When the chance to learn a little about my second favorite past time comes along I never let it slip by. Here is a report from a friend on his latest taste testing from the world of barley pops.   -Andy

When Andy asked me to do a piece on my experiences with beer, my wife said with a laugh, “Oh no, another excuse to drink beer”. I must confess, I love a good beer and since those of us who fancy the long rod also appreciate a finely brewed beverage or two once in a while, I agreed to do the post. I will post here my meetings with some of these brews and hopefully I can either expand or add on to your beer tasting experience.

Before I start, I will let you know that I like beers of all forms and tastes. But, I am not going to be doing a review on Bud Light or similar as most of us already know what these taste like. I would like to bring to you beers that you may or may not have heard of, let alone tried. There are so many wonderful micro-breweries popping up these days and the lagers being produced by them are superb to say the least. There also have been a bit of dabbling in these types of beers by a major brewing company and I must say it is fantastic. I will review this one in another post.

Last night my wife and I were out to dinner in the Minneapolis area and as she enjoyed the walleye, I was digging into a beautiful New York strip that was cooked to perfection. Being a test run before opening, the restaurant was not serving alcoholic beverages so I sipped on water for the meal. Afterwards, my wife suggested that we go to a local wine bar called Riverview wine bar located at 3747 42nd Ave S Minneapolis. This is a small, laid back place with about 15 tables for eating, and a couple of leather couches at the back nest to the fire for relaxing. They have live entertainment on some nights and it is a very nice place to take your significant other. As I was going over the wine list I noticed an extensive list of import and domestic beers that raised more than just one eyebrow as I gazed over the listings. 

For today, I would like to bring to your attention a company out of Boulder, Colorado called: Avery Brewing Company. I went with the New World Porter for my choice. As the waitress expertly poured the lager in a glass for me I took notice of the deep and rich black color, with a very ginger colored head on it. The aroma was fantastic and I could smell almost immediately the strong ingredients that make a porter what it is. At first taste, I fell in love with this lager. The chocolate and caramel tones were robust and full, yet the brew was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. It has a more than average bitterness to it, but don’t let this fool you, this is one hell of a lager and I highly recommend it to all. Each sip throughout the brew was just as good as the first and it goes to show the affects one gets from dry-hopping a beer. For those of us who enjoy the occasional stogie, this Porter would fare well with a medium to full flavored smoke such as the Montecristo Media Noche or a nice Diamond Crown. 

You can find out more from their website at:  www.averybrewing.com/Home  Give this brew a try; I am sure that if you already drink a Porter, this one will top your list at the first sip. If you have never tried beers of this kind before I say, “go ahead and be audacious with your beer pallet” you just might find that you are missing out on a plethora of different lagers.