Apparently the residents of Monticello knew something that I didn’t: Rustech brewing is a hidden gem of a brewery. Folks wandered in an out of the taproom all afternoon, enjoying a pint or two despite the cold. The traffic was impressive!

The Rustech taproom is relatively small compared to the spaces where I usually drink, but they make great use of it. Tables and bars are nestled in every nook and cranny without feeling crowded, and a half-walled brewhouse creates more visual space where the seating runs out.

Rustech was my third taproom visit of the day, yet I made the bold choice to try one of everything on their menu, and I was not disappointed. The overall lineup was quite unique, and I enjoyed the full flavor experience. They’re definitely venturing into the fruit trend, but with some great twists on the styles to create something different than traditional infusions. And, yes, I had to order a pizza.

  • Southern Kiss / Mango Milkshake / 5.3% ABV, 3 IBU
  • Sweet Inferno / Raspberry Habanero Wheat / 5.6% ABV, 30 IBU
  • Desert Warrior / American IPA / 6.7% ABV, 55 IBU
  • Blue Polar / Blueberry Cream Ale / 5.3% ABV, 14 IBU
  • Five Furlough / Brown Ale / 5.6% ABV, 30 IBU
  • HOPeration Zeus / Pale Ale / 6.2% ABV, 39 IBU
  • Apeel Me / Blood Orange Grapefruit / 5.6% ABV, 30 IBU
  • Resilience Butte Country Proud IPA / IPA / 6.7% ABV, 66 IBU

I spoke with Penny, who runs the brewery with her husband, Bill. In addition to managing several business aspects of the brewery, Penny learned to brew on the commercial system from Bill, and she was proud to note that she brewed the Sweet Inferno. I’m not usually a habanero kind of girl, but you really do have to try this one.

Penny, whose son is in the military, offered me this advice: “If you want it, go get it. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t.”

Her son was a 126 lb. kid who dreamt of enlisting, and damn if he didn’t make it happen for himself. With some serious hard work and by selectively ignoring the folks who tell you to give up, achieving that stretch goal is entirely possible–even if you’re a scrawny kid that wants to do big things.

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