Sunday, May 24, 2009

Live from Grizzly Peak... It's Sunday Afternoon!

Today's post comes to you live from Grizzly Peak, one of three brewpubs - on the same street, in fact - in downtown Ann Arbor. I'm sitting here for three reasons. First, Fox Sports Detroit is not included in basic cable, and I'm tired of listening to Tigers games on AM radio. Second, the pub is WiFi equipped. And third, I felt like having a pint!

Out of kindness, or is it an aversion to promoting mediocrity, I won't bother naming the third brewpub; but, the other brewpub, Arbor Brewing Company, is great. I'm particularly fond of their Sacred Cow IPA, which tastes a little like apricots and pine needles (in a good way). A real summer treat! Elena, who happens to be an excellent baker and happens to have an excellent blog devoted to her baking adventures (no, I am not above shamelessly promoting my wife's blog), really likes ABC's Brasserie Blonde, a citrusy, orange-hued Belgian ale flaunting a subtle spiciness.

As a former English teacher, I'm a big fan of analogies. The best analogy I can come up with to compare Grizzly and Arbor (ABC) would be high school cross country teams...just hear me out. ABC is the well coached team with a stable of finely conditioned athletes. From top to bottom, they know how to compete and win more meets than they lose because of their depth. In other words, you will rarely be disappointed with a pint from ABC. Grizzly, on the other hand, won't win many meets, because the few star runners (and no Prefontaines, mind you) on the squad are not enough to compensate for the slackers. Their Bearpaw Porter is pretty good (a B+ on Beer Advocate), but I've had a few duds, too.

Today's pint, however, is not one of them. I'm drinking Wee Owen's Roggen from the rotating tap; a beer and a style - roggenbier - I hadn't heard of before this afternoon. Beer Advocate describes roggenbier as a traditional German style rye beer with a pronounced spiciness and a slightly sour flavor. I'm not getting much rye from the beer, and the color is sort of a hazy peach (as opposed to the coppery/red you'd expect in a rye), but there is a pleasant citrus flavor mingling with a mild sourness, accompanied by a fruity aroma and a yeasty, chewiness, all balanced out by a mildly bitter finish. Probably wouldn't win awards in the "rye" category, but a yummy brew, nonetheless.


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