Monday, May 16, 2011

Beer travel round-up: Sunday May 15, 2011

Harpoon Oyster Stout at Meadhall
I had a short beer tour Sunday with stops at  Meadhall, Deep Ellum and The Sunset Grill and Tap.

This was my second stop at Meadhall since they opened a few weeks ago.  It continues to be disappointing.    I like the actual bar and space but all the most interesting kegs on their beer board are always kicked and the food is priced outside the budget of my beer discovery excursions. A few less expensive small plate items would be much appreciated.  The staff is pleasant albeit somewhat distant.  The management seems to hover around ignoring customers and creating an atmosphere of intimidation.  I don't get what sort of atmosphere they're aiming for but casual pub it is not.   Maybe they're on to something.  Personally, I think they need to rethink their approach. 

Our next stop was Deep Ellum, my favorite place in greater Boston for drinking good beer.  It has such a fun vibe.  The staff are all smiling and busily serving customers.  It seem like they actually all enjoy their work.    It's unusual for me to order two beers of the same type in a row but I enjoyed the Jolly Pumkin E.S. Bam so much I had to have a second.  I skipped the charcuterie this this time and instead tried their deviled eggs.  Nothing special.  I had better ones at The Abbey in Brookline.

Out last stop of the day was at the Sunset.  I'm sorry to report it was a let down.  I've generally had decent experiences at Sunset but recently thing haven't been so fun.  It's not that the staff was unfriendly just that our bartender was never around.   At one point I tried to order a beer but was informed that both first my initial choice and then my secondary choice were both kicked.  I said I needed a minute to pick out a third choice from the beer list but the bartender didn't return for another 10 minutes.  And the place wasn't packed.  It was modestly busy.   Also, at no point did the bar tender mention any of the brews that might have replaced the kicked kegs.  I have no problem with kegs kicking, I just hate it when there isn't something quickly being plugged in behind it.

I had two beers are Sunset.  The Cisco Peschish Woods and a Ballast Point Tongue Buckler; two radically different brews.   I'm not a fan of Cisco beers in general.  I root for them and I wish them well but so far their products haven't impressed me.  The Peschish Woods is a small batch sour beer - small enough they don't list it on their web page.   I'm just starting to gain an appreciation for sour beers but again this one wasn't a stand out.  First off it had no head at all.  Second the mouth feel was really thin.  I don't expect a lot of body from the sour beers I've tasted but this didn't have as much body as a good Chardonnay.  It tasted good though.  It was very, very tart.

The Ballast Point Tongue Buckler was a very unusual brew.  I'm not even sure what the beer I drank was.  My web searching has turned up 'Imperial Red' as the description but if there wasn't some chili pepper elements to the beer I'd be very surprised.  There's some mention of a 'Chipotle Tounge Buckler' out and about but I'm hesitant to say this brew had any Chipotle element.  Chipotle is a strong flavor and this brew's pepper was more of an after burn than a full on flavor assault. 
Tongue Buckler

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