Monday, February 06, 2006

Personally Famous...

Managed to get a pic published on page 23 of the latest issue of Mid-Atlantic Brewing News. It depicts local fixie rider DT getting an autograph from none other than the avatar of homebrewing, Charlie Papazian. Charlie was at the Brickskeller last December (along with Bob Tupper of Tuppers' Hop Pocket fame) to host a beer tasting event and to sign copies of his latest book, Microbrewed Adventures: A Lupulin-Filled Journey to the Heart and Flavor of the World's Great Craft Beers. For $40, you got a complimentary copy of Charlie's book, the opportunity to taste some familiar and unfamiliar microbrews, a background discussion from the man himself, with insight into each offering, and a warm, cozy environment in which to enjoy it all.

So, on a 25º Tuesday evening, DT and I hit the W&OD/Custis trails, pedaling from Falls Church, Virginia, into DC to attend the event. The low temps meant that the trails likely would be covered in spots with a veneer of ice and crusty snow, and this was indeed the case. We handled the slick stuff with aplomb until just inside the Arlington border, where DT took a heavy spill rounding an icy corner. He was up quickly with no apparent ill effects and we rolled on.

We arrived at the 'skeller without further incident and wasted no time settling in. As each beer was served, Charlie and Bob gave background information, liberally sprinkled with humorous asides—including one anecdote from the former about some dubious homebrew he'd sampled while in Zimbabwe—and fielded questions from the attendees. The tasty and eclectic offerings were as follows, listed in the order in which they were served:
  1. Sierra Nevada: Fresh Harvest Ale
  2. Old Dominion: Tuppers' Hop Pocket Pilsner
  3. Anchor: Our Special Ale 2005
  4. Magic Hat: St. Gootz Hefeweisse Dunkle
  5. Balladin: Nora
  6. Wolaver's: Oatmeal Stout
  7. New Glarus: Raspberry Tart
  8. Brooklyn: Black Chocolate Stout
  9. Dogfish Head: 90 Minute IPA (2 styles, one run through the belly of Randall the Enamel Animal)
  10. Stone: Old Guardian Barleywine
Great stuff, to be sure. Too many to address individually, but I will say that the Raspberry Tart from Glarus was about the best framboise I've ever tasted (and I generally stay away from the sweet stuff). And that obscure Golden Ale offering from the equally obscure Balladin of Italy, Nora? It was, well, odd. Dry, spicy and altogether hopless in flavor...let's just say that a sample was plenty.

As alluded to above, I took some pix inside, but most of them turned out fuzzy because of low-light conditions and my laziness in learning how to adjust my Elph accordingly. So how did I score the photo credit? Seems some chaps from MABN also attended, but didn't get any pix. Long story short: They asked. I submitted. Voila! Instant marginal celebrity status, along with a check for $25.

Except the check hasn't found its way to me yet.

The Pic that Made the Cut


Tim Wise said...

NICE! It is 9:20 here in the AM and that made me want to start drinking. How was the Sierra offering?

iconoclasst said...

9:20 ayem...that's just about right.

The Fresh Harvest Ale was surprisingly good. Surprisingly, because while I like SNPA, it isn't what I would call hoppy, so I don't drink it very often.

This was different, though. I would describe it as similar to the Celebration Ale, but with a little less hops and slightly less citrous taste, though much more than SNPA on both counts. Malt flavor is not strong.

Really tasty; I'd definately recommend it. Sierra Nevada is really starting to respond to the hop craze, and it's about time. And now Bigfoot is on the loose in these parts...sweet.

gmr2048 said...

Very cool write-up, my friend (as always). Congrats on being a published photojournalist :). I see a new career opening up before you...

DiscoCowboy said...

I guess for a free paper they'll take what they can get... :)