So, after parts 1 and 2, what else is there left to cover about my recent escapades in the United States?
Well, firstly, there are a few beers that I’ve not yet mentioned. Southern Tier Imperial Choklat Stout was an almost perfect chocolatey beer. I say almost, as although everything about it was right, after a while the chocolate flavour seemed to become more and more artificial. Perhaps a whole 660ml bottle (it might have been 750ml, but the point is the same) may have been too much for one person.
I also got the chance to try Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum, and 21st Amendment’s Back in Black. The former I found to be very hoppy and bitter (it has an IBU rating of 100). Surprisingly, it didn’t seem that strong in aroma, but it was strong in taste and alcohol. As for the Back in Black, I’ve seen many people praise it here and there, and I was actually pleasantly surprised to find that I rather enjoyed a beer praised by so many others.
Next there’s the venues. We went to a wide variety of places serving beer whilst I was there. World of Beer in Columbus, and Jekyll and Hyde’s in Erie, are worthy of mention for their wide variety of beers on tap. Another venue which I’m looking forward to returning to in November, is McGrogan’s Taphouse in Canonsburg. Whilst their number of taps may be considerably smaller than the other two places mentioned, they have a nicely sized bottle selection in their fridges, and generally, I quite liked the place.
Whilst I enjoyed my trip, and the beers, I do have one gripe with the beer drinking scene in America, and that is the size of their beers. Whilst World of Beer offers the option to buy paddles with 4oz “samples” ranging from $2 to $5, and one place we went sold stronger beers in a 10oz measure, most seemed to serve everything in either a 16oz or 20oz pint. The TGI Fridays at Pittsburgh Airport served their beers in 23oz glasses.
Now, I’m fine with pints for most beers. The only trouble was, I also wanted to drink most beers. When drinking here (in the UK), I generally have a vague policy of basing my glass size on the strength of the beer. Anything over 8% I will have as a half, whilst anything 6% or under is full pint material. A lot of the beers I wanted to try in bars were strong 8% plus beers. Knowing that I’d have to drink a whole pint, and combined with the dehydrating heat at times, I was put off them a few times.
Being forced to drink pints, or rather, only having that option, makes me appreciate the choice to have a half, or even a third, somewhat more. I’m sure in November I’ll be more prepared, and it’ll be cooler. Until then I’ve several bottles to be opening, including two big Dogfish Head’s.
162 days to go… (191)