Thursday, June 15, 2006

Brasserie Jo in Boston, MA (and their Hopla "house beer")

Brasserie Jo is probably not near the top of many beer hunters' lists when they travel to Boston. I am here to suggest that perhaps it should be. This is because in addition to a worldly selection of very good beer, you also stand the chance of having a very good meal. And, interestingly enough, they also feature a house beer brewed for them by Brooklyn Brewery in New York. I stopped at Brasserie Jo for just a very quick visit on my way to the Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Really, I was not there longer than 30 minutes. So, you are probably breathing a sigh of relief thinking that this will be an atypical short review! on and we will see how this goes ;-) From the minute you walk through the front door of the Colonnade Hotel's first floor, you immediately realize that you are not in a typical beer bar. It would actually be a gross injustice to call this a beer bar, or even a bar, at all. This is an establishment that focuses on a Parisian environment, food, experience, and comfort. Fortunately, for our enjoyment they also serve up good brews from around the world including Belgium, Germany, and the United States. How about if I let you be the judge: Hopla (see below); Goose Island; Saison Dupont; Stella Artois; Warsteiner; La Chouffe; Hacker Pschorr; Chimay; Herold; Sierra Nevada.....just to name a few. Plus, according to the bartender, the selections are frequently changing. Then, you feast your eyes on the food menu. Very creative, indeed. You will see a predominantly, but not limited to, French menu. From frog legs, to pate, to foie gras, to escargots, various fish, and bouillabaisse you see the beginning of a quite delectable food offering. Unfortunately, limited time only allowed for me to sample some oysters from the raw bar and a Hopla. As you can most likely tell from my tone here, this was certainly a difficult visit to walk away from. In my short time, it probably is worth also noting that the service was polite in a slightly stiff, but friendly way. Even though I was not so stylish in my casual ballpark attire, I was treated with respect and properly served. As for the Hopla beer, here are a few notes of what I considered to be quite a surprising, pleasantly crisp and hoppy pilsener. As for a last note on Brasserie Jo, I will be heading back for a full dinner and a few more beers the next opportunity I get. I suggest you do too. This is certainly a very good restaurant that is "getting beer right." Hopla - pilsener-style lager Appearance - very pale golden; short head hangs for just a bit then leaves a thin ring Aroma - clean, light lager nose; nothing too crazy Taste - very pleasant; more interesting than expected; a light bitterness; not offensive at all Mouthfeel - light bodied; leaves a nice lingering bitterness in the finish Drinkability - extremely drinkable; this a very nice summer-drinking brew; I'll have a few more

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