Hubby and I make the pilgrimage to this mecca of awesomeness every month or so.
On a recent visit we had a short wait for a table in which to ponder the beer menu. There were so many choices . . . so many good choices . . . what to choose??
By the time our table was ready we had completed sufficient research . . . gotta love free Wi-Fi access . . . to make our decisions on which beers to enjoy with our burgers. We both chose a different selection; ones that we each preferred but also so that we could both taste as many different beers as possible.
We both chose three and these were our choices:
Prima Pils by Victory Brewing Company
This beer as won many awards and, after tasting it, I can understand why. This pilsner style beer was smooth and delicious. However I was impressed . . . and a little surprised . . . with the unexpected bite of hops. The hoppy bitterness and mellow maltiness balance out to create a very enjoyable beer. The glass was left with an impressive amount of lacing. (5.3% ABV)
312 Urban Wheat Ale by Goose Island
It's a very sessionable beer (4.2% ABV) that screams summer . . . or better yet . . . drink me its summer! 312 has a slightly sweet fruitiness that compliments the wheat and hops; creating a flavor that is surprisingly well balanced. It has a creamy mouth feel that goes down oh so easy. This is an excellent go-to beer if you're looking for something light but are craving more flavor than your average mass produced light beer.
Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA by Clown Shoes Beer
The name alone was enough to get me to try this beer . . . that and the lure of hoppy goodness. The description of this beer is thus: "Like a stamp on a tramp, this brew is about not so subtle seduction." Yeah, that about sums it up.
This was an amazing beer . . . seriously you MUST try this one. I've never had a beer with such a complexity of flavors. With all that this beer has going on it surprising how well it all pulled together to make . . . well, lets just say . . . it's like a party in your mouth . . . with clowns!
How to describe the plethora of tastes . . . it was a little sweet and a little bitter. Just as the hoppiness is rolling off your tongue wheatiness washes in and then it finishes clean . . . ready for more. There is nothing subtle about this beer including the alcohol content (7% ABV). I was truly impressed and highly recommend this beer.
Hubby ordered this one . . . I like porters and stouts, but I don't love them like he does and I'm not a huge Brooklyn Brewery fan so it wouldn't have been on my list in any case.
It was . . . to be perfectly blunt . . . meh. All the Brooklyn beers I've tasted have a weird flavor to them that I've yet to nail down and this one has it, too. It's a deep dark porter and you can definitely taste the maple syrup. But again, it was just okay but I wouldn't jump at the opportunity for another one. And even my stout/porter loving hubby agrees with that assessment, so take that for what it's worth. (6.9%)
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. on Rye by Shmaltz Brewing Company
A strong (10% ABV) IPA brewed with rye malt and named for Lenny Bruce . . . okay, gotta try it. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of rye beers. This beer was definitely strong, definitely hoppy and definitely yummy. Bitter and sweet . . . coffee and caramel are pronounced but somehow balanced out with citrussy grapefruit and pine notes. The rye in this beer wasn't an issue for me at all . . . it all just kind of worked out very nicely to make a very good and tasty beer. Also, despite the high alcohol content, there was no overt boozy taste to throw off the enjoyment. It's a big beer and a pretty intense flavor experience . . . and it's kosher . . . I say go for it!
Vermonster by Rock Art Brewery
An American barley wine . . . a great BIG one and without a doubt falls into the category of an extreme beer. It's strong, both in alcohol (10% ABV) and flavor. Vermonster pretty much slaps your taste buds around with bitterness . . . clearly not for faint of heart nor for the novice beer drinker. But it's not all bitter . . . a sip of this brew comes with essences of fruit, caramel, malt and pine. Despite the huge flavor and richness it finishes surprisingly clean. Very nice. This is a sipper not a pounder . . . sit back and relax and enjoy as it warms in your glass and the flavors change subtly as it does so . . . making for an interesting drinking experience. Yes, I said experience and I mean it. This is a good one . . .
Oh . . . we had more than just beer. We had wings and burgers too . . . om nom nom nom. If you haven't been to Plan B, I would say GO!