I love beer. The social aspect of beer just makes you feel good. I heard that Sinatra once said “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink, when they wake up in the morning that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” Sharing in that thought, here is a short synopsis of an impromptu get together that turned out to be an epic beer tasting...
I got a text from Nick early on Tuesday that said he would provide the chicken if I would prepare the sauce (I am the sauce boss). Of course this meant wing night at my place for game 4 of the NBA Finals. I agreed and made sure to have a fridge full of beer, as always.
I began crafting my sauces when John arrived first via bicycle. Nick then stepped through the door with chicken, fries and celery in hand. D-Tash showed up less than two minutes later with an unexpected treat... a bag full of beers he had been collecting for several years. Now, D-Tash almost always has a 12 pack of New Castle in tow, that’s why this was such a great surprise for all of us. As he began to shuffle through the large brown paper bag I could see his excitement growing.
He was ready, and so were we.
The first beer we sampled was the Hitachino Nest XH. This beer is categorized as an American Strong Ale matured in Shocyu Sake Casks. After the tasting it was a unanimous choice for the group - Thumbs Up! We were very lucky to try this now retired amber colored, fruity delight. With its clean finish, it put a smile on our faces and was a great start to the tasting.
The next beer that stood out was from The Lost Abbey brewery right here in San Diego (San Marcos). We had one of their patented 750ml corked bottles of Avant Garde Ale. This farmhouse style ale was golden in color with bits of caramel and honey. Delicious.
The biggest treat of the night was yet to come.
After working our way through a few more average bottles, we came upon the pinnacle of the tasting - Goose Island’s 2008 Bourbon County Brand Stout. This delectably dark beer was made to commemorate the 1000th batch of beer brewed at the original Goose Island Brewpub in Chicago. Being a Chicagoan, I know the lore surrounding this near perfect stout and could not wait for my friends to share in its intense flavor. The beer aged almost perfectly over the 3 years D-Tash had it locked down in his fridge. A silky smooth front end accompanied by a subtle, yet sweet bourbon aftertaste capped this evenings gathering like no other beer could.
Here is to good friends and great beer...
-- Frank Green III