Father’s Day Smorgasbeers

Father’s Day is never a big deal in our household–often somebody is out of town or there are other distractions.  This year it was even less of a celebration since Dr. Mrs. Dr. Dave was at a genomics workshop in DC and son G was attending the festivities for twin classmates who were celebrating their B’nai Mitzvah, so it was just son S and me for dinner.  He indulged me by letting me choose where to have dinner out (since cooking for two is a chore), so we ended up at Doherty’s Irish Pub, with probably the largest selection of draft beers for several miles.  IMG_0280The photo here is the draft beer menu, which supports their claim of something around eighty different draft beers, organized by flavor profile for easy choosing.

Since I’m going for variety, I went with a flight of four beers (they also offer a flight of six if you prefer) from four different breweries (all of them familiar) and four different styles to see if I could find something that would be a standout for future reference.  Sadly, nothing really rose to the top of this group, but that’s why it’s great to try a sampler of several different beers.  You can see the order form and a pen at the top right of the first photo–you can choose any of the draft beers from the extensive menu (a few cost $1.50 extra) and you get a 5 oz. serving of each of your choices, which the server brings to you on a wooden paddle with holes cut to support the glasses.

IMG_0281Starting lower left and moving clockwise, my four beers were “Road Jam” from Two Roads, “Summerfest” from Sierra Nevada, “Riptide” from Heavy Seas. and an Irish Stout from Harpoon.  (The rainbow of colors was totally unintentional, though it is neat to be outside in full sunlight and really see the differences with them all lined up!)  I will note that all the beers were a little warmer than I would have liked (even though they are advertised as “ice cold draughts”), so maybe that had some effect on my perceptions.  I ended up drinking from lightest to darkest (so left-right and top-bottom in the picture), starting with the Sierra Nevada.  The Summerfest was nice and light, with a reasonable amount of fizz and nothing exceptional about the flavor profile.  The Riptide is described on the Heavy Seas website as a  “lightly filtered” white IPA,  but the photo clearly shows that it still has some of the opacity (or maybe opalescence) that is characteristic of a wit bier, though it did have more of a hops edge than a typical wheat beer might have, and the wheat finish wasn’t too noticeable.  The “jam” in the Road Jam was more literal than I realized–the ruby-red color in the photo is from raspberries which are used to provide a different style of fruit (compared to the usual citrus) to complement the wheat flavors here.  Combining fruit and wheat means that two styles I usually avoid were fused here, so it’s no surprise that this was my least favorite of the evening.  The stout was a nice finish, and since S and I didn’t go for dessert (the portions of fish & chips for him and Jamaican influenced “Rasta Pasta” with chicken for me were sufficiently generous that we had lunch for the next day), the chocolate flavors from the dark malt were a nice conclusion to the meal.

Upcoming (soon) posts will include a combination beer and travel entry and a second round of variations on an IPA theme.  For now, these four bring the tally up to 73 (with several more that haven’t made it onto the blog yet).  More new beers coming soon.  Cheers!

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