26 May 2008

Beer Run - Kokomo's Brewpubs

Friday night Knights of the Beer Table Kelly, Gina and Mike made a jaunt up to Kokomo to check out the opening of the Brass Monkey Brewpub. While it was certainly too busy for a full HBG review, we did get to sample the beer.

Left to right: Tenacious Apple Tripel, Double Down Brown, Green Tea Pale Ale

Mike, with the Green Tea Pale Ale: On first look I got a sweet but not cloying nose, with hints of green tea ice cream. After sipping a bit the beer seemed to open up to reveal... strawberry milkshake? To be sure I had Gina and Kelly both sample the beer - they didn't pick up the strawberry hints to start with, but after I mentioned it they both saw where I was coming from. A smooth and creamy mouthfeel didn't shake my shake impressions. Thank you, may I please have another. Kelly: "I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! I DRINK IT UP!"

Gina, with the Tenacious Apple Tripel: Extremely cloudy with a lot of apple-bit goodness floating around. Couldn't think of a good color match, but camel (like the animal) comes to mind. Head was off-white, and not lingering. Mouthfeel seemed lighter than a typical tripel, and with less of an alcohol punch. Enjoyably drinkable.

Kelly, with the Double Down Brown: Notes coming soon...

Notice that the tap handle mounting holes (technical term) continue off into the left of the picture - plenty of room for more beer on tap

A big crowd for opening night

Since we were in Kokomo anyway, we thought it best to also visit Half Moon Restaurant and Brewery on Kokomo's south side.

Despite both Brewpubs being what you might consider "the little guy", Half Moon has the feel of a business looking to grow into the same sort of chain brewpubs as Rock Bottom or Ram in downtown Indianapolis. Everything from the very professional and laminated menus, to the 14 televisions in my direct line of sight, to the furniture seemed to say that this was the sort of place that could grow into something bigger. The only thing that really said "Kokomo" was the names of the beers - particularly the Kokomonster, which I felt had a slight Oreo cookie/chocolate finish. Could have just been the name reminding me of Cookie Monster, though.

A flight of beer: Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, Wildcat Wheat, Stoplight City Red, Old Ben Brown, Elwood's IPA, Cole Porter - plus two bonus beers: the Hefeweisen, and Kokomonster

Shiny laminated beer menu

We shared the flight of beer amongst the three of us, with us each taking in multiple drinks of each in an effort to determine which one stood out above the others enough to be our favorite. In the end, it was a toss up, as each of the beers were quite tasty. We also ate at Half Moon, and were served portions that left us with plenty of food to take home.

So if you've got a free evening or weekend day, and you want to be amazed by the sheer number of chain restaurants and stoplights that one city can have, a trip up to Kokomo's brewpubs is well worth your time. We hope to get back for a full Roundtable sooner than later.

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