O’Sullivan Bros. Brewing Company- San Diego (Scripps Ranch)
Question: What do an Irish nun named Modwen, the River Trent, a young boy named Alfred, Burton Abbey, and IPA have in common?
Answer: Burton-on-Trent water!
What is Burton-on-Trent water, I hear you cry? There is an enchanting history of how the town of Burton-on-Trent, aka Burton, on the River Trent in East Staffordshire, England came to be and how its waters are famous in the evolution of beer, especially India Pale Ale. The history is long and wonderful, so check it out yourself when you have time. I will leave you with this, however: according to an article in All About Beer Magazine, a hundred years ago, “Burton was the undisputed brewing capital of the world” because of its special water profile.
And what does all this have to do with a new San Diego brewery named O’Sullivan Bros. Brewing Company? Well, at O’Sullivan Brothers they are emulating the famous Burton-on-Trent water by conditioning city water prior to brewing their craft beers. Since water makes up about 95% of beer by mass, and the chemistry of water influences the important aspects of craft beer, I think it is awesome that O’Sullivan Brothers is brewing beer with water that has the same profile as that which an Irish nun used to heal a young King Alfred the Great.
Brewer’s Lair has more information about Burton-on-Trent’s water profile here.
I tasted four beers when I visited O’Sullivan Brothers, and they were all tasty. I really liked their “The Quiet Man’s Porter” 6.7% ABV/15.8 IBUs, so I reviewed it:
Beautiful brown color, opaque, with a tan head. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, toffee, and toast. Flavors are similar to aromas with a little bit of nuttiness midway on the palate. Nice carbonation, smooth bitter finish. Nice mouthfeel! Overall, a quality example of a Brown Porter. This brew would go well with Asiago, Blue, Sharp Cheddar, Dry Jack, and Manchengo cheeses, lobster bisque, and French Onion Soup.