When asked where he learned to brew, Noah Goldman, brewmeister of Southport’s Check Six Brewing Company, has a cheeky answer.
“I think I have a special chromosome or something,” he says. “My grandfather actually had a brewery in the 1920s; unfortunately he lost it in a card game, but that’s a story for another day.”
In short, it’s genetic.
The rest of the story is this: He and his business partner, Tim Hassel, learned the basics from Goldman’s cousin. Then they read every book about beer and brewing they could find. Then they drank a lot of beer for “research.” Then they brewed their own time and again until they got it right.
Goldman and Hassel met in 2006 at a Cub Scout meeting in New Jersey (Goldman’s grandson and Hassel’s son were the Cub Scouts) and started talking home brewing.
“There’s a lot of history from [WWI] and a lot of stories that are very interesting, so we use them,” says Goldman. “It’s one of the things that differentiate us from other breweries.”
“I get asked about Wendy’s Blonde Ale a lot,” he continues, referencing one of the few non-WWI beers on Check Six’s list. This one features a label that’s right off the nose of a WWII bomber. “Wendy [on the label] is a blonde, and it’s my partner’s wife’s name, and Wendy, she flies… remember Peter Pan?”
Another beer, Dugan’s Chocolate Stout, was named for Michael Dugan, a famous WWI aviator. Or was it for Goldman’s wife, whose maiden name happens to be Dugan? “Either way, Dugan was a distant cousin, we think,” he says.
Check Six is up and running, with events in place and more in mind as the brewery gets settled. Currently there is trivia on Sundays and live music now and then, but Goldman has his sights set on a pig pickin’, food trucks, car shows and other special events. Oh, and just to make sure the craft beer craze stays crazy, he just might be planning a home-brew competition. Stop by and ask for the details, and a pint, next time you’re in town.