I held off on visiting Endeavor Brewing company for a while because I wanted to give brewmaster Cameron Lloyd a fair opportunity to get his offerings dialed in after the decision was made to part ways with Geoff Towne, and move the brewery away from a well-intentioned philosophy that just fell short of expectations.
“My approach to brewing,” Cameron explained, “is to brew beers that reward attention, but do not demand attention.” That means if you’re in the mind to throw back pints while gnawing on some ribs from the BBQ truck (subject to change, of course) outside, you’ll be happy. But if you’re a beer geek who likes to scrutinize the nuances of beer, you’ll find some neat things to fuss over.
Cameron left teaching to go to brewing school in Germany. He knows his stuff. Unlike most American craft brewers, he puts a lot of time and effort into developing his malt bill, looking for ways to perfect the body and mouthfeel of every beer. This yields the intricacies you can dissect with your beer nerd friends.
The Gose, for example, is more akin to the German tradition, where the acidity is tempered to achieve maximum drinkability. There’s salt, and behind that a hint of nuttiness from the wheat, but it’s a low ABV beer that begs you to slam it.
The Latin Lager is also a beer you can drink copiously, but there are some tricks in this beer that are worth savoring. Patagonian malt pays homage to the Bavarian roots of South of the Border beers, while the Motueka hops impart a twist of lime without being so gauche as to add lime.
Endeavor also offers a take on a Belgian Tripel, which is a remarkable style of beer that isn’t cheap or easy to brew. Cameron’s offering has a bright fruitiness that stands out over notes of hay, camomile and a delightfully spicy hop finish that lingers just long enough.
The great thing about Endeavor is that they aren’t just throwing a half dozen IPAs with clever names at you. The variety here is legit, and the quality is on point. This is not just a case of somebody slapping a new coat of paint on a busted old wagon. Endeavor is a brand new brewery, with a bright future.