7pm The Chat Up

From the Twitterverse last week, a contact told me about the Deschutes/Hopworks India Red Lager, which on paper sounded amazing. In practice, it’s just kinda bland. The bitterness is too rough on the end, not enough body or sweetness so what this has going for it is that it’s a red lager with hops.

India Red LagerThat’s just not enough for my tastes. I don’t know why but I seem to be unable to find a beer I can recommend, lately. But, you play game, sometimes you lose.

It’s a lucky night for me, otherwise: the owner is sitting at the bar and there’s a space next to him, so I can sit down at the bar and write, in addition to chatting up the barkeeps too. We talk beer, customers, tipping and service and the friendly competition that can exist when good beer places exist near each other. In this instance, I’m told about a new beer bar near Roscoe’s to check out. Awesome to me: I can hit it and tell you about it later this week (I hope. Maybe next week.)

I’m also informed that the staff at Bailey’s is going to do some work at the Commons, brewing an ale for the anniversary event, which is super cool! (And, given last week, nicely serendipitous.) There’s a suggestion that it will involve cucumbers which is…very interesting.

I have to admit, this India Red Lager is getting a little better as it warms up. Maybe the hops help it survive the warm up period better than a lager would? More likely, the malt is able to make itself known…but damned if I know. It’s a little better. Still not great.

Hanging at the bar helps remind me why I like being here.  Everyone is friendly and laughing and teasing each other: From my perch, there’s not a non-contemplative frown in the place. (There’s a guy working on something in a corner, intently focused on his laptop, face thoughtfully disapproving of whatever he’s looking at.)

Good times, as my sister would say: good times.

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10 thoughts on “7pm The Chat Up”

  1. Just goes to show you that the palate is a weird thing. I really, really enjoyed that India Red Lager. Had one on the release night at Spirit of ’77 and just had another last night at Belmont Station. Both times I felt like I was drinking a better, beefier version of an amber…sort of what I wish all ambers aspired to be. That’s what I love about beer, though. We all like something different, so brewers are always making something challenging and/or tasty.

    1. I believe I saw a writeup at Bill’s blog (It’s Pub Night) about the IRL too and that’s where I started getting interested. However, I was told by the barkeep that they had Deschutes’ version and that earlier ones, from where Hopworks had made it, were a little more robust.

      Maybe that’s true, maybe not: there’s no way for me to tell but it does suggest something odd, don’t you think?

      1. That is entirely possible. I couldn’t say with any confidence which version I might have had. But it could explain our reasons for feeling differently about it. I have a bottle that I will try tomorrow, to see if my opinion holds. Stay tuned…

  2. So I had my 22 oz bottle, clearly labeled as having been brewed at Hopworks. I can’t say that I liked it as much as the two drafts I had before (go figure). The nose was still as good as I remembered it, but I felt the malts didn’t show up as much in this one. I think this is only enjoyable when cold…once it starts to warm, the bitterness starts to dominate everything. Still, on the whole, a more than decent beer and I am glad I got a chance to try it more than once.

    1. That’s interesting. Maybe I had the Hopworks’ version? I can’t quite remember; the whole conversation I had was done ‘in passing’ if you will. But maybe I need to give this one another shot, see how it comes out. Your experience certainly suggests that another go ’round won’t hurt.

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