by Ashley Alman
When a serial entrepreneur, an industrial engineer, a restaurant owner and two Englishmen share a love of British hops, they join forces to present Cary's first full-scale brewery. Fortnight Brewing Company, scheduled to open at the end of the summer, is finalizing a location on the west side of town.
Named for the two weeks it takes for their brews to ferment, Fortnight Brewing Company was conceived by IT specialist Stuart Arnold and salesman Mo Mercado. The team has since grown by three, most recently with the addition of Cary Mellow Mushroom owner Will Greczyn. His wife, Kate, plans to work the bar and push the brews, as is common among pub wives in England. "Will loves English beer, he just wants to promote it so much. He's the perfect person, with his wife, to educate people when they come into the bar," Arnold says.
Fortnight plans to serve a number of English beers made with genuine UK hops and malt. Their pale ale, what the Brits call a "bitter," will have a base of Maris Otter malt, giving it a smooth nutty, flavor. Arnold says their English IPA is earthy, and contains about 4 percent alcohol.
"Sometimes it's refreshing to taste your pint, then drink it as quickly as possible," Arnold says. "There are a lot of things missing from American beer because there's such a high alcohol content."
That's right, less alcohol. (However, there also will be a selection of stronger beers, including an extra special pale (ESP) ale and several seasonal brews). England is known for its session beers, in which beer drinkers belly up to the bar and throw a few back without worrying about getting too drunk.
Greg Lewis, a hops expert and native Englishman, says Maris Otter is "a great British malting barley," and that we can expect a nice, "warm, gentle, bitter beer style" with a good body.
The Fuggle and East Kent Goldings aroma hops will give the brews a classic English aroma. "If they don't overdo the alcohol content, they'll produce beers that people can probably sit down and drink three, four, even five glasses at a sitting," Lewis says.