metropolitan kitchen and lounge

9

Thanks to everyone who came out last night to the second ever Naptown Pint Happy Hour – this time at Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge. Our little motley crew of 11 had an amazing time. And if you weren’t one of those 11 people, you should feel bad about yourself. I’m sorry to be so harsh, but I don’t want to lie to you like that. I care about you too much to lie.

With that dose of reality out of the way, let’s get down to business. There were three awesome things about last night that were different than December’s epic shenanigan-fest at 1747 Pub:

  1. I remembered to actually take pictures this time. I still didn’t photograph everyone, and you won’t find a picture of me anywhere above (Muahaha!), but we’re making progress.

  2. I had everyone write reviews of a new beer they’ve never had before. That’s right, a-holes: My beer parties come with homework.(Muahaha 2: This time it’s personal.)

  3. Though there are still some truthers out there murmuring about vast conspiracy cover-ups, I think we’ve put to bed the fact that yes, Patrick, my husband, is a real person, and he’s not a pillow I’ve named out of desperate loneliness, nor is he an escort named Esteban I pay sexy hush money to keep the ruse alive.

And now, without further ado, let’s recap this epic evening.

Six-word beer reviews
Since it was a Happy Brew Year-themed happy hour, and one of my brew year’s resolutions is to go outside of my comfort zone more, I opted to impose my will upon others. I had everyone who attended – plus Ryan, the awesome bartender – each try a beer they never had before and review it using only six words.

Everyone rose mightily to the challenge:

Keith reviewed Otter Creek’s Black IPA
Malt hops almost black not crap

Lindsay reviewed New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Heavenly Feijoa Tripel
Sour apples slightly astringent as it warms

She also reviewed Ass Kisser’s Smoked Porter
Smoky eww tastes like cheese bleh

Ben of Flying Dog reviewed Victory’s DirtWolf (double IPA)
Bright fruit it’s drinkable as fuck

Patrick pillow also reviewed the Lips of Faith Heavenly Feijoia Tripel
Somewhat sour. Have my babies. Fin.

Nathan reviewed Smuttynose’s Rhye IPA
Come for the rye stay for the smut

CJ reviewed Lagunitas’ Pils
Amber goodness no fossilized mosquitoes included

Ryan, our bartender, reviewed Anchor’s Steam Beer
Malt forward, nutty toasty finish, bad

Mariel reviewed Anderson Valley’s Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout
Love the label! toffee malt – yum

John reviewed Otter Creek’s Black IPA
Cold weather drink after dinner beer

Jen reviewed New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Heavenly Feijoa Tripel
Refreshingly light, sour notes (sort of)

Casey was tame in her review of Otter Creek’s Black IPA
Lacking hops, back in black better.

…but she let her hate flag fly when she freestyled a verbal review of Bud Light
Spit it in your face, bitch.

And finally, I reviewed Great Divide’s Denver Pale Ale
Brendan’s right. This rocks my non-balls.

This little experiment turned out to be a huge success. I may have to implement this – or some version of this – as a regular feature at these events. And thank you to everyone for being such a good sport and participating! 

Blind taste test: 21st Amendment’s Back in Black vs. Otter Creek’s Black IPA
Brendan told us all about a blind taste test they did at Metropolitan awhile back, where Long Trail’s Black IPA was put up against 21st Amendment’s Back in Black and Otter Creek’s Black IPA. In a landslide, Otter Creek Black IPA took the crown, which doesn’t surprise me – as I mentioned yesterday, I fell face-over-ass in love with this beer earlier this week

After hearing this, we decided to recreate the taste test – but without Long Trail, since there wasn’t any on hand. Eight brave souls volunteered themselves as tributes, and the great challenge began. Well, it began after some debate over whether they were denoting their choice by number or size, because I confused people with conflicting directions. 

Anyway yes. Eight braves souls from the Naptown Pint community voted. And this time, 21st Amendment’s Back in Black won. In a landslide. Seriously, it wasn’t even close.

I was surprised, and so was Brendan. But it just goes to show you why beer can be so fun. Depending on who you talk to, you’ll get completely different viewpoints on beer, because it’s subjective. Everyone brings a unique set of experiences and perspectives to the table, and that’s the way it should be. The world would be really boring if everyone agreed on everything.

Unless you’re blindly agreeing to everything I tell you. In which case, keep up the good work.

And after the party, it’s the after party. And after the after party it’s…
…time to go to one of my favorite places in Annapolis: Nathan and Casey’s interior design-gasm inducing kitchen. In case you didn’t know, Nathan is not only a great local beer blogger, he is also one of the founding members of the Annapolis Homebrew Club, who I had the pleasure of meeting last summer at this spectacular event. And he brews amazing beers including: Boozy PumpkinChubby Wumpkin Scottish Wee Heavy (“I know you like Scottishes…”), and Sprøøs Jøøs. So after the happy hour, a few of us adjourned to the glorious kitchen for one – see: several – beer(s) and great conversation up until the Matlock-approved hour of 11 p.m. There was one unfortunate consequence of this visit, however: Patrick replaced me ever so quickly in his heart with Nathan and Casey’s dogs, as you can see above.

Don’t pity me. We had a good run.

Oh! One last thing: Last night I learned there’s an actual magazine called Garden & Gun. Casey, thank you for bringing this into my life. I have never been so happy. It just… gets me.

In conclusion, you should feel like bad people
If you didn’t come last night, again, you should feel bad about yourself. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, my prodigal readers: This is a monthly shindig, so there will be another chance in February to be a cool kid just like us.

9

I love when people come to visit – especially when they’re beer nerds like me. Why? Because that means I can cram a visit to all of my favorite joints into a couple of hours. And I can pitch it to Patrick as a purely selfless endeavor: “But, but, Tasha is from Chicago! We’re providing a service as tour guides!”

He knows it’s complete crap, but he humors me for some mysterious reason that I will never question – that way I can continue to perpetrate these elaborate ruses of philanthropy.

Anyway, we had three stops for yesterday’s wee Annapolis tour…

Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge
I know, I know. I was just there. I just wrote about this place. You’ll get over it. Or if not, too bad, because I’m over it. Why? Well, first off, that short rib benedict was incredible, and I can be bought with good food anytime. Second, now that the draft lines there are a little less ALL THE IPAS like it was a couple days ago, I enjoyed a pint of Terrapin’s Moo-Hoo Milk Chocolate Sout – which I fell in love with on Saturday – and Great Divide’s Claymore Scotch Ale. Overall, it was the perfect brunch.

On an unrelated note, I don’t know how they do it, but most Annapolis women somehow look ~*~*~flawless~*~*~ by Sunday morning, no matter what happened the night before. Whereas I quietly spent our hour there wondering if I had remembered to put on deodorant, even though we hadn’t done anything wild and crazy the night before – unless you consider marathoning season four of The Good Wife a cry for help. I’m a disaster. (Crisis averted: I totally did.)

1747 Pub at Reynold’s Tavern
The second stop on our journey was our old favorite right under Reynold’s Tavern, 1747 Pub. Not only did I get to enjoy some of Eastern Shore Brewing’s 5 Year Twitch, a tripel (really good) – and a quick hug from their resident bow tie maven and bartender, Christian – I also found out that they do beer flights of four drafts for only $5. Had I known about it, I would have totally gotten a flight of beers instead. I wish more places did that – especially places like 1747 that have a revolving door of awesome, unique beers, where it’s almost impossible to choose just one or two to drink.

I just wish they had it noted on the menu instead, because I didn’t even notice the sign advertising their flights until after we were heading out the door.

Granted, I may not be the best barometer of whether or not they’re advertising it well – historically I’m not terribly perceptive about my surroundings. For example, I spent a good portion of this morning looking for my phone, only to realize that for the entire 10 minutes I had been panicking, my phone was in my left hand.

DRY 85
Our last stop on our field trip was DRY 85. Apparently I fear change – or I was simply tired of making decisions – because I ordered the Brewer’s Art Resurrection, as I did the first time I visited. There wasn’t much change to their draft list. Brooklyn’s Brown Ale and Stone’s Arrogant Bastard were now available, but those came on tap within days of my first visit.

So I guess it’s important to remember that their diverse beer list is not going to change as often as we may be used to at other local bars. Why? Well, the bartender confirmed they have a couple of kegs of each beer listed. That’s not uncommon obviously, but given this is a bourbon and whiskey bar first, it’s probably going to take longer for those kegs to kick, leading to less turnover. It’s not a bad thing, because what they have on tap is solid. It’s simply something to keep in mind.

Edit added, Jan 21: Well, pardon me while I eat my words just a little bit. Yes, the churn on the new draft offerings may have been a little slower than usual to start, but today they just added a Ommegang’s Rare Vos, with limited availability. A nice indicator of things to come.

Edit added, Jan. 24: Now DRY 85 is hosting the DC Brau release party for their Maryland launch. So look at how wrong I am. In this case, however, I’m totally cool with being wrong. DRY 85 is proving to be quite the little game-changer for the Annapolis beer scene. And I dig it.

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I’m not typically a bar-hopper. Bar-hopping, to me, is defined as hopping out of bed and making a home on a stool at a single bar before I decide it’s naptime again and go home. But I’m glad I made the exception, because our adventure with Tasha around Naptown was really fun. And soon we’ll be visiting her in Chicago for our own little tour.