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Date night with my wife this last Saturday (after busting out snow all day). Huzzah!  We decided to go to an old fashioned dinner and a movie.  Had to choose a place that had some decent choices for beer and we only had a limited amount of time if we wanted to see a somewhat early show.  I’ll be honest here; I needed an early show. I was beat!  :) 

Figured we could hit the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery right across from the theater.  The wait wasn’t bad at all and the service was pretty darned good - especially considering a hoppin’ Saturday night crowd.  The food is very decent and well put together pub grub (Brewery Nachos with a side of guacamole, and the Chorizo and Cotija Pretzel Bites).  I decided that I needed to go with the sampler since I wasn’t sure what I wanted to try (not like we go there very often).

The waitress didn’t organize the sampler on her tray very well and it was very mixed up landing at our table. I was a little disappointed that she mixed it up, but since she was otherwise very attentive I figured it was just an honest busy night mistake. I ended up identifying the various samples the hard way - by tasting and matching to the menu description. I had to taste them all anyway, right?  It wasn’t really hard and it is not like I didn’t have the profile menu right in front of me.

To be very honest they were very solidly made brews and went well with the meal.  My wife and I had fun figuring out which was which.  My favorite was the English Golden Strong Ale and my wife’s was the Saizon.  All in all a fun dinner.

I have transcribed the samplers I had with the menu descriptions below.

Red Ale - ABV 5.7%
Flavorful American Red. Balancing lightly toasted malt notes with bright fruity Crystal hops.

House IPA – ABV 6.5%
Brewed with hand-selected hops from the Pacific Northwest with a bold citrus hop flavor.

Wolves of Westy – ABV 9.4%
Full bodied English Golden Strong Ale. Pronounced malt character and sweetness, without the dark toffee and raisin flavors of dark crystal malts.

Saizon – ABV 6.0%
Light fruity Belgian spring ale.  Brewed with lemongrass and ginger.

Smokey the Beer – ABV 5.7%
German Alt Beer brewed with beech smoked malt. Deep garnet amber color with a hint of smoke, balanced by a subtle sweetness.

Molly’s Brown
A deep chestnut color, notes of dark caramel, semi-sweet chocolate and coffee.

I didn’t go to @420fest . Other obligations. But I have to celebrate today with @sweetwaterbrew 420 fest Double IPA.

Brewed with experimental hops, this beer is actually pretty unique. I don’t like to advertise extracurricular activities. But in a side by side comparison, the smell is about as dank and close as it comes. Piney and weedy, it’s cousin would be proud.

It’s taste is what surprises me. I’ve never tasted a bitterness quite like it. Cloudy in appearance, it’s taste I can’t pinpoint. I get pine. I get grass and earthy notes. I also get this strange briney spicy character to it. It has quite a bit of fruit. Some lemon and actually some berry like flavors. The malt is dry and the tinsiest bit sweet. A new beer to ring in a new year. Congrats on a successful weekend guys. Maybe next year I’ll take off!

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PranQster (North Coast)

Brewery : North Coast
Beer : PranQster
Style : Golden Ale / Belgian Strong Ale
Variance : None

8 / 10

Bust out on it, original prankster… Damn that songs stuck in my head now. Thanks a lot North Coast and Offspring (bastards). Contrary to the reviews I’ve seen on this, to me it’s just a pretty good beer. It’s like saying Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning” is the best album when it’s clearly “Master Of Puppets”. It has a nice clean and sweet start that pretty much doesn’t change throughout the taste. It’s a solid brew that really doesn’t do much besides just taste good which isn’t bad but it could bring more to the table. This beer just brought the chips to the table but forgot the god damn dip. Regardless, this is a great entry to those new to goldens and the bastards should definitely give it a whirl even if it’s just to find the average for the style.

Written by: Steve B.

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