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SAVOR 2014 Brewery Profile: Great Raft Brewing (@greatraftbeer)

Name: Great Raft Brewing Company

Location: Shreveport, LA

Website: http://www.greatraftbrewing.com

Type: Production brewery

Available in DC Market: No

What you need to know: Founded by Andrew and Lindsay Nations and opening late in 2013, Great Raft is near and dear to our hearts here at DCBeer because Andrew is a former editor of the site. After learning about (and loving) the craft beer world while living in the DC area, Andy and Lindsay moved back to Shreveport to bring great beer to their hometown in northwest Louisiana. In a bold move, two of their flagship beers are lagers, and these two beers will be showcased at SAVOR. Be sure to stop and say hi to Great Raft. Andy and Lindsay are wonderful people brewing tremendous beer in a state without a lot of great in-state options.

Beer #1: Southern Drawl (Pale lager / 5.2%)

In Their Own Words: " A hop forward lager with complex, citrusy aromas derived from German hops and wheat phenols.  We use our house German lager strain to provide a fresh backdrop for this perfect session lager. Mildly traditional...Wildly drinkable."

Food Pairing: Steamed clams topped with garlic, thyme and lemon. Served chilled on the shell.

Our Thoughts: They aren't kidding when they say that Drawl is wildly drinkable. It reminds me somewhat of Flying Dog's Underdog, which is high praise. Extremely crisp, just a touch of biscuit and cracker, and an appropriate (but substantial) noble hop aroma and flavor. The food pairing here isn't great and it isn't bad. Clams wouldn't be what I would reach for with this, but the lemon in the dish will play nicely with the wheat and citrus in the beer.

Beer #2: Reasonably Corrupt (Schwarzbier / 5.5%)

In Their Own Words: "A black lager with dark and roasty malt sweetness. Don’t let the darkness fool you – this is a sweeter, fuller-bodied version of the premium lager you know and love. It has a smooth, crisp finish, with depth of color and taste."

Food Pairing: Turkey breast braised in a fragrant mole of dried chiles, tomato, almonds, Mexican chocolate and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Our Thoughts: Schwarzbier isn't a style I normally reach for, mostly because there aren't a ton of good examples on the market, but GRB's version is quite tasty. This has fantastic chocolate and roast notes without being burned or acrid tasting. The mouthfeel is velvety for 5.5%. The pairing here works a bit better than the one above.

This profile is a part of the DCBeer.com SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.

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