Black Beer Friday has come and gone, and I wanted to make sure I let my faithful readers know how my Friday went down. As expected, I did spend most of my morning out shopping. Thankfully I managed to get a few of my own desires in there as well. I went up to the beer store I know back home and picked up a few beers there, and I got a special black friday release from The Gaslight Anthem as well. Most of my day, however, was spent running around Khols, Michaels, and various different stores in the mall. I ultimately hit the wall in NY & Co. My wife had me stand in a line that spanned the better part of the store. It was certainly that line that broke my spirit and left me needing a beer.
I had a thought to head over to the only brewery I could think of in the area: Cricket Hill. All of those plans drastically changed when I decided to Facebook my local craft beer restaurant. They were advertising that they had received one keg of Stone’s Enjoy by 12.21.12 and Lucky Bastard. Now I was certainly still going to have my black beer for black Friday, but I also couldn’t help myself with these rare offerings.
I had hoped to sit in the bar area of the restaurant, but that section was packed, so we accepted a little table back in the restaurant. Before even seeing the beer menu I ordered a glass of Enjoy by. While sipping it I got a beer menu and saw that they were offering a special deal for the beer, a glass, and the t-shirt. While that may be turning the rare beer a little too commercial, I really couldn’t help myself and went for the entire combo.
I was really impressed by Stone’s Enjoy by. I suppose I shouldn’t have been too surprised really, they create great beer. I knew this was supposed to be a day dedicated to black beers, but this was certainly too light to be called a black beer. One beer that I have really been looking forward to from Stone is the final edition in their Vertical Epic series. Vertical Epics are all designed to be consumed on a certain much later date. This beer takes a much different approach. It’s supposed to be consumed before a certain date: 12.21.12. The brew has a nice sweet malty backbone, but it’s dominated by some big fresh wet hops. Somehow it ends up being big and syrupy but also fresh and clean. The beer’s alcoholic content is quite strong, but it’s relatively easy drinking.
The second beer I had got me a little closer to my goal for black beer Friday, but it was another I couldn’t help myself moment. A few weeks ago I managed to grab a bottle of Lucky Bastard from Stone. Cloverleaf didn’t make quite as much noise over having a keg of it, but I was really excited to give it a try. I wanted to save my bottle for a little while, so I was happy I could try it without having to open my bottle up. By this time I was enjoying my buffalo chicken salad. It may have been a lapse in judgement for my palate, so I have a feeling my taste was slightly effected. This one had a very sweet malty backbone with hops that are really big, solid, and tangy. There is a certain bold oaky earthy feel to it. This one also had a big time warming effect as well.
My final beer had to be something big and black. I knew my wife’s patience was running out, so I needed to get my actual black beer for black Friday before it was too late. I decided I would join Cloverleaf’s MBA program while I was there, so I had to pick a black beer off a much more specified list. There were a few good choices; however, I checked my Untapped account to see what I hadn’t checked into yet. I’ve had Old Rasputin before, but my app didn’t show it, so I decided to go with the big creamy imperial stout. I’ve done a full review of Rasputin before, but I decided to take a couple of notes on it. It has some super big chocolate notes with light coffee and roasted notes. The mouthfeel is almost like alcoholic chocolate milk. It’s probably one of the most creamy beers I’ve ever had. I don’t really remember that as much the last time, so I’m thinking it may have been slightly different on tap.
I may have come up a little short of my black beer goals last Friday, but I had a great day for some of the more rare craft beers. I’m hopeful Enjoy by will make its way here in bottles, but I am real happy I got to have it. While it wasn’t a Black Friday filled with Black beers, they were certainly good beers that helped me forget the pains of shopping.