Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Friday night beer recap! On the 3rd-6th beers of Christmas:

Last Friday I made the rounds of a few places in the Short North and caught up with several friends I hadn't seen in a while (this seems to be the trend for my Columbus visits: food, beer, playing catch-up with old friends). We went to Betty's for dinner, Jeni's Ice Creams for dessert, and the Surly Girl Saloon for drinks.

I had a veggie melt ($7) at Betty's, that was tasty and came with incredibly good garlic mashed potatoes. It was a lot of food for the price and my beer was tasty too! I had a Bell's Special Double Cream Stout, which I'm going to wait to review because I liked it so much I bought a bottle that's chilling in the garage.

Jeni's has really interesting and inventive flavor combinations that I haven't seen anywhere else (also super expensive). I have been adventurous the last two times I went there and was moderately impressed with the results, so this time I stuck to the good stuff and ordered the Dark Chocolate Gelato ($3.75/one scoop). It was delicious but the true surprise was the cone! I don't know where they get their cones or if they make their own, but the sugar cone was delicious, crisp and had a strong vanilla flavor. I heart ice cream. The end.

After dessert we met up with other folks at the Surly Girl Saloon. I really like the Surly Girl and have gone there every time I'm home since it opened (2005?). It's women-owned (same folks as Betty's in fact) and the menu tells you which beers are local, organic, and from women-owned breweries. They 24 beers on draft and in the past I've had a number of them. One that sticks out in my mind was Avery's Maharaja, probably because it was the first Imperial IPA I ever had. It was a very alcoholic, almost wine-like beer. I remember it being very hoppy, fruity and citrusy (can I make up words here?). Anyway, they didn't have that one on tap, so I started with the Columbus Brewing Company 1859 Porter ($5), supposedly based on a recipe from 1859. It was pretty much exactly what I think of when I think of a porter, very drinkable with earthy roasted aromas and a roasted malt and chocolate taste. It was good but not super impressive, so I switched gears and went with a more robust, stronger beer next. I ordered the Moylan's Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale ($5), which was good. It was really rich and a little sweet and heavy, but definitely more along the lines of what I was looking for than the CBC porter. The Surly Girl has always struck me as a bit expensive and I'm sure I could have found CBC on tap for less elsewhere, but the environment is fun and the back room is a good place to camp out and drink with friends.

All in all a super fun evening with several super fun people!

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