Meeting 18 of the Knights of the Beer Roundtable was unlike any other in that it was the first time we were wanted. Michael DeWeese, owner of the downtown BW3's, contacted Chris and asked him to bring us by to check out their selection of beers.
When thinking of BW3's, maybe the last thing I'd think of is beer selection, but as it turns out Michael is doing things a little bit differently than most BW's. As a result of this deviation from the template, Michael and his business partner Doug are moving the downtown location away from the BW3's concept, and creating a new restaurant named BadaBoomz.
As it stands currently, the downtown BW3's location has 40 taps, starting with your standard Anheuser-Busch products and ending up somewhere far away from anything standard. Once the transformation is complete, Doug claims they'll have 15 drafts no one else is offering - and an even more expansive beer selection than they currently stock.
We started the night with a George Gale & Co. Ltd Conquest Ale, a dull, flat looking reddish-orange drink that smelled of citrus and apple cider. The first taste brought out more of the apple - a strong taste that felt almost soupy on my tongue. This wasn't a hoppy beer, and the taste of alcohol wasn't overwhelming, but you couldn't drink a lot of this - and I don't think you'd want to. It was more a beer for sipping and trying to get your head around.
Our second sample was a 2003 Stone Brewing Company Double Bastard Ale. This had a similar appearance to the Conquest, but poured with a little more head. The nose was sweet and appley, also like the Conquest. But despite the introduction to the style with the Conquest Ale, the Double Bastard was surprisingly strong. Doug described the beer as a baseball bat to the face, and I'd agree with him. It's a bitter beer, but not hoppy... really nothing like anything I'd tasted before.
Both the Conquest and the Double Bastard taught me that not all beers are for quick consumption - some beers are meant to be sipped at, thought about, and discussed. I'd say it's almost a wine aficionado approach; dangerously close to beer snobbery. These beers seems to almost require as many brain cells to understand as they destroy. I'd give both a solid 3 mug rating.
We finished up the night with a Brewery Van Steenberge Piraat ($6.75 per glass), an amber IPA from Belgium. This beer was a nice way to finish up the evening, being a bit milder than our previous choices. The beer had an golden/orange yet transparent appearance in the glass, and a sweet smell that somehow reminded me of Brugge's Black. It had a sweet, almost bubblegum-like taste that hinted at its high (10%) alcohol content. I can tell that this was my last beer of the night; under the category of drinkabilty I wrote the words "I CAN SENSE THE DANGER!". I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean, but I suspect it means that I could drink a lot of it. I'd give it a 3.5 mug rating.
Getting back to the title of the post, I can't promise you that you'll find the same beers we had at BW's. Both the Conquest and Double Bastard came from Michael's personal stash. But that shouldn't stop you from checking out BW's (and BadaBoomz) selection if you get the chance. With the expansive selection you're sure to find something that fits your pallet.
My thanks go out to Michael and Doug for sharing their passion and beer. I'm sure we'll be back when BadaBoomz is open for business.