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Carton GORP

April 15, 2013

Carton Brewing is the brain child of two cousins from Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. Inspired by the craft beer movement, and the interesting things going on within it, they combined their own history and inspirations along with the experience of a homebrewer to create Carton Brewing. Based out of a turn-of-the-century red brick warehouse, they work off a fifteen barrel brewing system to make some fairly cool brews.

The GORP is a particularly intriguing beer because it’s trying to capture a flavor profile you rarely (if ever) see as inspiration. GORP stands for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, the base of the trail mix that the Carton Cousins would eat as kids when hiking. It immediately caught my eye when I walked into the bar, and I got my hands on it as soon as I heard the inspiration behind it.

The GORP pours a surprising pitch black with a fluffy head that was a bright brown hue, not quite white. Slight scents of dark fruit and nuts tickled my nose as I lifted it up toward my mouth. The mouthfeel of this beer is interesting because there is a slight creaminess to it, but it’s ultimately light in body, and very smooth. Truly the best term for it might be airy, like a light fluffed cream.*

At its core I found the GORP to have a strong roasted malt profile, making it a stout or a very dark brown ale over all. There was a strong general nut flavor in the beer, with a distinct peanut background that was really delicious when it came through. Light hints of darker fruit were present which really helped to give it that trail mix feel. What I liked the most though was that there was a distinct granola flavor that really drove home the inspiration of this beer. Overall, this is already a delicious brew but the fact that it really does reflect its inspiration is what makes it so great.

Definitely seek this beer out if you’re in their distribution area.

*: It almost reminds me of Yoplait Whips of all things.

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