Monday, February 28, 2011

Beer Adventure: Sunday Feb 27, 2011

I had a most-awesome beer adventure yesterday.  It was a three stop trip that lasted most of the afternoon and featured a lot of Danish beer.  The stops in order: Lord Hobo in Cambridge,  Deep Ellum in Alston and Redbones in Somerville. 

Lord Hobo

This was my second trip to Lord Hobo and it's becoming one of my favorite stops.  I didn't eat on this visit but my recollection of my previous meal of pork belly hash with sunny side up eggs had me watching every plate go by.   I ordered a HaandBryggeriet Odin's Tippel (Imperial Stout).  I read it as Trippel not Tippel so was a bit surprised when I saw the super dark brew.  Even as I drank it I was thinking it was some sort of hybrid Trippel and Stout.  In fact they use a wild yeast so it had a bit of the Belgian funk that I love.  It also had tons of chocolate, coffee and dried fruit flavors that made it a perfect brunch brew.

We sat at the bar and the service was a bit slow but the bartender made up for it by being very friendly.  My crew all agreed it was great albeit short visit.

Deep Ellum

Mikkeller Limoncello
Our next stop was in Alston at Deep Ellum, a bar I've wanted to try for a long time.   Based on the name I was expecting a Grateful Dead motif but if there was one I didn't notice.  The place is both smaller and more worn than I expected but it had a nice vibe that was someplace between the College vibe of the Sunset Grille and the Young Professional vibe of the Publik House.  We grabbed a few seats at the center bar, right in front of the taps and were served by a really nice and knowledgeable bartender who bore a considerable resemblance to a clean and sober Lindsay Lohan.   For food we split a few appetizers:  the Charcuterie plate, Maple Habenaro chicken wings and fried Calamari.  I love Charcuterie and this was an awesome selection.   I know our bartender told me what each item was but I only recall them as yummy.   I thought the Maple Habenaro wings could have been spicier but they tasted good.

There are few taps at Deep Ellum but they don't waste any space on crap.   I had three great beers : Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck St Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition (A Belgian, dry, sour beer more akin to wine than what most people would expect from a beer. ) , Mikkeller Limoncello IPA (A Danish Double IPA brewed with lemon peel) and a Firestone Walker 14th Anniversary (A California Strong Ale)


I'm a big fan of Redbones but this visit wasn't their best hour.  We went down stairs to Underbones and snagged some stools at the mostly empty bar.  We then sat there and waited and waited and waited some more for the bartender to come over and talk to us.  When she finally did come over she was grumpy, unfriendly and so matter-of-fact it came across as short. To top it off the beer selection seemed weak given what we'd just seen at Lord Hobo and Deep Ellum.

When we finally did get to order the ribs were great - better than usual IMHO - and I had a very tasty Mikkeller USA Ale (Danish version of an American Strong Ale) to wash them down.

In contrast the last time I was at Underbones I had a fantastic beer-geek discussion with the bartender on the merits of various west coast IPAs.  He wasn't a fan of Green Flashes' West Coast which is one of my favorites and we had a friendly and fun argument about it (bar-gument?).

I don't know what the scoop was with our bartender yesterday but being inattentive, abrupt, and unfriendly is not the way to earn good tips. 

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