Tap Talk Vol. 2
McArthur's Brew House
“Researchers”: Mike Searl, Stephen Mulé, & Jennifer Mulé, 11-30-2018

Stephen Mulé
As part of our continuing effort to keep the public informed about the issues that really matter, a trio of Falls Free Press staff headed to another Cuyahoga Falls brewery on October 7th, McArthur's Brew House on Front Street.

Despite its relatively small size, McArthur's is nevertheless open and inviting. The main bar stands at the back of the space, adjacent to a few small brewing containers. Their small size—which lend themselves to the brewery's description as a nanobrewery—allow small-batch brews that are rotated often, hence the considerable selection. McArthur's was established in 2017 when full-time firefighter Kevin McArthur's wife was laid off from a 14-year job, paving the way for the couple's adventure into entrepreneurial brewcraft.

As for the beer itself, everything available on our visit was highly drinkable—even the ones we're coming to call “gimmicky.” Peanut Butter Porter Nitro? Drinkable. Smores Coffee Porter? Drinkable. 11.5% abv Barley Wine? Drinkable, but at sobriety’s peril. Still, some brews left a little to be desired. The Oktoberfest, for instance, was described as “thin,” and though the Peanut Butter Porter CO2 ended up a favorite, the Nitro version failed to make an impression. The Hillside Daze Blonde Ale, meanwhile, seemed to be the brew for the entry-level craft beer drinker or the choice of a Bud or Miller drinker, though its color and hops are much better than those.

On the positive side, the Toffee Coffee Porter was a hit—better than the Peanut Butter Coffee Porter Nitro variety, but not better than the CO2 version. In the same vein was the S'mores Coffee Porter, which two out of three of us really liked, especially as a brunch beer. Three IPAs were on tap as well— Blood Orange IPA, an unfiltered New Englander called Peer Pressure NEIPA, and Rye IPA. Peer Pressure NEIPA ended up an overall favorite, though Blood Orange did receive honorable mention. McArthur's also brews two sours—Sour Cherry and Sour Cranberry. Sour Cherry was the better of the two, given that the cherry is very present and it is easy drinking enough to go for a whole pint. Finally, the Barley Wine was the surprising standout overall. Its 11.5% abv is hard to believe given how smooth it goes down, and the complex flavor includes notes of raisin. The Barley Wine ended up our overall favorite, followed by the Sour Cherry and Peer Pressure NEIPA.

McArthur’s big flavors really overshadow its small size. The kitchen is now open also, complete with typical brewery offerings of pizza, nachos, and a particularly delicious hot pretzel with beer cheese and whole grain mustard. Also, flights are a mere $7, so a tasting won’t break the bank.

Check out McArthur's Brew House online at https://mcarthursbrewhouse.com/.

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