But no. Jim got grumpalicious by the end of the evening and I’d had three brews that were…faulty.
Starting off with Uncommon’s Bacon Brown. There wasn’t any bacon flavor that I could notice, nor anything I’d associate with bacon-salty, smoky, maple, notes-any of those would be acceptable. Instead I had a meager brown ale that got less good as I drank it.
My next attempt was Goose Island’s Matilda, but the keg blew. So while I got to try a little bit, I can’t fairly judge it.
I went for the Bruery’s White Orchard. I have two issues here. First; it cost me $6 for a beer that is produced in the US and has, to my knowledge, no other special characteristics (high alcohol, spices brought in by sherpas fed on organic meat, pixie dust from London) and wasn’t a pint. For that price, I’m expecting a beer that’s a noticeable cut above average. However, I don’t care how good it’s supposed to be, White Orchard had a pronounced mint flavor at the end. Mint. In a beer that is supposed to have orange and corrander qualities. Jim suggested that it was like drinking a beer after brushing your teeth and I’m inclined to agree.
Finally I had Salmon Creek’s double IPA. And if it had been a pale, I probably would’ve dug it but calling your beer a double IPA means that there are expectations to be met. Serious hop aroma. Biting bitterness at the end. Maybe, if you’re lucky, it’s balanced but double IPAs are your not-screwing-around hoppy beers.
It’s possible that after the previous brews my palate was shot and I just couldn’t connect with Salmon Creek’s beer. I don’t think it was a bad beer, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. Still, after that I was done for the evening; sometimes it’s wise to know when to call it quits.
Also: Brewpublic’s post on the current issue between OLCC rules and homebrewers. It’s a good one.