Monday, January 23, 2012

Flights at Bailey's

My wife and I were looking to have a quick TGIF bite to eat after a long work week. We opted for Bailey’s Smokehouse in Blauvelt, NY because of the solid menu and the nice craft beer list. We were there back in October and I was surprised to see some of my favorite pumpkin ales in the house.  This time the beer list was even more impressive and they added flights of four 4 oz. drafts for $6. This gave us the opportunity to try many different craft beers without breaking the bank. 

Doreen started with bottle of Ithaca Apricot Wheat and I had a pint of Flying Dog Porter draft.  She found her beer a little too light, but my porter was rich, dark and satisfying.  We ordered the fried sampler consisting of potato skins, crab cake, pork rolls and mac and cheese egg rolls.  The crab cake was fresh and delicious with a spicy salsa-like topping.  The egg rolls were on the spicy side too but very filling.  The pork rolls looked a little over-done so I didn’t even make an attempt at them.  Besides, I needed to leave some room for the brews.

We each ordered a flight of four so we were able to taste the following 8 craft beers:
Ommegang BPA
Sixpoint Bengal Tiger IPA
Troegs Hop Amber Ale
Franziskaner Hefenweisen
21st Amendment Back in Black IPA
Goose Island Honker Ale
Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ sumpin’
Dogfish Head 60 min IPA

We tried them all and then each ordered a pint of our favorite to go along with Bailey’s specialty: thin crust pizza. Dor went with the Hefenweisen which is a German Weiss (wheat) beer and had the lowest alcohol by volume of the bunch at 5%. This style of beer looks cloudy due to the yeast not being filtered out. We both agreed it had a fruity nose and nice banana and cloves taste.  These are not ingredients used in the brewing; they are aromas given off by esters produced by the fermentation process.  It had a slightly soapy mouth feel which may also be due to the byproducts of fermentation. 

My favorite was the Back in Black IPA from 21st Amendment Brewing Co.  The brewery is named after the amendment to the Constitution that repealed Prohibition.  Apparently, 2 friends decided to start a brew pub in San Francisco that had the feel of one of the city’s 40 or so breweries that were in existence before alcohol was made illegal in 1920. Today, there are only 8 breweries to support double the population.   21st Amendments beers are named in honor of great Americans.  Black in Black pays tribute to Paul Revere’s famous ride.
This beer pours with the hue of used motor oil with a frothy brown head on top.  Both the nose and taste of this beer says toasted malt.  That sweet flavor was complemented nicely by a bitter finish donated by the hops.  It had the perfect bitter/sweet dichotomy of rich dark chocolate.  At 6.8% ABV, it is not too strong if you are looking to have more than one.  Unfortunately, I already had more than one.  So I finished my pizza and made a mental note to find this beer, which is made in cans, at my local bevy.

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