Thursday, June 09, 2011

Short's Tap Takeover at Churchkey

Well, I got the weekend started off right. On a Thursday, as it should be. Last week was SAVOR week, the premiere beer event in the DC area, so all week bars and pubs all across the DC area were celebrating.

On Thursday, Short's Brewing Company came to Churchkey, their first time in the DC marketplace in an event dubbed "Short's Brewing Monster Tap Takeover." As reported, no beers from Short's had ever been in DC before and so debuting 30 beers all at once was pretty phenomenal. While I didn't get a chance to meet them or even confirm if they had arrived from their flight into the city, the brewery's Founder Joe Short along with CFO Scott Newman-Bale, Tony Hansen (Head of Brewing Productions) and Jon Wojtowicz (Beer Liberator & Field Representative) were all set to be at the bar that night.

I got there promptly at 2:40, worried that there would be a long line like when I went to 2010's Stone Total Tap Takeover. Meeting my friend Chris, we entered the bar at 3:00 and grabbed seats at the bar. The list was overwhelming.

I started with Hangin Frank, their IPA brewed exclusively with Simcoe hops. The beer poured a dark golden color with very little head. Aroma was pine hops, caramel malts, touch of sweetness. Flavor was incredibly tasty to say the least. The night was starting out right.

Next up was the Key Lime Pie. Okay, I understand that this beer will not be everyone’s thing. It’s gimmicky. It’s silly. It’s really sweet. With all that said, it was *just* like drinking a key lime pie. The beer came and was a copper color, no head. The beer had a pretty bland aroma (certainly not bad, but no key lime notes), which made me a bit disappointed and worried when it first arrived. The first taste was initially average, and then it hit me. Lime. Graham cracker! Wow. I’d have to say that more than 8oz of this would probably drive me up the wall.

So I was really stoked after the Key Lime. Next up: Carrot Cake. Poured a Aroma of this one is mild carrots, with almost cream cheese frosting like characteristics. Woah. Flavor is kind of like a carrot cake, though it is a bit heavy on some spices - I noticed nutmeg in mine. My mind almost went straight to what I normally expect from a pumpkin beer.

Then... Another Caucasian Gary. One of my bosses thought it was the funniest name when I told them I was headed out for the day. My mind's eye thought "gray" but it came out almost brown. Aroma was coffee notes, almost sugary sweet vanilla. Flavor was like Southern Tier’s Creme Brulee. It’s pretty close to a White Russian. Brown sugar, vanilla notes in the flavor. Would probably rather just get a White Russian if I had the choice, but it’s an interesting beer worth a look.

Shorts Soft Parade poured a copper color, tiny white head. Aroma is mild tart fruits (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries). Flavor is certainly raspberries, strawberries, blackberries. A bit sweet, not too tart, flavor is pretty darn tasty and the alcohol is nearly untraceable.

The Whiskey Sour. I’ll share my comments on this one by echoing the comments I made on the Key Lime Pie. It’s gimmicky. It’s really sweet. It’s not for everyone. Now, unlike the Key Lime Pie, this one had a noticeable pie flavor immediately off the bat. And by gum, this one really did taste like a whiskey sour. The small taster of this one was about perfect.

Bananarama came to me as a dark brown brew with a tiny, vanishing head. Aroma was average, seemed like there’s something up with it. Flavor was, well - disappointing. I caught the banana in there, but it was, neither all that powerful, nor was it all that good. It could have been simply that pour or that keg, but I don’t think I’ll be seeking this one out again. My buddy Ryan thought differently, so I don't know what could have been the problem.

Sustenance poured a dark, almost black color brown, with a small tan head. Aroma was chocolate, roasted malts. Flavor was roasted malts, earthy hops, chocolate malts. While not a gimmick like most of the beers I had had up to this point, it was solid.

The next beer was another normal offering from the brewery, Bellaire Brown. This one poured a solid translucent brown color, ruby notes, small head. Aroma was caramel, sweet nutty notes. Flavor is caramel notes, a tad nutty.

And here we come. The beer that changed it all.

Coming soon.

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