Sunday, November 11, 2012

Birch and Barley

So I found myself in DC recently, on a business trip. I was hoping to do a little exploring on my own, and one night - I did! When I'm in a new city I like to research places I might like to go. Generally these places may incorporate any or all of the following: good beer, good music, homosexuals. In that order. I did not find the homosexuals but I did find the beer - at Birch & Barley. 
 
 "Hmmm...Where to go?"


"That place!"
I don't remember exactly what I had, but I started with a draft of a Saison from a cask. It was delicious. This place boasts having 555 artisan beers; not sure how many of those are on tap, but a lot. The beer menu also includes what temperature each beer is served at! Holy beer geek! My Saison was relatively WARM - perfection! And the servers were all extremely nice, enthusiastic about the beer, helpful...This was a delightful experience.
 The appetizer was 3 homemade rolls with creme fraiche and homemade beer mustard.
Then I got a fig-goat cheese-prosciutto flatbread. It melted in my mouth and I managed to eat the whole thing. Whoopsy.
Another great thing about Birch & Barley - they offer all the beers in 4 oz sample sizes for $2 or so depending on the beer. I finished the meal with something that had pomegranate and it was pinkish. I don't remember what it was but it was delicious.

Yay for food and drink! A for Birch & Barley.


Dude, Where's My Beer?


 Much has been written on the relationship of cannabis and hops.  Long story short, they are in the same plant family but contain different chemicals and therefore are used differently. Most importantly, I saw these 2 beers, had a chuckle, and decided they should be reviewed together as a theme.
 O'Fallon Brewery is from Missouri. The label of their Hemp Hop Rye ale simply says it is a "malt beverage brewed with hemp seeds." Sadly their website does not currently have information on this beer and I'd like to know their intent. What kind of flavor or other characteristics do the hemp seeds add? This is a very pretty amber beer, with a sweet smell; I picked up on pears and a bit of the rye. The beer is a nice amber ale with a little extra flavor from the rye and caramel malts. Overall, very nice. I'd have this again. B+
 
Lost Coast Brewery is from Eureka, California. They describe this beer as: "Indica is a hoppy, full-bodied ale. It has a higher than average alcohol content balanced by radical bittering from Columbus hops, then dry hopped with generous amounts of Willamette and Centennial hop flowers." Indica poured a cloudy thick orange-amber with a fluffy small head. It smelled like peaches, oranges, pines, and grass. Lovely! It tasted very nice - strongly bitter - felt like an assault on my tongue. In a good way of course. A pleasant sting of fresh bitter hops, light citrus and fruit, especially orange. DELISH! A