8 August 2008, 8:00 p.m.
Location: Indianapolis, Northeast Side
At the home of my good friend and occasional homebrewer Matt (not to be confused with the illustrious Matt R. and Matt E. of the KOTBR), having a pre-Dark Knight get-together. This is a nice breather for Matt, who hasn't been to the movies in ages because he's the papa of a toddler and an infant. He, like me, is a Batman fanatic, and his wife is kind enough to grant him temporary comic-book-geek leave so he and I can go see the new film. This is my second viewing (I told you I was a fanatic...).
Before we head out for the flick, we decide to have a warm-up. I've been itching to open my 750 ml bottle of Rodenbach Classic, so I have brought it along to share with Matt. This Flanders Red Ale pours with a nice copper/red color with a fizzy head that shows a flash of presence before disappearing. The nose is slightly vinous and musty. The oak-aged part of the blend in this beer definitely comes through in the nose as well, but it is not as prevalent as the full-on oak nose of its sister beer, Rodenbach Grand Cru. The mouthfeel is very crisp, leading to a tart, cranberry-like flavor that also melds elements of red wine and a bit of apple. Not as mind-blowing as the Grand Cru, but an excellent beer nonetheless.
So what would the Dark Knight himself drink? Probably New Holland's Night Tripper. And the Joker. Well, that's easy - Rogue Dead Guy. C'mon, laugh. You know that was funny. Why so serious?
16 August 2008, 9:00 p.m.
Having a mellow Saturday night at home watching the Olympics. I have to admit that I'm a hypocrite when it comes to the Games. While I roll my eyes at the notion of truly "amateur" athletes and suspect (like many others) that some of these athletes are doped up and getting away with it, I still can't tear myself away. So much for Gen X-style cynicism...
I scan the fridge and look at the bottles of beer that continue to pile up, neglected, not consumed. I've been saving a Coney Island Lager for a roundtable, but I decide that I can't let this poor beer languish any longer, so out it comes. This is the flagship beer of Shmaltz's new Coney Island line of beers, all of which are lagers. Pours with a ruddy amber color and a nice, foamy white head. Nose is somewhat bready and slightly sweet, but not powerful at all. And even though this lager is brewed with six hop varieties, it tastes pretty much like what you'd expect from a higher end lager--malty, slightly sweet, a little yeasty, but not a lot of bitterness from the hops. A good offering, but I prefer Brooklyn Lager over this.
18 August 2008, 6:00 p.m.
Location: Rock Bottom Brewery, Downtown
Having dinner with the Redhead and Mom, who's in town for a short visit. The Hoosier Ma Stout is my default beer at Rock Bottom. Brewmaster Jerry has the Oatmeal Stout on as the current stout, so I order one. This beer arrives at the table with the classic black-brown color and thick, tan head. The nose is wonderful, full of coffee, chocolate, and toffee notes. The flavor is a deluge of malt and chocolate, with a somewhat sweet finish. I adore the mouthfeel of this beer; it's one of the creamiest stouts I've had in a long time. If we were reviewing this one, I'd easily give it at least a 4 mug rating if not more. After leaving the restaurant, I wish I'd taken home a growler.