Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunny Day, Wet Nose

Saturday the Mysterious Chinese Woman went to visit the Mysterious Chinese Mother-In-Law. It was one of the nicer days we have had lately so I decided not to spend it cooped up in my apartment. Hell no, I would spend it cooped up in a couple of bars.

My friend Gaid works the Saturday shift at the Waterfront Ale House and it is always fun to visit him and get his cheerful and uplifting views of life.

The Old Watering Hole

Waterfront Ale House on Urbanspoon

I am not sure who the apparent health worker taking a cigarette break is, but if ever there was a case where "physician, heal thyself" was called for, this was it. Not that I am a poster boy for healthy living.

Sam And Gaid (Archive)

Entering the Waterfront Ale House I was saddened to see this sight.

OH NO!!!

The broken popcorn machine meant that I wouldn't be having lunch today. On the other hand, if it is true that when it comes to beer there is a porkchop in every bottle, I didn't go hungry.

I started out with a Weihenstephaner 1809 Berliner Style Weisse, brewed by Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan in Freising, Germany. It was a really intense flavor with a lot of citrus and cloves. Really delicious and, at a relatively mild 3.7% alcohol so you could enjoy this all afternoon on a hot summer day.

This beer is reputed to have originated with the Huguenots as they traveled through France to Flanders. In 1809 Napoleon thought so much of it he called it the Champagne of the North. He preferred drinking it with a bit of syrup to cut the tartness but I prefer it straight.

I followed this up with a Sam's Serious Pilsner. This is another one of Sam's custom brews. I have to say that it didn't compare to his Serious Maibock. It is another collaboration between Sam and Greg Zaccardi, owner of High Point Brewing Co. I will give this another try because my palate may have been compromised by the overly flavorful Weishenstephaner.

My final brew here was the Brooklyn Brewery Cuvee de Cardoz. Wow!!! Another hit by Brooklyn Brewery. This beer easily stood up to the Weishenstephaner. Plenty of spicy and peppery flavor. Just dynamite. And it went down every bit as easily as the Weishenstephaner but be cautious, it is a hefty 8.5% alcohol and is considered to be a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. By all means, get your hands on one if you get a chance.

Well, that was my usual three beers for an afternoon and I really should have headed home. But the night before I saw a segment on the Travel Channel about the Atlantic Chip Shop, a place I have visited before because they have a dynamite selection of British beers and ales, and decided to stop by.

Just A Hop And A Skip To Chip

Chip Shop on Urbanspoon

Depending on your point of view, Bar Man's or the Mysterious Chinese Woman's, things either started to get rolling here (Bar Man's view) or went seriously downhill (Mysterious Chinese Woman's view).

I started out with a York Bitter that they had in a cask. This had a nice balance between the malt and the hops, but it remained true to its name by being a bit, well, bitter. It was a reasonable 4.2% but I wouldn't be drinking it all day. It was a bit warm, in my opinion. Now I know, cask ales aren't meant to be served cold, but they should be cool. Room temperature really means cellar temperature, not the temperature of a bar on a warm summer day.

There was a nice couple sitting at the bar and I got into a conversation with them. They, and I don't remember there names, said they were just recently married and about to move to Charlseston. The fellow recommended that I try the Lagunitas Brown Shugga.

Hey, It Was Their Fault, Really

Too bad they are leaving the neighborhood, though. They were a lot of fun to talk to.

Anyway, the Brown Shugga is a deadly 9.5% and this probably wasn't exactly what I needed at that point. Went down as smooth as, well, brown shugga. Major maltiness and virtually no discernable hops. Certainly one I would have again, under close supervision. It was a bit heavy though, so to cleanse my palate before toddling (I call it toddling, the Mysterious Chinese Woman calls it staggering) home I had an Old Speckled Hen.

Cleansing The Palate

Old Speckeled Hen is one of my favorite beers and you seldom find it on tap. It is an ale and comes in at 5.2% so it is quaffable. Kind of a caramel and honey nose to it and very smooth. Not overly sweet, though. This is a beer I can easily drink all day long. Glad to know that this place usually has it. Of course it is still hard for me to make it past Waterfront Ale House. Usually I have to circle around and approach it from the other side.