Monday, November 04, 2002

Hard Times for Christmas Chili

Hard Times College Park, Maryland continues to impress as a humble yet fulfilling stop for the thirsty beer sojourner. Residing therein is good inexpensive food (chili, hot or not), good beer with the occasional megabrand lurking in the shadows, and friendly, attentive service. Just remember to ask for an unchilled glass!

Monday, 4 November 2002 the Cafe hosted another of its occasional beer tastings, this one devoted to autumn and winter beers. The wonderful lineup included Victory's Festbier and V10, Wyerbacher's Autumn Fest, Black Radish from the Weeping Radish, Octoberfest from the Old Dominion Brewing Company, Heavyweight's Perkuno's Hammer, 90 Minute IPA from Dogfish head, Ale Mary from RCH Brewery (Dorset, England), Redhook's ESB, Negro Medelo, and Scots Pine Ale from the Heather Ale Brewery (Glasgow, Scotland).

Owner Bill Swint and GM Becky Duney's twist on the expected tasting agenda is to have each beer described by its representative before ANY of the beers are served. Then all the beers are served one at a time and the patrons are asked to identify the beers according to the earlier oral descriptions. Prizes and applause-heavy recognition are awarded to those who correctly do so.

It was a lot of fun. But not for the table of us beer 'experts' who downed pints of Perkuno's Hammer and Something Red (White Marsh Brewing) and became befuddled. Perkuno's Hammer was such a delicious and potent brew from Heavyweight that we gladly suffered the wrath of the Baltic God of Thunder!

Representatives of B.U.R.P. [Washington D.C. metro area homebrew club, Brewer United for Real potables], on the other hand, showed again why that homebrew club is one of the premier such clubs in the nation, by correctly identifying all of the beers.

My personal surprise was the quality of the Redhook ESB. Tasting it blind removed many of my prejudices against it. I bought a 6-pack the next day.

Hard Times College Park
4738 Cherry Hill Rd
College Park, MD 20740

(next to Shoppers, near Home Depot & Starbucks, just south of I-495, off of Rt. 1S to College Park).

Yours for good fermentables,
Thomas Cizauskas

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