Great Dane Pub & Brewery – Madison, WI

We drove to Madison, WI for dinner at Great Dane Pub & Brewery where I failed to take any notes. And, in reality, it wasn’t a noteworthy experience. That’s not to say the location was unacceptable or that the beer wasn’t decent. Even the food, and the menu, overall, was noteworthy, but our service was extremely poor and the entire experience was simply “ho-hum.”

Great Dane Brewing Company is located in an old corner hotel building, and has retained much of the historical charm on both the interior and exterior. It is just one block down from the capitol building, which sat up on the hill, well lit and rising above all other buildings.

We ordered four beers from the selection of 15 (two of which were on cask) along with dinner. I was highly interested in the IPA, which on the printed menu, stated that the style varies from time to time – sometimes an English IPA, sometimes an American IPA. So as instructed, I asked the server. She was terribly confused by my question and couldn’t really help answer, so I just ordered it. I figured something called Texas Speedbump IPA would probably be American, and it was. In fact, it was a very solid IPA – extremely hop forward with a strong citrus nose and powerful hop flavor.

The other beer I had was Black Watch Scottish Ale on cask, and this was a deep copper color with an incredibly smoky finish. The smoke flavor was too much for me, and I gave this one up to D.

My trade was for his Black Earth Porter, which also had a smokiness to it – a sort of burnt malt quality, but I found it to be more smooth and drinkable than the Scottish.

D’s other choice was the English Special Ale on cask, which disappointed him quite a bit. It was a dull choice, and the beer delivered on that note. There was very little suggestion of hop flavor, which was balanced with the lack of malt body.

As for the food menu, everything read like an appealing dish. Vegetarian items were indicated with a carrot icon, and I only read the carrots…with such an extensive range of choices, I never got to the others – my mind was already swimming. And our waitress never filled us in on the specials, which in the end may have been a good thing because everything sounded great to me!

As much as I wanted the Inner Warmth Peanut Stew (butternut squash, tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, Habanera Pepper and cilantro with a zesty peanut sauce, served over rice) I went with the healthier alternative – Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad (handcrafted fresh Mozzarella with asparagus tips, yellow and red tomatoes, roasted peppers, virgin olive oil and cracked black pepper blended with sea salt, all on a bed of spinach.) I ordered the balsamic vinaigrette on the side, which was a wise choice. D had the Brats & Mashers, which were a pair of beer-and-onion-marinated bratwurst over Scotch Ale sauerkraut with smashed red potatoes and hot apple “sauce” (which was really super-cooked apple chunks with cinnamon…)

Great Dane is certainly a place we’d like to try again – maybe with a different waitress or at one of the other two locations we will have an improved experience. As I said, it wasn’t awful, but the experience didn’t leave me wanting to send a friend to Madison.

Moose Jaw Brewing – Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wisconsin. It’s cold here.

Yeah, it’s cold in Minnesota, but at least there is stuff. I guess in Wisconsin there is stuff, too, at least up by the lakeshore. But the part we have been seeing is just cold. It snows, and then it snows more. It’s not even beautiful, because there is no geographic relief.

But there are birds – we’ve seen multiple Bald Eagles, plenty of Sandhill Cranes on the ground and in the air, and a Rough-Legged Hawk. And did I mention snow?  We’ve seen lots of that.

What brings us to Wisconsin is that we “fell for” one of those resort preview deals, where we pre-paid a small amount for a stay in exchange for previewing their property. Tomorrow we do the tour, but I’m already a grump because the Best Western is actually where they put us up for the three nights, and it isn’t a very nice BW. In fact, it’s the kind of place I would vacate after one night if I had a choice.

Making the best of the situation, we located the nearest brewpub, which is Moose Jaw Pizza and Brewing Company. It’s a great big showy lodge-style building with a restaurant and bar area downstairs and the brewing area in the upper loft. It looks very touristy, so our expectations were lowered. It actually turned out to be not that bad!

D ordered the Imperial Winter Warmer (8.5% ABV) which was brewed with peated malt, and aged in oak barrels. It was served in a snifter, and was quite impressive!  They have a female brewer (which I found very interesting), and she claims this may be the best beer she’s ever made.

I was too chicken to commit to a single beer, so I had the Six Point – a sample tray of six 5-oz glasses which I got to choose. I eliminated the lager, the gold, the pilsner and the winter warmer. So what I had was:

  • Honey Ale (4% ABV) and made with Wisconsin Honey – this was surprisingly drinkable; light and sweet
  • Dell’s Chief Amber Ale (5% ABV) – could not finish even five ounces…
  • Raspberry Crème Ale (4% ABV) – brewed with real raspberries – not extract; this was refreshing and tasty, and had a fabulous aroma of fresh fruit!
  • Kilbourne Hop Ale (5.5% ABV) – brewed with locally grown hops for Brownie Zinke’s Hop Farm; my favorite of the Six Point; nice hoppy flavor!
  • Stand Rock Bock (6.8% ABV)
  • Milk Stout (5.8% ABV) – a little thin, but otherwise really well done stout

We ordered a little snack – D had the Wisconsin cheese and beer soup, which included nice chunks of vegetable and little chunks of bratwurst; I had a side house salad (boring, but an excellent choice as my breakfast really stuck with me!)

Easter Breakfast in Hell’s Kitchen

I finally got to eat at Hell’s Kitchen, and, WOW, was it worth the wait!

Actually, we got there early and there was no wait today. I called when they opened at 8 AM and was told all of the reserved tables were filled for the day, however, half of the restaurant is for walk-ins, and we headed straight down finding a nearly empty restaurant. We were greeted by wait staff in pajamas (because that is what they do for weekend brunch!), and were seated under a row of prints by Ralph Stedman.

Hell’s Kitchen does their own French roast coffee, and it was absolutely perfect. Three days into the trip, and I needed a coffee that was more than sub-par. I got one that was excellent for the low price of $1.95 and she kept it flowing. On the coffee alone, I was in heaven. But at Hell’s Kitchen, everything is perfect…

Let me back up and say that from the website and the outside decor, I expected a Goth-style interior that would be, perhaps, dark and maybe a little dirty. Instead, the cream colored walls with red and black accents, artwork in straight lines across the wall, fireplace, chandeliers and metal-topped tables were clean and welcoming. It was very comfortable, and without a crowd, I didn’t feel cramped or rushed. It was Salvation Sunday, so gospel music sounded throughout the house.

The menu is creative and extremely interesting, but I needed to order the special – a pan-fried whole trout stuffed with scrambled eggs with leeks, served with hash browns, fruit and multi-grain toast. D had the corned beef hash, which they make specially by pulling the corned beef and combining it with chunks of potato, onion and celery and then topped with two eggs. It also came with the fruit and bread, and a caddy of their house-made blackberry jam, orange marmalade and chunky peanut butter came on the side. We really wanted to try their special Bloody Mary, made with beer rather than vodka, but they can’t serve alcohol before 10 AM.

The food was prepared and presented so beautifully! It was so much more food than I needed, but I managed to finish it all. I don’t care what all of the tourist magazines say (it was recently rated #3, and Keys Cafe was rated #1) – this is the best breakfast in town. The food is innovative, the staff is extremely helpful and courteous, the decor is warm and welcoming – I couldn’t have asked for a better place to enjoy my Easter breakfast. The only thing they could have done to improve it was bring a chocolate bunny with the bill.

On the way out the door, I grabbed a to-go menu. Apparently I can call and pick up my breakfast next week on the way to the conference center, should I feel inclined. I bet I will!

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery – MN

We checked into the hotel late in the afternoon and took time to freshen up a bit, then drove across town to Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, which is located at the corners of S Washington and S 15th Ave.

We love this place because they have cask ale at all times, but today they had Masala Mama IPA on cask, and THAT was just what I needed! The glass arrived with creamy foam suspended from the bottom of the glass. The orange color with white creamy head was so beautiful, and as I was thinking, “Where is my camera? I must get a photo of this beautiful beverage!,” D was scribbling in his notebook “Appearance = 5! Perfect!” The foam settled, and I touched it – it pushed back like a Tempur-Pedic® foam mattress, and stuck to my finger, creating a stiff peak.  That same, amazing thick foam had the drawback of masking the aroma – the piney, citrus notes of this same beer on draft just don’t come through on cask. And the foam never ends. While it doesn’t really lace the glass, it remained there, all the way through my drawn out session with this ale. In the end, I tipped the glass back to enjoy a mouthful of foam that was left long after consuming the beer.

Additional beers we enjoyed at Town Hall (which does, by the way, serve half pints) were Pot of Gold Potato Stout (4.9% ABV, brewed with chunks of Yukon Gold Potato in the grain mash), Black H20 Stout and Masala Mama on draft (which was so fabulously aromatic and the hops flavor just bursting in the mouth!)

Town Hall, like Herkimer and Stub & Herb’s, is located on a corner with two walls of windows, so we could look out on the world. The sun was shining when we went in, and then snow began to fall. Then the sun came back out, and then the snow returned. Then sun AND snow…it was ridiculous. Wondering what I’ll do for footwear later this week when I chose skirts to wear at my conference, I was observing everyone on the streets. Not a single woman in a skirt or dress! They just don’t do it here!

We were warm and toasty inside, and not rushed at all. A steady stream of bar patrons, including many people with empty growlers in hand, came in and out of the place. We enjoyed a few hours of beer, basketball and the food. Unfortunately, the grilled tilapia tacos, served with cilantro rice, black beans, mango salsa and guacamole plus sweet potato fries was crossed out on our menu, so I assumed they didn’t have it (they did, and our neighbors go it – they looked wonderful!) D had the fish and chips – perch in a thick, roasty beer batter – and I had the chicken burrito which was as big as a loaf of homemade bread!  It was ridiculously large, and we will be enjoying half of it at a later time.

The beer and the atmosphere at Town Hall are so enjoyable. This really a great place to come hang out. Especially on a sloppy snow day like today!

We had plans to continue our evening by going downtown for Surly Smoke, but since the bar we knew of was out of it, we returned to the hotel to turn in early.

Herkimer Pub & Brewery – Minneapolis, MN

Since we were already on Lyndale, we decided to stop in at The Herkimer Pub & Brewery. It isn’t highlighted on BA, and several of the people we talked to about beer talked about it as an afterthought. We’re not big lager fans, but we decided to try it anyway.

Considering the style, it was not that bad! We started with their two GABF gold winners – Sky Pilot Keller Bier and Alt Bier – which were both pretty good. D really enjoys the Keller Bier, simply because it is so unique, and I enjoyed the Alt because it did carry a nice hoppiness with it. By the time we ordered the next beer, it was happy hour, which is 2 for 1, so even though we didn’t intend to, when D ordered a High Point Dunkle, we were served up two pints.

Herkimer had free Wi-Fi, so that gave us a reason to linger and enjoy the additional pint. The Dunkle was lightly smoked and a beautiful dark color, tricking my palate into believing it was a light porter. With that in my brain, I really enjoyed every sip of it!

Herkimer really is a worthy stop if you find yourself on that edge of town (unlike Surly, which is a worthy stop even if you aren’t anywhere near that community outside of town!)

Minneapolis Morning and Surly Visit

Our day started out a little lazy, and then a little crazy, since we left the comfort of our hotel and then tried to find parking on the street near a place for breakfast. Additional snowfall during the night blanketed the city and turned the city sidewalks into cross-country ski paths. The slush sweepers and Bobcats were out clearing things up as best they could.

We tried to visit Hell’s Kitchen, but as they tell you, you need a reservation. There was a 45-minute wait, so we walked down to Key’s Café, which free Wi-Fi access, so I was able to post a little, and we used Priceline to get a room for tonight (funny…we ended up at the same place we just left!)

Key’s reminded me of a fancy diner from days gone by. It was an attractive diner with a pretty impressive menu of unique spins on typical breakfast foods. We were seated in a TERRIBLE location – right next to a large family with three children (two of them under the age of two and one of them wailing at all times), and my chair was right in the line of traffic, so as to be bumped by everyone passing into that section of the restaurant or on their way to the bathroom. But my scrambled egg with spinach, garlic and cream cheese – spiced up with Tabasco and, later, some of D’s salsa, was excellent (it came with a sweet homemade catsup, which I didn’t care for.) I had it with the American fries (fried potato chunks) and 12-grain toast. D had the huevos rancheros with the American fries and refried beans. The tortillas were thin and incredibly large, and the salsa was outstanding. Because our terrible seats were right in the center of traffic, we were never missed when it came to coffee and water refills. That was nice.

After breakfast, it was time to head over to Surly Brewing Company. It is located at the edge of a community just north of the city in a little industrial complex. They do growler fills from 12-2 on Saturdays, and as Todd had promised, Sara was there to take care of us, and everyone else. It was ridiculous how steady the stream of customers was! It was as if the public are all just that polite – never totally inundating the place, but business never slowing. People came in the door with empty growlers and handed them over for fresh ones. Surly prepares the growlers in advance by purging them with CO2 and filling them – only Furious and Bender were available, and apparently there is a limit of two per customer in order to keep enough in stock for everyone to enjoy.

Sara seemed like she was expecting us, and while she couldn’t entertain us, she did get Peter/Ben who was working in the back to show us around. She definitely called him “Peter”, but D is sure he introduced himself as “Ben”, so we are awfully confused as to his identity. He’s a homebrewer who has just come on as a 6th employee in the expanded brewhouse. The brewing area is enormous – there is so much room for expansion, or holding a small high school prom… We checked out the canning line. I have never seen a beer canning line, and it seemed so much more efficient than a bottling line (I’d love to hear what an experienced operator of each system would have to enlighten me about that.)  He took us into the cold storage area – another huge room full of sixtels, cases and the barrels holding 2007 Darkness (mmmmm!)

And then, Peter/Ben reached behind him and pulled out a growler of Coffee Bender!!!  Oh my….  I think my heart skipped a beat, and I my eyes were on the verge of welling up with tears!  How thoughtful of Todd to have him get this out on our account. I don’t know what the true availability of this brew is, but I know it is totally inaccessible to me and not currently available in Minnesota bars, so it was a special gift!  Well, not a gift – it rang in at $21 (with the cost of the growler), which is twice the cost of the growler of Bender we bought. But it is SOOOoooo worth it. Bender is a great brown ale, but Coffee Bender, brewed with coffee from Tea2, is absolutely fabulous.

So, with two growlers and a new shirt for D, we hit the road. And actually, we had to go do some housekeeping. We needed to trade in our rental car (the one we had was out of balance), and get me some new footwear. We failed on the footwear, as the Mall of America was a mad-house, and both Land’s End Inlet and REI were highlighting spring and summer wear. I need a little commuter boot to get through these slushy streets and big banks of snow!

Visits to Blue Nile and Cafe 28

We learned about Blue Nile through beeradvocate.com, where Al, the bar manager, is a frequent poster. One might not think to go there – an Ethiopian and Middle Eastern restaurant by design – for microbrew selections, but it is most definitely a destination for beer travelers. And since we arrived during Happy Hour (4-6 PM) we enjoyed 2 for 1 beers along with the company of Al.

On tap right now are three Surly beers (Two, Furious and Bender), Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence, Brau Brothers Scotch Ale, Summit Grain Belt, Lion Stout, Bell’s Consecrator Dopplebock and a few others that I just don’t remember.

He told us a lot about what he’s lining up, the interesting music visitors can enjoy (including hip-hop, jazz, reggae, and African bands), and the background of the owners and how their Oromo heritage influences the menu. We ordered appetizers. I did not note the names, but one was like a samosa but made with lentils and served with a really interesting hot sauce and the other was a really tasty Baba Ghanoush served with warm pita triangles.

After some time, we were joined by some people we met through common interests and the Internet – Sharon and Bill came by to meet us, and we had a great time talking birds, technology, books and beer with them.

We headed out to meet friends on the other side of town at Cafe 28– a restaurant owned by one of the brewers / part-owner at Surly, Todd, and his wife, Linda. D and I are still debating about what we read the building used to be, but regardless, it looks like an old firehouse converted into a warm, cozy, eclectic little restaurant. This is the kind of place people come to enjoy wonderful food with good friends – lingering and enjoying the experience.  And we did.

Surly beers are on tap, if that wasn’t obvious, and our friend Tom really enjoyed his Surly Two! The food was outstanding – D had the Fish Fry, which was a light, beer battered Canadian walleye served with fries and slaw, while I had the tofu tacos served in a La Perla corn tortilla with romaine, black olives, cilantro, sour cream, queso fresco and guacamole. The tofu was lightly fried and salsa verde was perfect. I also enjoyed a cup of the tomato soup with spinach and garlic. This was no thick Campbell’s tomato soup – this was a light, smooth juice of tomato accompanied by many wonderful flavors, but especially the essence of olive oil.

We enjoyed the company of our friends and the flavors of our food throughout the evening, but were pleasantly interrupted by Linda, who recognized D and I as the beer travelers from PA. She brought Todd out, and we had quite a lengthy conversation with him about Surly brewing and beer in general.

It was such a great night out in Minneapolis, but unfortunately, I was light on sleep so we looked forward to a nice ride under the snow-heavy trees that lined the streets near Lake Calhoun and back to our hotel.

Barley John’s Brew Pub (MN)

We arrived safely in Minneapolis today. The world outside is covered in snow, and on the northwest side of the Twin Cities is a non-distinct brown wood building on Old Highway 8 (just off 35.) Perhaps in better weather it makes more of an impression, but I noticed it because of the sign announcing Barley John’s Brew Pub – 8th Anniversary! A large patio area, with the ruminants of dried hop bines neatly arranged all around it, wraps  two sides of the building. Metal tables and chairs, covered in several inches of snow, are out there, including chairs the circle optimistically around a snow-filled fire pit.

We walked inside to find a small bar to seat five and two tree trunk-cut tables with cribbage holes drilled right into them. The brewing room was also at the entrance, housing what is probably a 2 or 3 barrel system (we didn’t check it out that closely, nor did we ask.)  In the dining area there are about 15 small tables – some of them pulled together to accommodate groups. Inside there is a feeling of late summer where the walls meet the ceiling.  Hop bines have been painted there, as if to bring the patio feel inside all year long (the painting is simple, yet beautiful, featuring a variety of identifiable insects including ladybugs, moths and butterflies. There are big windows to the outside, and some small stained glass interior windows featuring shafts of grain. Outside, the world is completely white and a cold wet snow is falling hard – the only color comes from the cars traveling by.

Brenda seemed to be the only one working the place, and she did a wonderful job taking care of every table as the place filled up at lunchtime. There are no televisions and the faint sound of music coming from the bar area. People are entertaining each other with their company – families, buddies, couples who appear to be locals, and us – the out of towners. The food we ordered was wonderful! D had a beef, mushroom and wild rice soup that came in a clear broth with a hint of nutmeg, and he paired that with a burger topped to order. I had the Vegetable Supreme Sandwich, which tastes almost like a tapenade – kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, portabella mushrooms, onions, something green (may be basil leaves?) It is on a light roll that is probably homemade (or locally made) and topped with goat cheese and garlic mayonnaise. Our table neighbors had a lovely pizza – if we come back, it would be worth sharing one.

But, of course, we are here for the beers! D was revved up about their Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Knight, which, at 13.5% was served in a 6 oz glass. It is extremely dark with very little carbonation. I personally thought it had a nose of those permanent markers they warned us not to sniff back in elementary school and a flavor so rich with bourbon that I couldn’t enjoy it. He really savored it throughout the meal.

I started with the Stockyard IPA in a half-pint glass. It weighs in at 6.8% ABV, and is an extremely cloudy golden amber color. It was served with a shaving cream foam head, with continued lacing as I drank. We disagreed on the nose – I thought it was pretty dull, while D kept calling it “good to very good” – maybe my sniffer is shot after inhaling marker fumes…I mean, Dark Knight. The IPA had a wonderful flavor of English hops. It was a great way to start the day.

Our next round – half pints each – were ordered one way, and quickly switched. I ordered the Old 8 Porter. At 8.5% ABV, the alcohol is very apparent in this roasty, chocolaty porter. The head was thin and tan like a chocolate foam. I DID enjoy it, but I much preferred the Wild Brunette (7.2% ABV), which is a brown ale made with wild rice.  It is a dark brown in color with a deep, rich caramel sweetness to it. Again, I picked up little in the nose, but the flavor is pleasantly complex. The alcohol is not so apparent, and I could easily drink several of these in a sitting. The head is thin and white, reminding me of root beer that is losing its carbonation, but the carbonation in this ale is biting on the tongue.

Desserts sounded wonderful, but I opted to savor my Wild Brunette, and D ended in poor beer order with the Little Barley Bitter just to see what Barley John’s can do with 3.5% ABV. It was a light golden color, high in carbonation but very little head. True to style, but I let him finish it and continued to savor my brown.

Also on the menu, but not tasted, are three seasonals (Anniversary Ale (an Irish red), Winter Ale and Belgian Tripel) and one more barrel aged (Rosie’s Old Ale at 14%.) Seven guest taps included two local beers (Flat Earth Belgian Pale Ale and Surly Furious), Old Stock Ale from North Coast, Hacker-Pschorr Altbier from Germany, from Belgium both Stella Artois and Tripel Karmaliet, and the Ace Pear Cider.

Barley John’s is a pleasant little spot with great specials, a nice menu of salads, sandwiches and pizzas, 9 beers made on site (at least today!), and 7 guest taps. Oh yes…if I lived here, I would come here often!

There’s more to come, assuming I get good wi-fi on this trip.  Stub & Herb’s, Blue Nile, Cafe 28 are all on tap for today, and Surly and Town Hall are good bets for tomorrow…

Stub & Herb’s – Minneapolis, MN

Stub & Herb’s has been awarded as a college bar, but it is more like a beer-lover’s bar on a corner adjacent to the University of Minnesota campus.  The two walls facing S. Washington Ave and Oak streets have decorative frosted glass. The tables and open booths are pretty basic, but the bar and nook booths on the interior wall have so many ornate and beautiful touches. Molded designs on the ceilings, cut wood, decorative brass work lining the front edge of the bar, pillars with “carved” grape vines…lots of great little touches.We sat at the bar, where Jake took brilliant care of our beer needs. He made great recommendations, and allowed us to sample quite a few things we were unsure about. He was right every time, too.  For instance, when he told me the Summit Stout was “just okay”, I tried one and made the exact same assessment – it was just okay…  We unfortunately didn’t get to meet John, the General Manager who gets credit for the fabulous selection (32 taps!)

The beer menu features “Beer School”, which is a listing of style definitions from beeraddvocate.com, followed by the beers currently available in that style. For those who don’t require the style guide, there is an All American Tap List, featuring Minnesota beers on the top, American microbrews in the middle, and at the bottom of the list, a bottle list including domestics, imports, Belgians, ciders, malt liquors, wines and champagne. The beers are also prominently featured on two chalkboards.

Happy Hour is 11 AM – 7 PM and 10 PM to midnight, and with the exception of a few select drafts, pints are $3.50. There is NOTHING macro on tap – not even Guinness and Newcastle. Great music plays (probably satellite radio), and for D’s benefit, there are probably seven televisions, all showing NCAA games right now.

We had several tasters and a couple of pints. D reviewed them, but I just enjoyed drinking the beers and sitting around watching people (they threw a vagrant out – that was fun to see) and of course, the snow which continues to fall…  We also chatted up with Jake quite a bit.

Here are the things we tried:

  • Flat Earth Belgian Pale Ale (MN) – 5.2% ABV
  • Surly Mild (MN) – 4.7%
  • Tyranena Bitter Woman (WI) – 6.6% ABV
  • Surly Furious (MN) – 6.2% ABV
  • Summit Stout on nitro (MN)
  • Schell Einbecker Dopplebock (MN)
  • Surly Two (MN)
  • Rush River Lost Arrow Porter (WI) 5% ABV

Fun fact – right now the backs of their t-shirts say “Your Grandpa Drank Here,” but the next run on them will say, “The Bathrooms are Downstairs” – they say it is the most frequently asked question!

Drinkin’ Hop Juice – Ought’a be Packin’

At the same time I wrote the title for this post, D said, “You know, we really should be packing for our trip!”

Ah…yes…we should, but we received a growler of Two Brother’s Hop Juice today, which means the world has stopped and I am enjoying a pint. 

Hop Juice

This is a beautiful double IPA from a family owned and operated brewery just outside Chicago. The growler, which was fairly generic, had a nice foam in the neck, and poured with a head like that of an ice cream float. As I sip this ale, a thick lacing lines the sides of the glass.  The color is a beautiful amber-orange. The big, frothy head is deceiving, because the overall carbonation is actually light in the mouth.

The nose is pleasant and light – like the freshness of a forest after spring rains. I’m really enjoying the flavors of citrus, herb and and pine. It has the sweetness of brown sugar and a bit of resin and bitterness from the hops.

The website informs me this is a 2008 seasonal artisan release for February and is brewed to 9.9% AVB, 100.1 IBUs, and dry hopped with a pound of hops per barrel. I’m glad to be enjoying this extremely drinkable ale this from the comfort of my home, as I think I’ll be enjoying another pint while I pack!

If we can’t finish it tonight, we’ll have to find a friend willing to stop by the house to finish it for us…volunteers? Thanks, S-Man, for sending this our way!