IMAGE: Sligo Creek Alewerk’s products lined up for tasting.
BY AVRIL FUILESSE
Readers please note that the Voice editors have not been able to confirm many of the facts or even the existence of some of the people in this article. An internet search on “Edward Teach” and “Anne McCormac” reveals information that leads us to further doubt.
The editors were unable to locate this alleged new brewery, despite driving up and down New Hampshire Avenue with a car-full of empty growlers for nearly an hour last Friday.
As a result, we have suspended Voice author Avril Fuilesse for a year. She will resume her reportorial duties. April 1, 2017.
APR 1— A new local beer brewery debuts today, the first to be located in Takoma Park.
Sligo Creek Alewerks has been in the “werks” for five years, the combined effort of partners Edward “Eddie” Teach, and Anne McCormac. Both are Takoma Park residents.
The two met professionally eight years ago. McCormac was a criminal lawyer and Teach was, as he puts it, “a guest of the state.”
Thanks to McCormac, Teach was soon able to enjoy the wider world, where they discovered a mutual interest in beer and the brewing arts. Setting up a brewery was a no-brainer. Teach already had some brewing experience and McCormac’s legal skills were needed for the business end.
Teach settled in Takoma Park because as an ex-felon he can vote in city elections. Therefore he was adamant that the brewery be located in Takoma Park, but it took some time to find an affordable building, which they finally did last October. Since then, they had an intense five months of installing and testing tanks and vats, passing county inspections and getting all the paperwork in order.
At last Sligo Creek Alewerks is opening.
Edward Teach and Anne McCormac enjoying last year’s Takoma Park Beer Fest.
They will be serving their signature brew Sockum Ale, a Belgian-influenced farmer-style beer with a heady 7.5 ABV (Alcohol By Volume).
The idea for the ale came when the partners were sampling – and sniffing – the wares at another local brewery. According to Teach, “Me and Annie were impressed by how many people were there, and Annie says, ‘all you need to pull in the customers is beer that smells like old socks.”
“So, we got some old socks and had lab work done,” said McCormac, “and isolated some very interesting strains of yeast. They were distant relatives to the wild yeasts found in some Belgian Lambic beers.”
Brewmaster Teach concocted a succession of experimental recipes, finally settling on a mix of Topaz, Cascade and Tettnang hops, dark crystal malt, a touch of rosemary – and of course Sweattanomycesthes, the sock yeast.
The brewery insists on using local ingredients whenever possible. One of their offerings is called Sustainab-Ale. Everything is locally grown. They even use curb-side compost collected by the city Department of Public Works and sold to the brewery.
“Sour beers are all the rage, and that compost gives you a sour so strong it will pucker your mouth all the way down to your gut!” said Teach.
Most breweries have a seasonal beer, and Sligo Alewerks is no exception. Their spring seasonal is a Czech-style pilsner of light golden color with a special ingredient, a homeopathic allergy medication for spring hay-fever sufferers.
For strict vegetarians, they have a beer with two dozen hop varieties ranging from newer, bitter breeds to traditional, floral “noble” hops, a wide selection of light- and dark-roasted malts, but no yeast. Yeast is a living organism.
Yeast also produces the alcohol, so the Anti-Imperial IPA Farm Scottish Porter has a 0.001 ABV.
“Hey, session beers (low alcohol) are a big trend right now! We expect this one to do very well.”
They will also be introducing Bubble Beer. McCormac said “I just love bubble tea! So, I asked Eddie to make a beer version – and he did!” Drinking beer with tapioca pearls through a straw is a unique experience.
Sligo Alewerks opens at noon, April 1, 2016 for tastings and a party. There will be eats provided by popular food trucks The Naked Anchovy and Burning Van. The band Growler will play starting at 4 p.m.
The brewers hope their products will soon be available on tap at local bars and restaurants such as Republic and Busboys and Poets.
More details here.
Thanks to good sports Alan Peel and Debbie Grossman.