I know it was a few days ago but things at work and school have been too insane to allow me to update the blog!!!!
I waited in deep anticipation all day long for the moment that I get to try not only a new beer from my favorite brewery, but what was essentially a new beer to the entire beer market in North America. To me, this moment was ground breaking. Not in a "First Man On the Moon" sort of way, but in a "First Man On The Moon Who Smoked a Cigar" way. I was taken away with the appearance of the Barley Oak as I stumbled out of my truck into the frigid lakeside air. After a quick hop up the front steps and into the heavy pub doors, I was greeted by a warm burst of atmosphere that was richened with the smell of bubbly hops and a roaring fireplace.
The bar was not too crowded as I approached a curly blonde-haired girl tending bar and asked if they had tapped the IPA and she dropped me like a bad habit.
My initial response was to be, "You bitch...." but the wait just made it more tempting and made me desire it more. The bar owner, Vanessa, came around the corner to grab everyone's attention about the draft starting at 7pm and lucky me was able to get the first beer.
To me, nothing is more satisfying than drinking the first draw of a fresh keg. It makes you feel like a king. For only $2.50 a pint, this beer was more than well worth it just for the Hell of drinking it, but the flavor was unbelievable.
It was beyond the darkest shade of night and head such a light head, it would fool one to believe it was a Schwarzbier or a Dunkel Ale, even some of the darker porters and stouts could be accepted in appearance but nothing about this beer besides the color made it "dark." Unlike the common name for this brew, Cascadian Dark Ale, this beer contains no Cascade hops, leaving out that soapy alkaline bitterness you find in premium IPAs. So without the Cascade hops, it can't have the Cascade name, hence doubly so throning it the king of oxymorons as a Black India Pale Ale.
The first sip was full of pleasant acidity and fully malty, but without the robust coffee and caramel notes that would be expected. It was more of a green tea or hibiscus flower sweetness that bled from these black-stained malts. This beer is ultra hopped. Definitely not for those of you who are more accustomed to things like the Boston Lager or Bud Light. It was a perfect compliment to the tradition German Sausage Platter and made some sort of illegitimate flavor baby with the imported mustards.
Here on the Northshore it should be an easy find for most bars that have Abita on tap, but for those of you out of state, I send my condolences. This is a sweetly insane brew that you can't miss out on and I hope all of you get a chance to try this if not any Black IPA out there on the market. If you're down here, I'll treat you to a beer. You buy the sausage.
Check out the Barley Oak at their website and don't forget to check out the killer menu!