Monday, June 14, 2010

Tableside Taps

A new Washington D.C. bar is installing table side taps for the table goers to purchase beer from (I learned from this post, that cited this post).  I had seen this unique asset online that a bar was going to install in Atlanta, but now it is coming to D.C.

I think that table side taps would be a great idea- if used in a smart way.  The way that the taps work, is that the customer swipes a card next to the taps, and pours their beer.  The amount of beer and price is displayed next to the tap, letting the customer know how much the beer costs as well as the amount they pour.

I am not what beers will be poured through the taps, although the article mentioned that it wouldn't beer Schlitz.  (This is MY idea, not how the bar will work)-> I would love for a bar to have this system in place, with the ablility to "rent" the table for the night and have a selection of beers to be placed on the taps.  This way, you could get as good or as crappy a beer that you would like.  This way, the table could buy the beer by the cup, or buy the keg (1/6) before hand and just pour.  The cost to rent the table would give you a place to sit all night, as well as the bar gaining the upfront money to offset the cost of people not buying by the glass.  That is what my ideal would be for the bar.

Check out the post to see the awesome photos of the tables.

The Time Has Come

I have made a compromise.  I love city living.  Even though we didn't take complete advantage of the perks of the city, we have enjoyed the ability to get home at night and be able to walk to where ever we needed to go.  Italian food, mexican food, the grocery store during a blizzard, the park and a couple of great beer bars (as well as the most friendly bar I frequently went to) were all within a couple of block of our house.

But the time has come to make my fiancee happy (and a part of me happy as well).  We are buying a house in the county.  Not Baltimore County or even Carroll County, but in Pennsylvania.  I am lucky enough to still have my job in the city, and am close enough to commute to work, but there are some things that I will definitely miss.  Maybe #1 on the list is Pint Night at Max's Taphouse.  Not for the glassware (I have way too much as it is), but for the guys who I have gotten to know and the peacefulness of leaving life for a while and downing a pint.

#1a would be the great network of bloggers/twitterers that Baltimore has (Brad at BeerInBaltimore, Dan at BeersForDinner, Chuck at Belgian beer and travel, @CDoubleIPA, @jmooy, @plank10 and all the others that I didn't list).  I have loved walking into an event/random bar and seeing people I know.  The combination of knowledge and friendliness lead to great experiences throughout the past year on A Beer in Hand.  Meeting and being able to talk to some of the greatest beer minds in Baltimore couldn't have been done without this network.

#1b is the great friendships that I have gained going to McGovern's every Thursday.  From an awesome bartender in Marty (who works at the Baltimore Taphouse on the weekends) to the great crew who have welcomed us into their family, we are grateful for your friendships. (If you like boating, check out my friends blog here.)

I see moving as a challenge and adventure.  I now get to seek out new beer bars, and get to experience new atmospheres.  Hopefully, I will be able to find great new beers, as well as attend beer events that I did not know about previously.

So here is to my last week as a full-time city resident. (I may be living part-time in the city, but not sure yet.)  If you are around Wednesday, stop into Max's for a pint.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Session for the Session (#40)

The Session this month is hosted by Top Fermented, and they ask each blogger's own opinion of Session beers.

What is your definition of a session beer?... 

Is it merely enough for a beer to be low alcohol to be considered a session beer, or is there some other ineffable quality that a beer must hold in order to merit the term? And if so, what is that quality? Is it “drinkability”? Or something else?...

What are some of your favorite session beers? When and where do you drink them? If you’d like, drink one and review it.
If you go on Beer Advocate, Rate Beer or any other beer forum website, you will find posts that argue the correct definition of a "Session beer".  Does it have to be under 4%?  5%?  5.5%?  Each person has their own abv definition, but the one thing that remains true is that a session beer must be easy to drink and light in alcohol enough to drink for the entire night without falling out the back window (long story, involves Imperial IPAs- don't ask).

When I think of low abv, easy to drink beers- I think of my go to beer.  When heading out to a party, or just to hang at a friends house, I will pick up or know that there will be Yuengling Lager. 4.3%, smooth and not bad tasting makes it a great beer to drink all night.  (It doesn't hurt that it is cheap.) 

When thinking harder of sub-5% beers that were easy to drink, my mind takes me to Selin's Grove Brewing and their Shade Mountain Oatmeal Stout (the beer on the left in the picture).  When I first started drinking craft beers, I drank many stouts and loved oatmeal stouts.  I turned from the dark stuff in favor of IPAs (with no regrets) but do enjoy a stout every once in a while.  So while spending the afternoon at the brewpub with my brother, I decided to give the 4.6% stout a try.  It came out looking perfect, and a smile came across my face. The taste did not disappoint.

I could drink this beer all day and night.  It did not weigh me down, and it made me want more of it. 

To see my full account of my trip to the Selin's Grove Brewpub see this.