Knox Beer Snobs

The Market in Maryville – Beer Tasting on 1/28/2011

Hello fellow beer snobs! For those of you who have been keeping an eye on the site, you may have noticed two weeks ago we posted on a beer tasting at The Market in Maryville. In that post we mentioned the next one was on 1/28 – this beer snob already had his spot reserved but it booked up fast. Our apologies to anyone who saw our write-up, got excited, then wasn’t able to get in. Just so we’re all aware – the next tasting is on 2/11/11 and not even this beer snob has a seat – booked solid. 2/25/11 should be the next one, so mark your calendar now and plan on giving them a shout to get on the list – 977-8462. The are requiring you to prepay now – too many no-shows. 

So, on with the post! this tasting was every bit as good as the last. We started off with a great dinner cooked by Mike Adams, the GM for The Market. He hooked us up with a pork tenderloin, asparagus and quite possibly the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. The picture to the right doesn’t do this meal justice but it at least gives you an idea of the stellar food you’re bound to find when attending one of these events.

The beer for the evening was focused on lagers and ales. Now, I’m not a big lager guy. I’ll drink them, occasionally buy them but I usually reserve my beer calories for other brews. I think I also started off on the wrong foot by going after one of my favorite types of beer, an IPA – the Shipyard IPA was the choice to be exact. This was a new brew for me and while this is definitely not one of my favorite IPAs, some may like it. I think the hoppiness of the beer may have altered my palate a bit however I mustered on! The first beer on deck was Estrella Damm.

Estrella Damm: I’d be lying if I had said I had even remotely heard of this beer before. It hails from Barcelona and has an interesting history if you’re into that sort of thing. The great thing about tastings like this is that you get to try stuff that you normally wouldn’t because you didn’t recognize the label, brand, or like me, don’t particularly care for the type of beer. Todd, The Market’s very own beer snob, mentioned that this is the beer that a lot of our big American brewers would love to be like. As far as the taste goes, I would agree. You immediately get floral notes off the beer as the head dies down and you can quickly see that it’s a little more carbonated than your average lager. It starts off clean on the palate but gives you a hoppy finish. In comparison to the next beer, this one started weak and finished strong. This, to me, is a boat beer. It would be great on a hot summer day as you’re lounging around on the lake with your friends.

James Boag’s Lager: Again, another one of those beers I’ve never heard of. This one comes from the James Boag brewery in Tasmania. This beer shared some similarities to it’s lager brother above in that it had a very clear yellow color, some floral notes and a hint of hops. However, the difference was this one actually had a bit of a fruity scent to it. It also started strong and ended a little weak. I got an immediate bitter but sweet taste off of the first sip. For a lager, it was very robust and had a good body to it. While ok, I just wasn’t wild about this one. Certainly wouldn’t turn one down if you poured one for me but you probably won’t see me with a six pack of this anytime soon. To each there own though as there were those in the room that dug this beer.

Acme California Pale Ale: This pale ale comes from North Coast Brewing out of Fort Bragg, CA. First off, Acme California Pale Ale has a pretty cool logo that reminds me of bomber girl art that was prevalent on the nose of many WWII bombers. This pale ale pours clear with a good finger and a half of head. It has an orange color which isn’t too surprising. You immediately get scents of pear and apricot off the beer. This is a very clean and subtle pale ale. There are many pale ales out there that are very bitter and hoppy, this one is not. It does have the typical bitter finish you’d expect but it’s mild. This a very drinkable pale ale and for someone wanting to give pale ales a shot, this would be a good one to start with.

Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale: This beer was certainly my favorite brew of the evening. For those not in the know, Samuel Smith is a brewery from the UK with a long history. Their Nut Brown Ale is a beer that I have been aware of, but never tried. Try it I did – this is a great nut brown ale.  It pours a nice golden brown and has a honey, caramel scent to it. You get a nuttiness immediately that remind you that this is certainly a nut brown. There’s also a subtle taste of malt and maybe a little hops. This is a great nut brown ale that is very enjoyable.

Overall another great beer tasting put on by Todd and Mike at The Market. We had a great time and enjoyed meeting and talking with several fellow lovers of beer. This place is a very well kept secret. What’s even better is that because they have an on-site beer license, you can literally drink a beer while doing your grocery shopping – how cool is that? Keep an eye on their website though as they are always thinking of new ways to share the love of good food and beer with us all.