Sunday, April 30, 2006
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
One stop here at the Brick Store Pub outside of Atlanta is all it took for me to proclaim this wonderful beer bar as one of the best places I visited in quite some time. Now, you'll need to understand that this took the perfect storm of events for this to come true. First, a beautiful Tuesday evening in Atlanta in April, a successful day of business meetings, a gathering of good friends at BSP, and a bar that truly outdoes practically everyone else in their industry by serving some of the best beer known to planet Earth. OK, this might be a bit over-the-top, but do yourself a favor and stop by and see if do not agree.
If you are willing to put up with Atlanta traffic, then you can obviously drive to Decatur, which is 6 miles east of Atlanta. However, if you are already in downtown Atlanta as I was, then just simply hop (a pun!?) on the east-west MARTA train line and 20 minutes later you will be getting off at the Decatur stop just steps from the front door of Brick Store Pub.
Decatur, in what I saw on my brief walk from the train, has all the appearances of being a charming and bustling town with restaurants, shops, and galleries. This seems to be a very livable (and dog-friendly) town that also just so happens to have their own Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival in October :) Being located on the "town square", which is not a through-street, allows the outside of the pub to be easily accessible but without feeling like the outside world is bearing down on you while you're enjoying your beer. There are a few tables with umbrellas outside. Of course, during the hot and humid months in the South, these are probably not the most sought-after seats!
Inside you will find a very comfortable atmosphere. Not only is the first floor bar and dining room seating viewable from a second floor seating area. But, once past the second floor balcony seating (from where the picture to the left was taken), the space opens up to the Belgian bar area and then another tucked room away in the back for eating and drinking. The building is a former feed mill with exposed wood beams, stone, and brick walls. There are no TVs, no smoking, and no attitude (at least not on this Tuesday evening). I'm not quite sure how to explain it any differently to convey just how comfortable I find the BSP ambiance.
Perhaps the final convincing fact for me that this is a cool place is that it was opened almost nine years ago by three college buddies who wanted to open a great beer bar. How many guys, including myself, would not mind doing something like this?! I got the chance to talk to Mike (the others are Dave and Tom) and really got the feeling that they are in the business for the love of beer and not just pushing a product like I have seen at other establishments. So, it may be hard to believe, but in the almost five hours that I was there I at least sampled each of the beers listed below. As you can see from the notation, there were several that I had never tried before that became instant recommendations.
Bob, kudos to you for getting me to come out to the Brick Store Pub. I owe you a Monk's trip. Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne (!) Urthel Hop-It (!) Terrapin Rye (!) Great Divide Hercules IPA (!) Brasserie Dupont Moinette Blond (!) Highland Oatmeal Porter Weihenstephaner Korbinian (!) Unibroue Trois Pistoles Brasserie Dupont Saison Dupont
(!) Newly found beers to highly recommend
Monday, April 24, 2006
Sunday, April 23, 2006
That's how this happened to work out while in San Francisco. First, I punished myself with a 6-mile run through San Francisco that included the ubiquitous hills (including Lombard Street) and the scenery of Alcatraz, the bridges, and the Embarcadero. It was certainly one of the most diverse, interesting, and scenic runs that I have ever undertaken.
Oh wait, this is a beer writing, not running. (Note to self: update my running website!) So, I reached the end of my run near the bottom of the Embarcadero and, of course, I need to be replenished.
Oh wait, what is that? Yes, Gordon Biersch it is! Now, my experience with GB up until this point has left me with somewhat of an ambivalent feeling. From my first experience with them 8 years ago at Candlestick Park with their garlic fries to their brewpubs in San Francisco, Pasadena, Atlanta, and Memphis....the beers have always been respectable and decent, but not adventurous or great. Plus, they focus exclusively on lager-style beers, which for me are hit-or-miss.
There was something much different about this experience. Perhaps it was the runner's high that I was experiencing after a great run. Or maybe it was the friendly bar service that I received. Or maybe....just maybe it all started when I walked through the front door and was smacked righteously in the face with the sweet smell of barley.
Ah, the mashing was in full swing! I could practically taste the air.
While at the bar, I had a great jambalaya dish full of meats and starches. And it washed down alternately with water, the Schwarzbier, and the Pilsner. Both beers were very good representations of their styles. Once again, perhaps I was just overly thirsty and hungry, but I really do think that these were both good beers without being overly lager-ish (like that?!)
Maybe it was the hops. They were certainly present in both beers; but, I was on the West Coast, eh?! Then, perhaps the icing on the cake was my introduction to Rich who was busy formulating, calculating, and making the Vienna Lager, if I remember correctly, or was it the Blonde Bock.
He graciously took the time to ask about my website and my beer preferences and favorites. Even though he was busy in the process, he pointed out the pieces of the German-installed brewing operation which is easily viewed from the bar area.
I mentioned to him how I thought his beers were very good lagers and described other good representations of the lager style on the East Coast, like Penn, Victory, and Brooklyn. He stopped back at the bar a couple of times and also made sure that I was familiar with the San Francisco Brewers Guild.
All in all, this was a surprisingly pleasurable stop at Gordon Biersch. The space that they occupy has two levels with large bar and dining areas. And, if you check out the last picture here, you will probably agree that they have one of the most scenic locations of any bar or brewpub in the country.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Friday, April 21, 2006
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
One unique aspect of this beer is the packaging. The bottle shape is reminiscent of medicine bottles from the period of the American Revolution. Apparently, according to the bottle label, it has local connections for us as they claim the bottle design was created for a Philadelphia-area brewer in the time period of the late 1700s.
Have you tasted this beer? Let us know what you think. As a suggestion, try to keep the review as brief as possible for each of the following: appearance; smell; taste; mouthfeel; and drinkability. Appearance Adam: slightly cloudy apricot, short head dissipates to thick ring Bryan: pours an inconsistent, thin, large bubble head; a cloudy light-bronze color beer Smell Adam: not much of a nose, hint of sweetness Bryan: faint aromas of fig newtons and light syrup Taste Adam: moderate malty mild & tea-like, slight tangy after taste Bryan: reminds me a bit of John Courage; not an overwhelming flavor and a bit of sourness that lingers afterward for a while Mouthfeel Adam: slight carbonation spreads the delicate flavor Bryan: light-to-medium; sticks a bit to the roof of mouth as it slides through Drinkability Adam: refined and pleasant Bryan: Yes, and don't let my sour comment dissuade you Seconds? Adam: all night without missing a beat ;-) Bryan: just one more for now; but, I could definitely see this being a good "session beer"
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006