Sunday, May 18, 2014

Flight with me (sic, not sick!) at Craft Brewed

I enjoyed a flight of seven four ounce beers (the glasses are 5 ounces but none was filled completely so I'm guesstimating they were coming in around four ounces each) at the wonderful Craft Brewed on Franklin Road last Friday after work and I took notes. Here I share them which you, perhaps to inspire, at least to inspire envy. It's a process. Craft Brewed is right around the corner from Camp Bow Wow, where my pooch Watson spends a day or two once a week. He is a feisty two year old and those camp days are as much to give his much older brother Macguyver a bit of relief as they are to exercise Watson to tiredness. Craft Brewed actually teams up with Bow Wow occasionally for Tuesday evening "Yappy Hours," when leashed doggies are encouraged.

First let me say I am a Rewards cardholder at this establishment. As such, I am promised ten dollars back on my registered credit card for every $150.00 I spend imbibing beer. This to my mind is even better than the ball cap one receives once one has drunk 125 unique beers at Flying Saucer or the wall mounted engraved saucer that gets mounted on the wall at the 200 beer mark. If you consider the minimum cost of a beer at the FS is five dollars the math will bear me out. Much like the proximity of Craft Brewed to Bow Wow, I spent years visiting Flying Saucer while my dear little girl rehearsed choir at Christ Church Cathedral nearby. For the record, I have the cap, but not the saucer!

I had visited the website for Craft Brewed just before leaving work, late, and I had written up a post-it note of what I wanted; but of course 3 of the 7 were tapped out. The friendly tapper agreed that they should change the web display to a webcam. Voila, updated menu always. Will they do this? Time, and the Internetz, will tell. Here's the wall I saw online:
Ah well, to the beers. I stood at one of the barrels that serves as a table and sipped...

  • Lonerider Peacemaker IPA...very balanced and just hoppy enough to be hoppy. This may be my favorite of the seven, surprisingly, and it's likely the one least likely to offend the hop-averse. Me? I'm hop-friendly to a fault.
  • Rivertown L'il Sipa Session IPA...happily hoppy, with a mercilessly intense grapefruity hops follow. This Ohio brew is floral and imposingly hoppy. Me liked. At IBU of 55, it made a believer of me.
  • Kentucky Ale...not Pale Aley to me, more like a malty lager. Pursue the link to its description at Lexington Brewing and you'll see it described as a marriage of an Irish Red Ale and an EPA. I'll buy that, which is pretty fitting, since I did buy it.
  • Little Harpeth Chicken Scratch...Pilsner, floral in a very different way from the Longrider. Maybe more like flowers and less like grapefruit. I really liked this one, and it's local, so, like, yay. Malted barley, locally grown corn, what' not to like?
  • Founders Pale Nitro...bitter for a IBU of only 35. Golden, but if I had to describe its flavor as a color it might be grayish dark brown. A hint of hops doesn't really hit until the back end. Not my favorite, but drinkable: I have rarely met a beer I didn't like.
  • Southern Tier 440 'Roggenbier' German Rye...a one-off for Nashville, I am told, and I thought I detected wheat in there (later I discovered it is fermented with a Weizen yeast, which yields the cloudy look and imparts a kind of fruity taste, a little sweet, maybe a good dessert beer, though I'd like it a bit colder. It's temperature at that point was likely a function of its being a small quantity in a small glass and its ordinal placement in my flight. I was a good boy and was taking my time.
  • Southern Tier Phin & Matt's... A good closing beer, complex and hoppy, but not either bitter or fruity hoppy, a grown up beer. The head had dissipated to a small flat section of the surface--a polar bear!  I shared that with my beerkeep and he laughed, but I thought I detected a hint of wariness in his expression. Do you see it? Note that by the time I thought to take a pic with my cellphone it had somewhat dissipated. But do you see it? No? Oh well, then.
There really is a polar bear in there...
 Fortified and mellow, but not overly intoxicated due to the fact that I'm a big guy and what a had embibed amounted to less than two pints of beer, I hopped into Huey (my Smart Car) and we picked up the tuckered pup and headed home. Thanks to Craft Brewed and let's to it again sometime, but with different brews!
Dead soldiers in a hops-shaped carrier!

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