Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Pre Happy Hour at Harry's
Posted by Bull E. Vard
What better way of celebrating meeting the biggest objective my work team has for the year than going to Harry's Country Club at 1 O'Clock on a Monday. Of course, this particular Monday happened to be New Year's Eve day, but it was still a Monday afternoon. I took off with Muddy Mo, Hazed and Infused and a couple of other work buds, Silver Bullet and Corona Light. We stumbled into Harry's like a bunch of hobos, one by one. I, of course, was the first to arrive and I ordered a Boulevard Stout, which is currently on tap at the Bull E. Vard mansion. If you know you're going to be drinking more than a couple of beers, it's always wise to start with something pretty filling. Boulevard Stout fills that bill. The only problem I had was the bartender served it to me in a frosty glass. WTF? Who wants a super cold stout? I thought about turning my kegerator cooling system down when I put the stout on tap. I certainly wouldn't put it in a cold glass. Oh well, it slowed down the drinking even more as I sat at the bar with my hands wrapped around the glass blowing on it to warm it up. Eventually it got to about 50 degrees which is somewhat acceptable.
As others started to arrive we moved to a table. It was a sad time for ole Bull, I'd always sat at the bar and really like it there. But to accommodate everyone else in the party, a table was necessary, it was a small concession on my part. Silver Bullet tried ordering a Busch Light, which completely cracked me up. I told him to get a PBR instead, but he demurred and went with a Boulevard Pale Ale when told there was no Busch Light. Corona Light ordered a Corona Light, the first of MANY. Muddy Mo arrived just as I was about to order my second beer, a Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale. Samuel Smith makes some fabulous beers, especially the Nut Brown Ale, perhaps the best of the style. Mo wanted one too, but I got the only one in the bar already cold. He had to order something else and found that they had Anchor Christmas Ale on tap. I was so upset that I didn't find that out first. The Winter Welcome Ale came out and I had a sip after checking out the aroma, which was malty with a tinge of orange. It was a little darker than the Boulevard Pale Ale but not too much. The taste was a bit sweet, maybe a little bit of toffee flavor, but nothing special. It was well balanced, but didn't really remind me of a winter beer at all. I expect a little more from Samuel Smith and I don't think the Winter Welcome Ale is quite worth the extra expense, better to stick with the Nut Brown Ale.
Mo's Anchor Christmas Ale came out and he offered me a sip. I was REALLY happy that I didn't find out about it first. I think I could have come home and grabbed the nutmeg out of the grinder and chewed on it and got the same flavor. Wow, I have never tasted a beer ingredient more prevalent than the nutmeg in that beer. I couldn't get the flavor out of my mouth. I had to order a Stella Artois just to cleanse my palate.
Hazed and Infused finally arrived and really studied the beer menu. She finally settled on the Rochefort Trappistes 10 and she was kind enough to order one for me as well. I'll go ahead and say it, this is what every beer aspires to be. It was a dark brown color with a sweet sugar and raisin aroma. The taste has some fig, raisin, dark chocolate but everything is well blended and makes your mouth extremely happy. On top of that it's 11.3% alcohol so drinking one after 3 other beers may really rock your world.
Corona Light, Hazed and Infused and myself had some spirited conversation while we drank the Rochefort and another beer after, you know, to cleanse the palate. I'm sure that nearly all of the talk would be considered inappropriate in the workplace, I guess that's why we weren't in the workplace. We finally disbanded after some sober up time, quite a bit of it, in fact, inluding a brisk coatless walk around the River Market.
I got home in time to prep for the steak and lobster meal we were having for dinner. I rocked out the steak with a good sear on a simply salt and peppered steak. As one side seared I sprinkled on some Penzey's Northwoods Seasoning to get some spice onto the steaks. The lobsters were set for a simple boil with a butter garlic sauce for dipping. You're hungry now aren't you? It would have been even better had I not drank 4 beers earlier in the day because I would have made a nice wine sauce or beurre blanc for the steaks. It wasn't to be as I was mostly just trying to not screw up my fine ingredients, KC Strip and lobster. Sometimes all it takes is quality ingredients and it was certainly the case with the steaks and lobster.
Anyway, pre happy hour at Harry's is just as enjoyable as happy hour. Especially if you drink a Rochefort Trappistes 10.