So many different ways this little piece of writing is going, I'm not sure where to start. Let's start with a rousing and convincing win today to bring the Philadelphia Flyers back to even with the Washington Capitals in the first round of the NHL playoffs. Now let's face it. I love baseball, but it's still hockey season. Best yet, it's playoff hockey season: the second season. And, there's not much better.
Except maybe for watching playoff hockey with good beer. Going to the Wachovia Center where the Flyers home ice is won't provide much in the way of decent beer for its fans. Fact is, this year I've rarely drank beer at the games I've been to.
Good thing I was at home today enjoying, among others, a Gordon Biersch Dunkelweizen. A nice little hospitality package showed up a couple of weeks ago and I've enjoyed several, and provided some to others, since then. In fact, it's become Mrs. BrewLounge's favorite new beer of the year, thusfar.
Comps, conflicts of interest, and the like have been a topic of heated debate lately. I've provided my own two cents in my latest "profile update" over to the right side of the page here if you're so inclined. I've got another two cents on the topic that I'll share somewhere down the road.
Back to the beer at hand. I've always been a fan of Gordon Biersch beer. All the talk over the past year or so about session beers, lagers, and non-"extreme" beers reminds me of GB, in a good way, every time I run across them. In D.C., Atlanta, California, or any of the dozen or so states that they're located, one can find a very good lager-style beer. I had a nice run-in with a few of their "friends" at the Embarcadero location in San Francisco a couple of years ago.
Trust me, I too hope that I find some way out of this tangled mess that I'm weaving here. I still need to complete our tax returns tonight. (Oh, what the heck, there's always tomorrow night!)
In some ways, GB reminds me of a very large Triumph (of NJ and PA). They do lagers very well. In fact, the GB family has, by my count, brought home 16 GABF or WBC medals over the past 10 years.
Now, they've gone and bottled the Dunkelweizen for the first time. (Oh by the way, keep in mind that the restaurant/brewpub group is managed separately from the brewing company that makes these bottled beers.) My bottles are dated 3/21/08, so this is virtually as fresh as it can get, especially for being west coast brewed and delivered across country.
This LA County Fair gold medal winner pours smoothly as a dark brown, a very murky brown, beer with a modest head that laces the glass a bit. The aroma and the prominent flavor match up and leave no doubt: yeast-driven banana. Faint spice notes and bit of bubblegum flavor (I stole that from their press release, but agree wholeheartedly...honestly!) Unfiltered, as the label says, for sure. But, don't be afraid, there are no chunks. Actually, after a relatively careful pour, only a ring of sediment is left in the bottom of the bottle. No ABV is listed, but it drinks like something not more than 6%.
Unfortunately, we won't be seeing bottles of this in Pennsylvania in the near future. Bottle distribution is initially in a handful of western states (CA, NV, AZ, HI) at retail stores and select airport locations (mental note for next flight through SFO.) But, national distribution of this and other GB bottled products is reported to be on the horizon in 2008, so stay tuned. Be on the lookout for this wherever you may travel. This is one good drinker.
Last bit of news. Dan Gordon will be the guest interview on The Brewing Network's Sunday Session tonight in, oh, about 60 minutes. It's been a while since he's been interviewed. If you've never heard him, do yourself a favor and tune in tonight or download the podcast version tomorrow. There we go, I think I've now got all my plugs in.
In the meantime, I'll be content with D.C. having their Gordon Biersch brewpub. We'll take the next round of the playoffs, thank you ;-)