Independence roadtrip - Friday July 1st part three
Published on July 12th, 2011 @ 08:07:00 am , using 1023 words, 22359 views
I call Hopcat, and I imagine that I'm sounding a little weird. I had my potatoes thankfully, but I'm a little edgy when I lose things, especially important things.
Me: "I left my red notebook there last night and all my beer tasting notes are in it"
Person_on_phone: "If I had known that, I probably would have read through it! It's here behind the bar, just ask about it when you come"
Back to the scene of The Crime
Indeed they did have my notebook and I thank them profusely. I know most bars take their lost and founds rather seriously - since one person's written on dirty napkin is another's plans for world domination, but I appreciate it.
And, holy "Bob" Dobbs, the person that was behind the bar was the beer buyer! He introduced himself and shook my hand and asked me what I was planning to drink. I told him honestly that I had no idea.
That wouldn't do, not at all, nosirree - so he lined me up some samples. I'm always so very thankful to get to try samples before I commit to a full pour, so I thank him probably 10x more than I need to and start sipping.
Two were from Atwater Block Brewery in Detroit. One was Grand Circus - a lovely pale, and Teufel Bock. I liked them both, but Teufel Bock gets my most excited noises between the two. Molassses and earthy tones, picking up the wood of the Hopcat bar. Yes! We will be visiting Atwater on our next SE Michigan trip.
I mentioned my sour beer obsession. Oh, the buyer knew exactly what I'd like
"Have you heard of Jolly Pumpkin?"
Heard of them, we had vague plans maybe of going there. They're kind of the 'sour and interesting beer people' and since we tend to like sours, and we're both vaguely interesting maybe we were pretty keen in getting to know them and their beers better.
We knew Hopcat had quite a few on by them so were going to sample their lineup there and skip the trip this time. Maybe.
Bam Biere is a good Saison. Bam Noir knocks my tastebuds into high 'must have more' gear.
Madrugada Obscura gets its own paragraph. Imagine a rich very sexy stout. Because stouts are sexy, what with all the body and lovely rich malty notes. But, there's a sour tone to it, and it's a rich sour. A rich sour that somehow goes with and contrasts the malt at the same time that it's making friends with it. It's a sweet courtship ritual in your mouth and you're lucky enough to witness it. Finishes beautifully.
Yes. That is coming home with us in a growler. We think of Danyel who loves malty beers like Jon and I do - and also loves sour beers. This is the beer she's going to try from the trip.
In the meantime, I'm going to make friends with Bam Noir. I get a full pour and start enjoying the wonderful sour notes of this beer. It's making me miss baking bread, since it reminds me of the sour rye starters that the wild yeasts in our kitchen are happy to help us produce.
A palate cleanser? You bet.
"Crack Fries, please!"
Were they as advertised? I think you'll have to see for themselves, but yes we did want more... =)
Down the bar arrived two other travellers. I always eavesdrop so I heard that they'd travelled from up the coast of MI down to Hopcat and were 'going home'.
I'm part kender. I swear to you, minus the topknot. I always play a rogue in online and role playing games, and I have the somewhat charming propensity to just start randomly talking to people. A bar is a nice place for that, since it doesn't seem unusual. I don't think.
So I strike up a conversation. They're from Dayton, OH and went to Traverse City (to Shorts Brewing, if I remember correctly). We talk about the beers they've met along the way. A really nice couple - they're witnessing a revitalization of Dayton, OH that sounds exciting. Independent bars with craft taps are opening and the music scene is being expanded. They take their leave soon and he leaves me with his card, which I'll pass on to you in digital form here: http://ghettoblastermagazine.com/. I wish them all the luck in the world in Dayton - I really think that the city is due for some more indy love.
I get back to talking to Jon and enjoying Bam Noir. At this point in the trip, I'm already starting to have the odd reaction that I get to industrial oils. As if you didn't think I was odd enough already, my mouth gets absolutely inflamed and painful after I've had fried food or a lot of chips. The Crack Fries are actually fine, in fact they're helping me in many ways!, but the oils from the day before are punishing me.
Girl needs protein, badly, frankly. I've been slacking on it, because it's hard to get lean protein without any wheat and adjustable carbohydrates/fat at restaurants. To say I'm a little of a nutrition geek may be an understatement, but when the atmosphere allows, I'm happy to just nibble and have a good time. It was time, though, to start listening to my macronutrient hunger signals.
I admit to the lovely bartender (the buyer has moved on to buying) that I'm about to break a golden rule, but I'm looking for protein in the fair city of Grand Rapids that doesn't come in the form of a sandwich or can be wheat-free. Her and two regulars down the bar from us think about it, and ask us a few questions. They make A Recommendation Which I Won't Name Here for Purposes to Become Clear Later and Jon and I figure it's worth a try.
We nab the growler of beer and thank the bartender and the local people. We head out to the Place Which Will Not Be Named.