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Mad Bomber Brewing, Hayden Idaho

Mad Bomber Brewing
Mad Bomber Brewing

Tucked behind a large hotel with a water park, a mini golf course and go karts is the Mad Bomber Brewery. Let’s be honest – you will always find me at a brewery over a water park! I look better with a beer in hand than in a swimsuit!

As I approached the brewery I could not help but notice the front door’s resemblance to a castle door. The door is slightly funny and out of place as the theme of the brewery correlates to the trio of brewers’ previous jobs, Army bomb squad soldiers. I thank them for their service but I also appreciate them for following their passion for brewing beer.

Mad Bomber Brewing
A quick taste of the brew at Mad Bomber

Like most visits to a new brewery, I ordered the tasting flight. The flight arrived with a generous 8 tastings arranged in order of ABV (alcohol by volume). My first taste was the Booby Trap Blonde. The flavor is tasty, light and stays true to the blonde it is representing. The ABV is a 6%, a little high for a blonde, but hey who’s complaining?

It was a little late in the year (or early – depends on how you think of it) for my next taste, the Oktoberfest. This beer had good flavor following up with a nice rich amber color. I am fond of all things Oktoberfest so this beer was a nice treat.

The MK84 was my next taste. It is a porter with a 5.0% ish ABV. It looks like the brewery is still working this one out as the ABV is not quite nailed down and in my opinion, the flavor needs something. The beer had a strange aftertaste which I could not quite put my finger on. There were hints of coffee with more of a malt flavor than a hop. If you like low hop flavor and coffee this may be your beer, however, I would give them a few more cycles before ordering up a pint.

The Lonely Walk Around Brown was up next. There was no overpowering hop punch with this beer but kept to its brown roots with its deep, dark flavors.

My next taste was the St. Nicholas Pale Ale. This beer pays homage to one of the original brewers, SSG Nicholas Reid, who was unfortunately killed in action in December 2012. A haunting reminder of all the brewer’s pasts. This was my favorite beer out of the lot. The pale ale had a nice grapefruit/citrus flavor.

Mad Bomber Brewing
The lineup at Mad Bomber Brewing

I moved on to the Fatman IPA, a beer paying respect to another fallen service man, SSG Bennett KIA 2012. This beer has a hop forward flavor with notes of citrus. The Cascade hop is used in this beer and is one of my go to hops for beer hence my fondness for this beer.

My final taste was the Project Classified. It was supposed to be a black IPA, which is usually a dead ringer for me. After speaking with the beertender I found out that the IPA did not turn out as hoppy as the brewer had hoped. After tasting, I agreed that it could use some hop help, but the flavors were good.

The brewery is fairly new and in my opinion, is still working out some kinks with their brews. I recommend giving them a try as they work their way through the kinks. The guys behind the bar seemed pretty receptive to feedback and were constantly checking in with me on what I thought of the beer. And that my friends is a true sign of someone who will become a master brewer because they care what their consumer wants.

I did have one additional taste, which came from one of the guys behind the bar. I never caught his name but I assumed he was one of the brewers. He was toting around an unmarked growler and poured a taste of his homebrew. As he slid the glass in front of me he said: “it tastes just like white birthday cake”. I thought to myself ‘beer can’t taste like cake’. I was wrong. The brewer had nailed the flavor and honestly, this guy needs to pursue this – I’m pretty sure it’s his million dollar idea!

Update 8/5/2017:  I stopped at this brewery again and had a few pints and was pleased with the progress that they have made on their beers since my last stop.  I gave their Night Hawk IPA, a 7.5% ABV and an 85 IBU (international bittering unit).  The flavors are nice and bold with some sweetness and hoppiness.  I also took a small taste of The Benjamin, their imperial IPA.  I usually avoid imperials due to their high alcohol contents, unless I am at home.   This one chimes in with a 9.3 ABV and a lovely 114 IBU.  I liked the beer a lot, however, acknowledge the danger with its hearty ABV.  My last taste was the Recon IPA.  The beer has a 6.4% ABV and an 81 IBU.  I loved this beer with its citrus notes and nice hop punch.

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