Sunday, August 8, 2010

Drinking Locally

My grocery store had a beer tasting Friday night with a local theme: all beers and food served were brewed and produced here in the Cincinnati area. One girl joined us who was in the midst of a round-the-world journey. She's from Melbourne, Australia, and drove from Alaska, across the Canadian Rockies, and back down into the states. What did she think of Cincinnati, I asked? Diplomatically, she said she loves the outdoors and isn't too fond of cities. Up next for her is Scotland and Israel.

Station One:
  • Mild Wild Ale - this was a pretty dark beer to start out with, but it's described as "an English session ale with a nice malty flavor which is meant to be drank in large quantities" (of course, we only had 2 oz).
  • Ratatouille - eggplant, local zucchini, etc; I skipped it.
Station Two:
  • No. 42 Cream Ale - this was yummy; made with corn!
  • Sloppy Joes - these weren't so sloppy, but they were still delicious.
Station Three:
  • Smoked Bock Beer - this supposedly had "a great smoky bacon flavor and who doesn't love bacon!!!" (I love bacon, but not in my beer)
  • Italian Beef Sandwiches - small but thick slice of beef was served in a pita.
Station Four:
  • 186,000 MPS Craft Malt Liquor - the server made sure to point out this was 10% alcohol, twice the amount of other samples. Good thing are portions are so small.
  • Baked Zucchini Fries - skipped
Station Five:
  • Enter the Beagle IPA - this was my favorite of the night, just a classic IPA, not too heavy but still flavorful.
  • Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese - small cubes of local cheese paired with roasted almonds; these were awesome together.
We went to Buca Di Bepo for dinner where my awesome friends paid for my share of the food and wine. Two other tables were celebrating birthdays; as the staff joined in a second rendition of "Happy happy birthday" I made everyone promise not to tell them it was mine also: they obliged.

The Reds are fifteen games over .500--this is a great time to be a fan, or a great time to jump on the bandwagon. After so many years of disappointment, I think much of the city is still skeptical. But I say just enjoy it; winning seasons don't come around that often, even if we don't ultimately win the pennant.


Aki Mori said...

Take pride in the Reds. Portland isn't an MLB town, so we don't really follow baseball. But when I was down in San Francisco last month, even our local baseball talk shows were talking about the Reds--and they're not even in the same division as the Giants!

Aki Mori said...

Oh, and it's just amazing how the rest of the world (outside the US) is so into traveling. I'm hoping that when my daughters have finished high school, we will all be brave enough to buck the system, and allow for a year of travel before starting college. I think international travel is enriching, and I hate that in the US, we shove kids right into college, and then it's off to push paper somewhere in a cubicle after that.