Gary and I headed out for a minor adventure last night, into the mysteries of Raleigh Beer Week. How big would it be?
We got started around 7pm and had a couple concrete events off raleighbeerweek.com – here we go! First to Tyler’s tap room where there were 12 brewery reps on hand. We were hoping for the cavernous place to be filled with sample beers, but all we found was a recommendation from a rep from Victory brewery in PA. I almost always stick to local dark beers but because the rep was cute I ended up with an Ale that was so spicy we didn’t finish it – I NEVER don’t finish a beer! :-) Tasted clovey and cinnamon-ny. Meh.
We gave up on the crowded place after watching two or three poor barkeeps pulling as fast as they could. There were two highlights: watching the girl pull a brew into a hot glass and watching it crack and explode in her hand (she was ok and seemed somewhat entertained by it as well, ha); and another barkeep explaining the mechanical tap that pulled the precarbonated beer from the keg like they did in the 1500s.
Next it was off to Foundation for a new local brewer’s keg getting tapped before it was officially available. Now, I love Foundation, Jane and Larry and I watched their barkeep work drinks for a mesmerizing hour and I developed a serious mancrush on the guy (that’s four, Green Gartside, David Beckham, Sam Rockwell, should I be worried about switching teams?)…
So… the board in front of a long line of bearded hipsters read “Belgian Dark Stout”… omg I’m pumped… we chatted with the brewer, a nice fellow with a generous smile and a massive beard, he explained that the brew process was extended to let bacteria consume the extra sugar that was “unused” by the yeast. And we recognized that it was described as a “Belgian Dark SOUR”, not stout. Sour. Remember that.
My man was reduced to pouring a thousand glasses for the thirsty crowd, wasted talent. The place was packed. So we headed to the entrance where there was a small space left. By the time we got there, we started to realize that something was up. By the time we focused and figured out what it was, Gary was puckering and shaking his head wildly. Bless his honest soul. The rest of the bar, myself included, continued to make polite smalltalk and work very hard to avoid puckering as to reveal the big fat sour elephant in the room. The way-worse-than-lemon-juice-concentrate-level-of-sour elephant. Eventually he convinced me to abandon my post and stop the posing, and we headed out feeling like someone had twisted the life out of us.
As a final effort, we headed to the roof of Raleigh Times to cleanse the palette of the evening’s misadventures with a single good old fashioned Canadian ginger ale. It never tasted so good. :-)
All in all, I have to say I have never had so much fun drinking such disappointing beer.
UPDATE: Raleigh Beer Week has been deadly. Monday with Gary, Tuesday with Bill and Stephen, Wednesday drinking a big Tripel bottle with Jon, and off to Tir Na Nog on Thursday with Stephen and Bill, with Stephen and me staying to finish off the strange perversions of the TNN staff – they took two Lone Rider minikegs and polluted Sweet Josie with cocoa nibs and coconut, and destroyed some Peacekeeper with some horrific rum thing or another. Ha. MORE BAD BEER ohs nos… and here comes the weekend…
Oh and I actually started beer week early… as in 9am Saturday early… after the Raleigh 8000 run with Gary…
UPDATE UPDATE: I took Friday off! Whew I needed that! :-)