Thursday, January 5, 2012
Coffee District Monday Night Bottle Share
Every Monday night, a bunch of beer geeks descends on Coffee District in Delray Beach, FL for bottle share night. Though I had been to Coffee District once before, I never managed to make it for this weekly gathering. My car told me after finally attending a few days ago that my infrequent showings are because of the 100 mile round trip on a Monday night, not to mention the need to drink in total moderation while being stared down by 20-30 big bottles of superstar beers!
But I thought what the heck. I didn't need to work that day and soon Little League would be starting and I'd have almost all evenings booked. So I grabbed four bottles of Great Lakes beers I had remaining from my friend's generous gift a few months back. Great brewery, I had already tried a bottle of each of them, and it was the only out-of-market beer I had available (that's a general requirement of what to bring).
When I arrived (on time, of course), I plopped right down next to Brewkkake. It was like we had just chatted earlier in the day. Well, actually we did, via Twitter. I actually met him at Coffee District on my first trip there, almost two years ago. I met a bunch of the other gang members, too, each as they arrived. I also met Melinda, who was working there that evening. Oh, and never forget Chung, front and center and always a welcoming host.
Before we kicked off the bottle share, I decided to order a beer from the board. Since I've never had any Tequesta Brewing beers, I asked the group which of the three on tap was the best. Melinda told me the Belgian Blonde, so I ordered the Belgian Blonde. It's the only beer I didn't take a picture of the entire night. Oh well! The Belgian yeast was very noticeable. Tart lemon and citrus, simple and quite refreshing. I wrote that the yeast was prominent again, LOL, first drink, so I guess that caught my attention.
I did overhear a comment about the label being all tough with brass knuckles while a delicate saison resided in the bottle. That's a pretty funny analysis! I guess there are definitely manlier, more ninja-type beer styles! LOL.
The smell was really fucking weird. I thought about that banned Asian fruit, whatever it's called. But one guy said it smelled like meat loaf and another said wet dog food. I'll protect those guys. The flavors were better, with apples, pears and chamomile. VERY flowery, petals, perfume. But more of that weird fruit made me dump the rest. Glad I passed on buying for myself--I used that savings to procure 1/3 bottle of Macallan 12 Year Single Malt Scotch on Sherry. See where I am going with this?
I learned that in bottle share etiquette, everyone opens his or her own beer to pass around. Seems everyone had a simultaneous urge from this group. Anyway, this beer had a nice chocolate flavor and the bourbon from the barrel was only subtle, nice. Definite heat from the alcohol. Carbonation was tingly, spicy, some strange nuances, not bad.
considering I had it before, I didn't drink any to allow for everyone else to check it out. I didn't even take a picture, but I did shoot one of Brewkkake and MikeLovesBeer toward the end of the evening.
What a great bunch of guys! We rapped about beer book publishing and our favorite authors. There is one in particular that we can't wait to read on our Kindles.
Brewkkake talked about a possible return to his insane beer blogging hilarity. He was a little tentative but when the whole Brewkkake Brand concept came up, I think he saw the potential of elevating to new heights!
This beer is sour and funky. At the same time, it has a rich molasses consistency and flavor that kicks ass. Apples, caramel, really nice.
17-20. Around now is when Mike and Brewkkake told me I needed to open my own bottles. So I cracked open four bottles from Great Lakes Brewing. I didn't take pictures or taste them since there was only 12 ounces of each and I already reviewed each a month or so ago. If interested, here are reviews for the Holy Moses White Ale, Eliot Ness Amber Lager, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, and Commodore Perry IPA.
22. Plaid Shirt Seth Rhubarb Saison Homebrew. When someone started passing an unlabeled wine bottle around, I knew it was home brew time. Seth brought in a bottle of his Rhubarb Saison to share. The beer had a nice and interesting fruitiness to it, refreshingly tart, definitely different. The flavors were quite enjoyable and I could have easily sat around all night drinking it. Great job!
In summary, I had a great night and met a bunch of great new people. Hanging with Mike and Brewkkake is always fun as well. The other really cool thing was getting to try a bunch of beers I'd likely never get an opportunity otherwise. Many of the beers from this tasting have very few online reviews and are fairly scarce. If I had to name favorites or standouts, ones I'd like to repeat if possible, I'd say that the Sodibo (#2), Bat Out Of Hell (#4), Bar Fly Smoked Imperial Stout (#23) and Apricot Ale (#24) are my choices.
Anyway, if you're in the area, check this event out! Take an out-of-market bottle, go meet some cool people, and have a great time. There is no secret handshake that gets you invited. Be sure to check out the brews that Chung has on tap at Coffee District too. He gets some of the rarest beers around the area, some spectacular options.