A Very Pleasant Surprise

Funny how things can be stumbled upon. I was recently informed by the people at Samuel Adams that they have created, within their small batch series, a double pumpkin ale known as Fat Jack. Using their website’s beer locator, I was directed to a place called Marty’s Hops and Vines, found just slightly north of where I live.  A rather unusual place to be sure, a libation pub that I’ve been told, has a rather extensive wine collection. But as any reader of this web site knows, that doesn’t concern me. What does concern me was the wonderful selection of beers available, not only on draft, if you were making a night out, but the take home beer store variety. I was going to say I was like a kid in a candy store, but more accurately, I was (am) an old man in his second childhood in a sweets shop.

What was amazing was seeing so many beers that I have only read about. There were varieties from Ommegang that I did not know existed. I think this will be the place I will hopefully, finally obtain a bottle of their Christmas Adoration Ale this coming winter.

Another nice feature at Marty’s H&V was the beer portfolio was not limited to the United States. This is where, quite joyfully, I obtained a couple of bottles of Baltika No. 6 PorterAn incredible world class porter from St. Petersburg, Russia. A malthead’s delight (please note: malthead not hophead) that was easy to savor, with its rich dark complexity.

Then I came across something I’ve been wanting to try, since being released earlier this year. It is the Spoetzl Brewery of Shiner, Texas, first ale offering, Wild Hare Pale Ale and what a wonderful recipe it is. A gentle reminder of what a proper use of hops can do for supporting malts. Bravo and Golding hops are used assertively without trying to transform the person drinking into a hop slamming lupulin warrior. Very well done.

A toast: To Baltika No. 6 Porter, Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale, and most of all, Marty’s Hops and Vines. Thank you for the happiness. Cheers!

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