Let the holidays be merry. To quote my buddy Miller, “It’s the holidays man!”. Interpreted as, eat and drink whatever the hell you want. So we have. This week has been packed with things going on: a birthday party Tuesday, wedding tasting on Wednesday, play on Thursday, and then driving back to the cornfields of Illinois on Friday.
The food tasting Wednesday at River Bend Winery was superb. We sampled a few dishes, Ashley drank wine, and I had their Bluegrass Brewing Company offerings. Since they don’t have a draft system, we pretty much had to accept BBC bottles for our wedding. We also talked about the possibility into bringing over some bottles from over the river at NABC since they are bottling shortly and it would be a great wedding gift to toast with Hoptimus. After being pleasantly surprised/able to take a deep breath after figuring out how much money we were going to save, we decided to finally go to the Holy Grale.
This was what I saw when I walked into the door. As of right now, nothing but drafts, which is perfect. The beers are listed from top to bottom from lowest ABV to strongest ABV. It doesn’t get any simpler. What they did with my buddy Paul’s barrels ( Kelvin Cooperage) was awesome. Check out their Facebook page (linked above) with photos from Jessica Fey ( http://www.jessicafeyphotography.com/ ). Amazing atmosphere. I asked Lori (owner) about an opening or a sign and she explained it perfectly. They don’t need a sign up immediately or a grand opening, people will find their way there. As she quoted “we don’t do neon”. Like the cornfields of Iowa, if you build it…they will come.
I started off with Brooklyn Brewmaster Reserve Dark matter (8.5% ABV). Here is how Brookyln describes it “ Brooklyn Dark Matter is a robust brown ale aged for four months in bourbon and rye whiskey barrels. Some barrels previously held Black Ops, some hosted The Manhattan Project, others came straight from the distilleries as soon as the whiskey was decanted. We’ve blended these barrels to create a beer full of caramel and chocolate flavors heightened by vanilla-like oak notes and hints of the barrels’ previous tenants”. I’m pretty sure they used Woodford barrels. I enjoyed the beer, wasn’t too bourbony and was very smooth to drink.
Next up was their strongest offering (12% ABV) and one of my favorites, Founders Devil Dancer. A triple IPA with a little bit of sweet, but a lot more bitter. While drinking this, I sat down and started talking beer with an out-of-towner who had just made the rounds of Louisville Beer Store and Sergios and ended up at the Grale. We discussed beer and homebrewing and he offered to buy me a pint of one of my all-time go to American Pale Ale, 3 Floyds Alpha King (I was really hoping for a Alpha King tapper for Christmas, but they are sold out).
Ashley started off with a Alvine Morpheus Wild and ended with a New Holland Beehive Tripel. Instead of a third beer, after my conversation, I looked over and she was eating chocolates. The Holy Grale amongst great beer, the Grale also offers small plates and Cellar Door Chocolates. To quote Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, ” you have chosen wisely”.
Last night, before we went to see A Christmas Carol (which was good), we swung into the brand new Bluegrass Brewing Company on Main and 3rd. With the YUM! Center opening up, BBC threw all their chips onto the table for this establishment. There are two levels to this BBC. We stayed on the lower level area and sat at the bar. TV’s were everywhere. My favorite part of it was there were glass windows where the liquor was sitting and you can see the brewery equipment behind it. I didn’t know they were brewing on-site for this BBC, I figured wrong.
I went with one of their new creations, a Snooki Chanooki. An IPA named after the Jersey Shore character. Unfortunately, I liked the real Snooki more than the beer. It had a great taste, but was a little bit on the flatter side and not as cold. Not every beer can be great though. Overall, I really liked the new BBC…I don’t think I’d go there to get a beer if something was going on at the new arena, but I’d stop in for a few pints.