Last evening, the beer geeks met up at The Hop Shop for a beer conversation with owner Courtney and Jim Walker from INtake. Knowing that this had the possibilities of being my new five minutes of fame (replacing the time I made it onto the field at a St. Louis Steamers indoor soccer game at the age of 10), I made sure to wear a nice shirt.
Jim asked us to behave as we normally do at a meetup, and this proved to be a little difficult; We don't have a very specific formula. We all decided to chose a warm-up beer and go from there.
If you haven't been to the Hop Shop, then you're in for a treat - shelves upon shelves of brews from all over the place, with individual samples available for each beer. Want to try six different beers? Make your own six pack and receive a 7% discount on the price of the six individual bottles.
The very expansive selection made choosing a warm up beer quite a task, but eventually I settled on Spaten's Optimator, a highly regarded beer that I had yet to try. Into the cooler it went, along with the following:
Brooklyn Summer Ale
Dogfish Head Burton Baton
Fraoch Heather Ale
Clipper City Red Sky at Night
Dogfish Head Aprihop
Warbird Thunderbolt Wheat
Black Dog Ale
As it turns out, I didn't make it to my warm-up beer until the end of the night; Courtney took the lead and led us on a beer tour de force, with lessons in history and chemistry along the way. It was quite the learning experience.
Normally, we try to at least pretend we're accomplishing something. But last night we were basically just drinking. Once we had reached the end of our samples, we decided to write what stuck with us. HBG Jim (I think...) suggested four word reviews. I'll give that a shot.
Brooklyn Summer Ale: I've certainly had better.
Dogfish Head Burton Baton: See also Conquest Ale.
Fraoch Heather Ale: This one? Mashed Potatoes.
Clipper City Red Sky at Night: So.. was this red?
Dogfish Head Aprihop: I'd try this again.
Warbird Thunderbolt Wheat: Airplanes! Indiana! Sheet-Metal Blonde!
Unibroue 16: Nice work, Uni Dudes.
Black Dog Ale: I now remember nothing.
So there you have it. 4 word reviews (almost). Hopefully you can make out which beers I liked.
Thanks to Courtney at the Hop Shop for the beer lessons, and to Jim at INtake for the exposure.