May-June 2010 | AN EVOLUTION IS BREWING

Evolution Craft Brewery Owner Tommy Knorr
AN EVOLUTION IS BREWINGEvolution Craft's Brewmaster Geoff DeBisschopAN EVOLUTION IS BREWINGAN EVOLUTION IS BREWINGAN EVOLUTION IS BREWINGAN EVOLUTION IS BREWING

FLAVORS

AN EVOLUTION IS BREWING

Brothers Tommy and John Knorr expand their culinary portfolio with the Evolution Craft Brewing Company

Written By: | Photographer: Stephen Cherry

Quietly tucked away on an otherwise nondescript byway in Delmar is the latest crucible of conquest from the Brothers Knorr (you know of Red Roost, Boonie’s and SoBo’s), which has not only become a proud new feather in the cap of the Southern Delaware business community practically overnight but is also a foamy amber jewel in the crown of a scintillating sibling tandem of entrepreneurship.
 
“I had actually gotten fairly heavily involved in home brewing back when I was in college,” said 38-year-old Tommy Knorr, who majored in economics and minored in French en route to his bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah. “And even though my brother, John, and I decided to go into the restaurant business, I’d always wanted and intended us to open our own microbrewery at some point in the future.”
 
That day came in April of 2009, when Evolution Craft Brewery – affectionately nicknamed “Evo” – opened its doors for business. And though their unblemished track record has folks in these parts expecting them to succeed at pretty much anything to which they apply their Midas-like touch, the Knorrs new microbrewery hit the ground running, not because they were blessed by serendipity or good karma but rather as a consequence of sober (no pun intended) assessment and preplanning.
 
“Sure, my experience with home brewing made me more knowledgeable about the processes than the average person,” Tommy confessed, “but true microbrewing on a commercial level is a lot more esoteric and intricate than my level of skill. So when we went out to hire a brewmaster, I steadfastly withdrew myself from consideration.”
 
Actually, the evolution of the craft (pun definitely intended) and science of microbrewing is not only meteoric, it is equally rapidly capturing the cachet and committed connoisseurship traditionally associated with wines and winemaking. That’s why Tommy and John hired Geoff DeBisschop – a renowned brewmaster and expert of zymurgy (the scientific study of fermentation).
 
Armed with degrees from UMass and UConn, DeBisschop spent a full 10 years learning his craft and plying his trade at the iconic John Harvard’s Brew House in Massachusetts. He comes to the Eastern Shore, as Tommy puts, it, “a really first-rate technical brewer.”
 
“Instead of making brews that we already knew how to make or just thought might be interesting,” DeBisschop shared, “we set out to develop products that would stand alone quite brilliantly as well as accompany or complement certain categories of food.” So, whether you’re having seafood; heartier, fattier meats and fish; barbecue foods or even dessert, there is an Evolution Craft product ideal for the occasion.
 
Evo’s Primal Pale Ale, for example, is the first brew developed at the Delmar facility (hence the name). It was created more or less in tribute to the cuisine for which the region is known. Consequently, the golden, dry and slightly hoppy ale offers olfactory notes of pine and citrus that make it especially appetizing when served with light, flaky seafood and shellfish. It boasts an earthy middle and a clean finish.
 
By contrast, the light-amber Exile ESB ups the IBUs (International Bittering Units) dramatically from the Primal, keeping it just as well balanced but much more aggressively hopped and therefore better suited to such robust repasts as red meat, fattier fish and certain vinegary, Southern-style barbecues. Hey, want a pleasant change that shows good taste? Next time you have Mexican, stow the Corona, eighty-six the Dos Equis and nix the Negra Modello. Rip the lid off an Exile ESB instead.
 
The Lucky 7 Porter, meanwhile, is a true beauty on the inside and out. Just as the dusky elixir with garnet highlights casts its spell, the notes of chocolate, coffee and smoke tease the sweeter toffee and dark dried fruit tones to enslave your willing palate.
It goes without saying that Lucky 7 is the consummate dessert brew, but it also goes superbly with sweet, molasses- and/or honey-oriented barbecue.
 
Then there’s the India Pale Ale, or IPA. On tap now is what Evo refers to as Lot 3. This American-style copper-colored gem has a decidedly strong malt backbone, yet never sacrifices its smoothness or balance. Though a superlative stand-alone ale, Lot 3 is very much at home supporting a meal with strong spices, such as curry.
 
Two more brews that the boys at Evo want you to know about are the seasonal Jacques Au Lantern Pumpkin Ale – which derives its depth of character not from traditional brewers’ yeast but rather a more unique Belgian variety – and the Caribbean-themed Rise Up Stout, which features a strong chord of Salisbury’s own Rise Up coffee and floats yummy, roasty, heavy caramel notes.
 
But don’t take our word for it; visit Evolution Craft Brewery for yourself. The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Pick up a souvenir glass or growler while you’re there. (The T-shirts are pretty cool, too.) Otherwise, visit their website for a list of locations where Evolution Craft products are served.
 
 
Evolution Craft Brewing Company
www.EvolutionCraftBrewing.com
 


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