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Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

June 25, 2010

After the debacle in Boston, Shannon the Wise planned our next brewery stop so that it coincided not only with a tour, but also a buy one case and get the next case for half-off promotion; known in some quarters as four-for-three.  Hooray!

The actual tour of Red Hook’s Portsmouth, NH, brewery was pretty standard fare; really nothing more than a perfunctory review of the beer making process and a quick look at the stainless steel brewing vats.  It’s not exactly the theme park experience you get at the Heineken brewery in Amsterdam, but we didn’t go there for a Six Flags ride.  We went to taste great beer.  And on that front, Red Hook delivered.  On tap was a golden ale, two pale ales (an IPA and an ESB) and a seasonal summer pilsner.  All were terrific.  I expected the ales to be good, but the pilsner surprised me with a little more malt than you usually get from a “summer brew.”  Very tasty.

It was also nice to see Red Hook harkening back to the days when tasting rooms were run to distribute promotional samples rather than as profit centers.  No tightly controlled pours here.  Tour admission costs a single dollar.  And had our guide simply filled our four ounce tasting glasses with each beer, we’d have sampled a full pint.  A pretty good deal.  But he didn’t just fill our glasses, he filled pitchers and let us have at them.

But it got even better for us.  A well-placed question encouraged our pliable tour guide to pour a pitcher of the company’s current “brewer’s selection” beer (available only at the on-site pub); an oatmeal stout.  It wasn’t planned, but it should have been.  After the bitter hoppiness of the two pale ales, the stout hits you in the face with a sweet, chocolate, coffee flavor that goes down like liquid desert.  What a way to finish the tasting.

That was the most fun I’ve had for a dollar since The Doll House in 1989.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2010 7:48 am

    now that is my kind of entertainment…


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