (American Stout), Langered (Irish Red Ale), High Waters (American IPA) and Blue Collar Brown (American Brown Ale). Each brew was a nice solid representation of the style. The stout stood out to me with its subtle molasses and caramel flavors complementing, but not overpowering, the roasted malts. The brown ale was impressively balanced with delectable notes of raisin and fig.

I had planned on having only one flight, but as the after-work crowd rolled in, I started settling into the friendly atmosphere. It didn’t hurt that the music was a mix of 80’s hard rock and hair metal (ah, the days of my youth)! I happily awaited my second flight while singing out loud to Europe’s “Rock The Night”.

Flight #2 was truly stellar. Brutus (Oatmeal Stout) threw me for a loop. I’m not the biggest stout fan, but I actually wrote “Holy peanut butter sandwich!” in my notes. So delicious and nutty, I couldn’t put the glass down until it was gone. Hopheads won’t be disappointed with Terror of the 7C’s (DIPA). I was feeling all 177 IBUs, but a nice honey sweetness tempers the bite. Mango ReHab (IPA) is a work of art, with tons of fruit in the aroma and habanero heat that creeps up on you seemingly out of nowhere.

By far my favorite beer of the night, There Be Dragons Here is an ESB, or Extra Special Bitter. It’s a style I don’t find too many breweries attempting these days. The flavor opens with just the right amount of floral sweetness and is quickly overtaken by a bitterness which lingers on the tongue. I ordered a crowler of it to go, since I didn’t want to stop drinking it!

With a Euchre league, trivia night and dart lanes coming soon, Missing Falls Brewery has a lot to offer beyond their remarkable brews. That said, the beer is what will keep me coming back again and again. #makingwaterawesome indeed.

Sandy Maxwell is a shift supervisor at Lizardville Beer Store and Whiskey Bar in Copley. She loves beer, whiskey, kayaking and pretentiously complicated progressive metal.

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