Knox Beer Snobs

Beer Tasting – The Market @ Washington & High – 3/4/2011

Hello fellow beer snobs!

Last night I attended yet another great beer tasting at The Market @ Washington & High (that’s in Maryville for those who are wondering). Here’s a link to the last one I went to. Basically the way these things work is $25 gets you and your date a nice dinner, 2 beverages of your choice and samples from the 4-5 brews selected for the evening. If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around that let me clarify: yep, that’s a deal!

The Mrs. and I usually try to get a picture of dinner to share with you all but because we were #1 – late and #2 – hungry, dinner was in our belly’s before we realized we forgot to take a picture. However, here’s the menu: pulled BBQ pork (with a shot of Gunshot Hot Sauce), corn on the cob, cole slaw and quite possibly the most magical corn bread I’ve ever had. This was corn bread with pepperoni cheese – ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. Believe me, Mike Adams and his team at The Market will not disappoint you.

Alright, let’s move along to what we had. Spring Seasonal beer was the theme and given the spring like warmer weather and ridiculous amounts of rain we’ve had lately, this was fitting. Once again Todd made some great selections and led us in great discussion.

Sam Adams Noble Pils: We’re all familiar with Sam Adams and ole Sam does a pretty good job of keeping things fresh and new. Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is what introduced the Mrs. to craft beer and for that I am grateful. This was the first time I had Noble Pils and right off the cuff you get a very light clean smell of the beer. It pours light and clear, as you’d expect. Immediately I had visions of cool spring evenings on the deck as the gentle waft of meat cooking on the grill meets my nose. While I’m not a big fan of the lighter beers, they are always a welcome sight as we approach the warmer part of the year.

Noble Pils is very different than what Sam usually does – it’s very distinctive and has a great citrus flavor that is very crisp. Several in the room also commented on the cinnamon/clove taste right at the end. This beer also reminded me a little bit of a white Belgian beer – but only a little. Overall I was very pleased with it and glad Todd picked it out for us to try as I can’t say if I would’ve tried it on my own.

Shiner Spring Ale: Dortmunder Style: It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Shiner so I was excited to see this beer in the line up as I wasn’t aware of it. Now, this poured a hair darker than the Noble Pils and smelled similarly as well. However, I got a little more of a pear taste from this beer and overall the taste seemed a bit more robust. Not a bad spring beer at all and one that will most likely find a way into this beer snob’s beer fridge at some point in the next month or two.

Blue Moon Spring Blonde Wheat Ale: I won’t lie, I’m not a huge Blue Moon fan. I have friends that love it and I’ll gladly drink a pint or two with them but it’s not one I frequently go after. This spring seasonal surprised me though. As with most wheat beers, it pours a little cloudy with an orange/yellow tint. You get a lot of the citrus flavors off the nose with maybe a hint of lemon. When it hits the tongue it is very clean. Flavors of orange and banana are easily distinguishable. Overall a very good beer and one I wouldn’t mind having again before the summer time comes.

Highland Black Mocha Stout: This beer was the only non-spring seasonal in the line up and is one I am always happy to see. For those of you who follow the blog you may have already seen my write up on this one a few months ago. This is a great stout with a very distinctive bitter/mocha taste. It actually reminds me a bit of the flavor you get when eating chocolate covered coffee beans. It pours black, obviously with a fair amount of head. It’s got a great flavor and even if you’re not wild about stouts, you should give this one a shot, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Now, Mike and Todd raised the bar on this last tasting and brought out a fried pie filled with goodness from The Fruit & Berry Patch out in Anderson County. Todd put this beautifully when he said, “a black mocha stout & a fried pie is the adult version of a RC Cola & a Moon Pie.” A great combo that really accentuated the flavors in the beer.

Overall this was another great beer tasting. If you’ve never gone to one, you really need to put it on your radar. Keep an eye on The Market’s event calendar and get on their mailing list – trust me, it’s worth it.