I had no idea when I was walking up to go inside Carillon Brewing that I was about to embark upon one of the coolest brewery experiences that I've encountered. The brewery is an offshoot of the Carillon Historical Park, the place that houses the original 1905 Wright Flyer III. You know, the manned flight invention from the Wright Bros. that made it possible for craft beer fans from Dayton to take beercations to Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido without having to take a month off of work. Since it's part of the park, Carillon is also set up in full-blown museum fashion - staff in 19th century garb, wood everything and the smell of smoke coming from the true-to-history 1.9 barrel brewing system.
She heavy ladles the water from a wood-fire-heated hot liquor tank and steeps hops in a wood-fire-heated brew kettle. The only thing at Carillon that's not keeping it 100 is the carbonation in the beer. That's just because us spoiled, 21st century wussies wouldn't be able to handle beer the way that our fore-mothers made it. It's inspiring as craft beer lover listening to Tanya talk about beer that's truly brewed the hard way. And don't let the historical vibe fool you - the beer is great. Tanya knows a thing or few about brewing, and the crowds that amass at the brewery are proof in the pudding.