Beer Tasting – The Market @ Washington & High – 2/25/2012

Howdy fellow snobs!

If you weren’t at The Market @ Washington & High last night for the bi-weekly tasting well, you missed out. For those not in the know, $20 gets you dinner, two pints, 5 selected beers to taste and 10% off of everything in the store – yes, that’s a steal. You’ll note a picture of dinner on the right – that’s rosemary new potatoes, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, and a scotch egg with saffron sauce. Did I clean my plate? You betcha. This meal is probably right up there with my all time favorite Market beer dinner of shrimp’n grits. Just say’n.

These are always a lot of fun and we’ve been going often enough now that we’ve made some friends and see familiar faces. What made last night even better is that my brother, who is serving in Afghanistan, is on leave and was able to join us.

Alright, so, you may be wondering what we had to drink! We had a nice selection of beers to sample beginning with a nice seasonal and finishing with a nice dark stout. Here we go:

Sam Adams Noble Pils: I thought that we might have tried this beer once before and sure enough – we did just about this time last year. This is a spring seasonal from Sam Adams and is brewed with all 5 Noble hops – which are hops that are not as bitter but more aromatic and come from areas in Bavaria and Bohemia considered to be the “original” growing regions of these hops. It pours a distinctive yellow and is a bit hazy, very carbonated and has a lingering head. It’s very clean, crisp and screams springtime. I can easily see myself cracking one of these open after mowing the grass here in a few weeks.

Hap & Harry’s Lynchburg Lager: Now, this brew is perhaps most interesting due to the story it brings a long with it. Hap Motlow, of Jack Daniel’s fame, and Harry Lipman, the first distributor of Jack Daniel’s after prohibition were apparently close friends. This beer is meant to celebrate that friendship. What’s also pretty cool is that Harry Lipman is the same Lipman we all know as the Lipman Brothers Distributing who is not only still around but brings us a lot of tasty beverages. So, this beer has some Tennessee roots and for that reason alone, it’s pretty cool. This is a nice German style lager that pours with a nice head, has noticeable carbonation and is very light and drinkable. Similar to the Noble Pils but I think the Tennessee heritage makes it taste a little better.

Lucky Bucket IPA: I’ve had this one once before and it’s always a welcome site. This beer pours with an orangish amber hue, nice two finger head, has a very nice full hop aroma to it, and while it begins bitter on the front it finishes with a nice sweetness on the back. A very good, very drinkable IPA.

Atwater Vanilla Java Porter: Anytime I see this tap handle I almost immediately don’t consider starting with anything else. Atwater Brewery comes to us from Detriot, Michigan and this porter lives up to it’s name with very distinctive vanilla and coffee tones. It pours with a nice, airy head and while it is dark – as it should be – it’s more brown around the edges than the normal dark amber I’m used to for a porter. The vanilla and coffee notes are prevalent in the taste and it does not disappoint. While I couldn’t make an entire evening out of drinking this one beer, I could certainly drink more than one. We also paired this with a few bites of fried pie – awesome.

Lazy Magnolia Jefferson Stout: Lazy Magnolia is based out of Mississippi and makes some pretty good beer. I, for one, really enjoy their Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale. The first thing I noted about the Jefferson Stout is that the tap handle stated “sweet potato cream stout.” I’m not going to lie, I love sweet potatoes and the Mrs does a very good job of incorporating them regularly into our diet. So I had already had fanciful visions of what this beer could taste like. Now, those visions didn’t exactly come to fruition as the sweet potato didn’t exactly bring the flavors I would’ve thought it would to bear. However, this is a very good milk stout with notes of chocolate, coffee and caramel that were very prevalent throughout. It actually reminded me a lot of Duck-Rabbit’s Milk Stout. At some point maybe I’ll try them side-by-side.

Overall another excellent evening at The Market @ Washington & High. I keep saying this but if you haven’t made it out to one of these, you’re missing out!