Paducah, Kentucky has a lot of history. It has significant ties to the Lewis and Clark expedition and obviously sits at a strategic spot on the Ohio River, but it also has its share of tragedy. Flooding has demolished parts of the town for about as long as the town has been around. So when I visited Dry Ground Brewing Company, I was intrigued at how they played that history into their name. Not to mention, the beer was absolutely stunning, and you can see all my check-ins on their brews here on my Untappd!
So before I get into the beer, here’s the quick history lesson. In 1937, the Ohio River inundated Paducah with one of its famous floods. Mr. Luther Carson had a Coca-Cola bottling plant on South 6th Street (not far from the place I did my last blog on, Barrel and Bond), which is close to the river bank. Legend has it he floated out of his second story window on an empty syrup barrel before being rescued. While in the rescue boat, he made a comment that wherever they hit dry ground, he would build his new bottling plant there. He did so, and two years later it opened up. Dry Ground Brewing Company sits right about the spot where Mr. Carson hit dry ground. So good on Me Carson for keeping his word, and good on the brewery for cool stories and good beer.
So, I sat down at the bar and ordered a reasonably priced flight. My selections were the ’37 Flood, Marleywine, Cross Pollination, Adam’s Beard, Iron Tree, Rapture, and Cold Hard Truth. First, I must say that Dry Ground has a pretty high average ABV in their beers. The Marleywine sits somewhere around 13%, so even a flight will get ya floating.
I won’t go through and give the specifics on each beer, as you can see that on my Untappd, but I’ll definitely touch on some. First, that Marleywine is incredibly robust and flavorful. It’s so sweet and almost has a candy flavor, but don’t stand up too quick after drinking it or you might end up on the floor. The ’37 Flood was a neat, heavy IPA, and the Cold Hard Truth was a black, malty scotch ale/wee heavy. It was particularly bready, and definitely lived up to the wee heavy moniker. Adam’s Beard was a Belgian tripel, and it stood out as having a flavor a lot like a warm apple cider or spiced apple.
One note I made that truly stood out about Dry Ground’s beers is that they are…dry. That is not at all meant with a negative connotation; I sincerely mean that as a flavor profile. Much like certain wines have a dry note that elevates the flavor and experience of that particular wine, the Dry Ground brews had a similar dryness. It was so noticeable to me that I actually asked the bartender if that was on purpose, as a play on the name of the brewery, and she said she wasn’t sure anyone had ever mentioned that before. Maybe my taste buds were still airy from the Marleywine, who knows, but I’d love to know what others think.
The brewery itself also deserves a mention for being very eclectic. They have a large outside seating and gaming area, and the main inside spot sees people sitting right next to the tanks. Their fridge is completely covered in a ton of stickers from breweries and other brands, and they have a neat stained glass window. The building itself is a beautiful, classic brick with a large, old smokestack, and every part of the place is simply inviting.
Dry Ground Brewing Company is an awesome brewery with a fascinating backstory. They’ve taken their namesake and capitalized on the citywide history of the floods that the people have overcome in every instance. It’s also comfortably just outside the main historic part of Paducah, so if you visit this river city, there’s no reason you shouldn’t go, right? Right, take my word for it!