Saturday, December 20, 2008

... and a good time was had by all

My coworkers bought John and I a one-year membership to a Beer of the Month club and we received our third shipment yesterday. It comes with 3 bottles of 4 different beers. Yesterday's shipment included Lancaster Winter Warmer, Sand Creek English Special Ale, Karlovacko Svjetlo (pilsner from Croatia), and Lomza Mocne (strong lager from Poland). We each had a bottle of the Sand Creek ale, I had the Winter Warmer, and John had the Lomza Mocne. All were pretty good, but the Winter Warmer was my favorite. We stood around in the kitchen & chatted for a while, which seems to be our Friday after-work routine lately. 

We then decided to head out to 75th Street for a couple of beers. I called ahead to find out what they had on tap, since it seems the past 3 times we've been the selection was subpar. Much to my delight, they had an IPA (not Good Hope), the IPA on cask/firkin, and a bourbon barrel brown. We hopped in the car & dashed over (yeah, yeah, we could have walked - but it was 25 degrees outside. I'm a wuss.). 

The place was packed! I don't know that I've ever seen it so crowded. We snagged 2 stools at the bar and ordered up 2 pints of the firkin IPA. Holy cow it was good. Best IPA I've had at 75th Street and highly recommended. Citrusy, grassy, spicy, bitter - very "green" smelling. I watched the bartender pour two bourbon browns and recalled our experience at Free State with Owd Mac. (A couple of weeks ago at Free State, John got a glass of Owd Mac. We loved it so much we ordered another round, but they were out. For good.) So we asked the bartender how much of the brown they had left, and he said they ran out at 5:45 (well after I'd called)! BUT, they did put a whiskey barrel stout on tap. We ordered 2 glasses and it came to us in two small snifters.

We finished our firkin IPAs while chowing down on dinner. I love 75th Street's chicken tender basket with sweet potato fries. I don't get it often because it's such a caloric gut-bomb (though not greasy), but every once in a while I throw caution to the wind and order it anyway. John ordered their Kobe burger, medium rare, which is a reminder of our days spent at Rogue's Distillery & Public House in Portland (Corey we miss you!). Again, it came to order. I can't think of another restaurant in the area that has actually cooked a burger as requested (rare or medium-rare, specifically), including orders for 75th Street's standard burgers.

I should note that when we first walked in to 75th Street, I ran into 2 coworkers - one of whom I found out lives not far from us. As we ate dinner, I saw another coworker at the bar... soon after that, another coworker showed up. They had been to the Boulevard tour earlier in the day and were finishing the day at 75th street. John and I started chatting with them and before I knew it we were actually socializing at our local brewpub. 

One of my coworkers is single and wanted to talk to a woman in the bar who was with a couple of friends. I went over to the women and told one of them that my friend & coworker wanted to talk to her but didn't have the nerve to do it himself... I got to chatting with them and couldn't tear myself away - they were a LOT of fun! John came over after a while and the 5 of us sat there chatting. 

I was getting pretty buzzed so I switched to water. I think I drank about 2 liters of water, I was so thirsty. Beer + dry winter = dehydration nation. Over the rest of the evening, however, I did have 2 more small (10oz) glasses of the firkin IPA. I wanted to drink more before they ran out! As the 5 of us stood around chatting up a storm, my coworkers popped in & out of the conversation. I had the best time and made a few new friends in the process. 

They do Firkin Fridays every other week. Two weeks ago, they put their XXXmas ale in a firkin and the opinion of one apparently frequent 75th Street patron was that it was incredibly good. We'll see what they have next time. My faith in the brewery has been restored. Thank you, 75th Street!

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