After completing the exam, Mr Wort Hog and I headed over to Goebel Liquor, home of Rob's World of Beers. There are several refrigerated cases of beer there, and I think about 3 full aisles of beer as well as an entire wall. Selection is not lacking at this place, and you're bound to find something you've never had. But what really sets this place apart is the selection of vintage beer. They have magnums of Anchor's Our Special Ale going back to 2005 (and at $9.99 each, we couldn't NOT buy some!). They had 6 years of Anchor's Bigfoot. Several years of Avery's Mephistopheles, JW Lee's, Ola Dubh, and a bunch of others. These guys have done an incredible job of setting aside beers to age & bring out later. I loved it.
After stashing the beer in our temperature-controlled hotel room, we made our way over to The Anchor and joined most of my fellow examinees for a round and some food. The food was quite tasty (their house-made potato chips were awesome), but the beer selection is really the reason to go. Their draft list seems to frequently update and included Tumbler and Old Rasputin on nitro (yum!). They also have quite a few bottles in coolers, including some Boulevard Imperial Stout.
After a couple of beers, though, everyone parted and we headed over to River City Brewing Company in Old Town (not to be confused with either River City Brewing Company in Sacramento or Jacksonville). It was just a short walk away, and it's always fun to check out the local brewpubs. I tried ordering their oak-aged saison, but they'd just run out of it so I got their ESB instead. I was happy with what I got, but it wasn't anything special. Mr Wort Hog's chocolate bock was a bit on the sweet side, so after finishing off our beers we headed back to The Anchor to wrap up the evening - which included a bottle of that Imperial Stout.
It was a little on the syrupy side and I thought John's observation that it had that occasional aged-stout "soy sauce" characteristic was spot on. It was good, but to be perfectly honest I liked it better when it was young.
The Anchor's Strong Ale Fest is coming up in November (on the 6th) so mark your calendars. It's all day long and is followed by a Hair of the Dog Brunch the next day. Sounds like a fun time, and they're sure to have some excellent brews.