I know from experience just how hard it is to balance the time, effort and money needed for a winning restaurant with the very same resources necessary to operate a brewery.
Crucially for Floyd County Brewing Company, the business is a classic brewpub model. The beer is brewed and consumed in-house. It's the right model for the here and now. The object is to dial in the beer at FCBC's home base, and then become a can't miss destination for local beer lovers.
If folks are teetotalers and come for the fish and chips with iced tea, that's a lovely bonus.
I've yet to try Cloud 10, but hope the chance will arise. Just last week I met friends for lunch at FCBC and had a pint of Gog Ma Gog, which is my favorite Jeff Coe brewhouse creation to date.
It comes in at the top end (6.5% abv) of what currently is known as Strong Bitter, a category that includes the forever glorious Fuller's Extra Special Bitter, but now embraces a broader range of hoppy and stronger English-style ales than before. Jeff captured the "Englishness" with Gog Ma Gog, and although it needs some fine-tuning, my Stupor Bowl growler was a memorable accompaniment to ignoring the game.
It struck me during last week's lunch that while New Albany may lack an Irish-themed pub, FCBC's decor certainly has the requisite feel. In terms of familiarity, this can only help the effort.
I'm delighted to see FCBC doing well.
Floyd County Brewing on a roll in competitive downtown New Albany, by Kevin Gibson (Insider Louisville)
Breaking sales records has become a regular occurrence at Floyd County Brewing Company, per owner Brian Hampton.
The Medieval-themed brewery and restaurant, which opened in fall of 2015, has been setting new records “two or three times a week” in recent weeks, Hampton tells Insider. He says he doesn’t know precisely why, but he isn’t complaining.
One recent surge coincided with a new beer on tap called Cloud 10. Created by brewer Jeff Coe, it is a Northeast IPA, a style that recently came to the local market by way of a successful release from Mile Wide Beer Co.
“It was by far the best seller” on a recent record-breaking night, Hampton says.
I had visited the brewery not long after it opened and found the food to be quite good but the beer to be hit and miss.
After hearing of Cloud 10 and the surging popularity of the place, which is in direct competition with ballyhooed restaurants such as The Exchange Pub + Kitchen, Gospel Bird, Brooklyn and the Butcher, Toast on Market, and others, I decided to return.
I’m glad I did.