Saturday, November 02, 2002

Good beer at restaurants?

One of my goals as a beer salesman (with Legends, Ltd.) has been to urge better beer lists into non-beer oriented restaurants.

The Sputnik Cafe in Crownsville, Maryland might be regarded a success in that regard. Sputnik really isn't a beer place, per se, but it stocks a good beer larder, and from time to time, it hosts beer-centric dinners.

For example, regard this dinner I co-hosted with owners Bill and Maria Buszinski and David Brown, Wednesday 30 October. The admission price, at $35, was a ridiculously wonderful bargain. Similar dinners -- beer or wine -- are often priced at twice that.

Moorhouse's Brewery Black Cat
A dark brown/black mild with a clean roasted malt aroma, a firm coffee/nutty presence, gentle body and a long, drying, wine-like finish.
Bronze Award in the mild category at The Great British Beer Festival in London 2002
Trophy Winner of all dark beer at the Brewing Industry International Awards 1998

Fraoch Heather Ale with Hamburger Fischsalat - Hamburg-style Fish Salad
A classic Scottish style of beer, long forgotten which was revived in 1986 by Bruce Williams using a centuries- old recipe. Shows a flowery-fruity bouquet, firmness of body with spice and apple notes in a dry wine-like finish.
Bronze Award for Specialty Beers at The Great British Beer Festival in London
Best Drink Award & Supreme Award at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, 1997
Gold Medal 1997 & 1996 at the World Beer Championship in Chicago
Only Beer served at the 1996 Academy Awards and Governers Ball (to honor the movie Braveheart)

Tripel Karmeliet with Weisse Bohnensuppe (White Bean Soup)
Brewed by the Bosteels family in Buggenhout, Belgium using a three-grain recipe with oats, wheat and barley. Delicately hopped and drinkably balanced with a subtle spicy nite.
Gold Medal at the World Beer Cup
Rated Exceptional at the World Beer Championship

Kostritzer Schwarzbier with Spaetzle & shredded duck served in a spicy coconut milk sauce
A dark blacklager with a a taste of pumpernickel toast, and a tangy and gently roasty finish. This is brewed in the small town of Bad Kostritz, a spa in the district of Thuringia, formerly part of communist East Germany, which has had breweries since at least the early 1500s. Its dark lagers are believed to have been the inspiration for the black beers of Japanese breweries, Kirin and Sapporo. Kostritzer Brewery was in danger of being closed until it was purchased and modernized by Bitburger in the early 1990s.

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauch Weizen with Sausage served with Asian Style Sauerkraut
Weizen brewed with wheat and smoke-cured barley malt. Delivers a complex and shocking panoply of flavors. There is a forward smokiness n aroma and flavor and in the background, a unique German yeast provides aromas of clove, banana and vanilla.
Michael Jackson **** World Classic

Albert LeCoq Imperial Extra Double Stout with Stilton Cheesecake
A style that originated in Britain for shipment to Catherine the Great of Russia. Its high alcohol (10%) and roasted grains helped preserve it for the voyage. Those same qualities created a brew which helped fend off the bitter weather of the Baltic Winter. Michael Jackson compares its complexity to the "tarry sweetness of a Pedro Ximenez sherry".

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