Over the past 48 hours, I've been able to fulfill one obligation to visit a local establishment I was meaning to hit, as well as try a new beer. Not bad for two days of non-work.
Friday night in Richmond was actually shaping up to be rather uneventful. Then, a call from a friend of mine changed all that. He asked if I wanted to head out for a beer or two, somewhere close by. I said, "Sounds good. What do you have in mind?" And what place did he recommend, without any prodding or effort to convince him on my part? None other than the Commercial Taphouse!
It worked out quite well, as I was able to get my hands on some Sierra Nevada Bigfoot '02 on draft and enjoy the good company and conversation. We got to partake in some good beer with a few friends, and I even ran into a guy that works at one of our local beer stores. All in all, a good night that came somewhat unexpectedly.
Last night was a different story. I went to visit a couple friends in the Ghent section of Norfolk. After some deliberation, we decided to head out to a nearby bar, which seemed to be mostly a BMC-type joint. No bother though, I was with friends and didn't feel like pulling out my beer-geek membership card. Plus, the place looked alright on the inside, definitely a step up from some other seedier options.
Well, from the description above, you'd be just as surprised as I was to find a "Cask Ale" available. I thought to myself, "What? Did I read that large banner above the bar correctly? Cask?!"
That's right. Well, "Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale" to be exact. Which is brewed by Anheuser-Busch, to be precise. Which I ordered a pint of, to keep the record straight.
The beer was delivered from a regular keg set-up, and I figured this would be the case since it was an A-B seasonal. I tried to give it a fair shake, though. I know I come across a little hard on these industrial brewers, but it's only because I know they can take it. Plus, constructive criticism can sometimes breed results.
Anyway, the flavors of this beer didn't really shine through much at all. I barely got a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg spice, hardly any "Bourbon Cask" flavor, and really not much else. It was still a nice change of pace, and a good opportunity to check out an A-B seasonal, but I decided to go back to enjoying some Sam Adams instead. At a casual glance, I wasn't overly impressed. Still, good to see the effort.
On a related note, if anyone is still reading, I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season. I know it's cliche, but if I didn't say it, you'd probably get me socks next year.