The more I do these beer promos (the brand varies from week to week), the more I realize how everyone wants to appear refined. Few people care to admit their ignorance, so when some jolly doofus takes a sample of Sapporo Premium Light (which tastes like Coors Light to me), he tends to say things like, “Oh, yeah. See, this is one of those European beers. It tastes like a Guinness mixed with um, ah, a Heineken.”
I mean, what do you say to that? (Answer: “Does it?”) In truth, that happened to me only once, but most of the time, new beers taste either “interesting” or “not bad,” as if the taster expected that tiny sip of Pyramid Apricot Ale to make him vomit all over my display, and, after an inordinate amount of lip-smacking and consideration, he ended up pleasantly surprised when he didn’t.
I guess I get a little dismayed for two reasons: For one thing, it sucks that people can’t really just be excited about something, and for another, it sucks that these folks can’t just fess up to not being an expert. One guy, after I name-dropped Spaten as a taste reference for Sapporo Reserve, swallowed his sample, smacked his lips, and said, “Yeah, it kinda tastes like that. It’s called Spay-ten, though.” Amazingly, I did not roll my eyes.
I myself am hesitant to heap effusive praise on a given beer (well, except Rahr’s Whiskey Warmer, for whom I have never done a promo job), but that’s because I’m sheepish about having an unrefined palate. Beyond hoppy or malty, I pretty much categorize beers as either “good,” “meh,” or “blech.” I’ve never referred to a beer as “interesting,” but I’ve certainly said a few “have a lot going on,” as if in addition to grain, hops, and water, a craft beer also has a yoga class to get to after doing groceries and dropping off the kids at soccer practice.
I bring my shamefaced reticence up after recently enjoying a Lakewood Brewing Company Temptress at The Live Oak. The Garland-based brewery’s imperial milk stout was smooth and chocolaty and came only as a short pour on account of its staggering 9.1 percent alcohol by volume. And it was expensive, but it made my mouth and bloodstream feel the way I think a good beer should. I was already a little buzzed by the time I finished it, and for a second I wondered if words like “rapturous” and “life-changing” might actually be appropriate. My girlfriend asked me how the Temptress tasted.
“It’s not bad,” I said. — Steve Steward
You might wonder why I’d mention a non-Fort Worth-brewed beer in a Fort Worth paper. Well, A) Lakewood makes a good beer, and B) you should drink good beer. Also, the Temptress is available right down the street from The Live Oak at Zio Carlo and will be available at Brewed, a new “coffee pub” next door to The Live Oak that will have a soft opening on Thursday at 6 p.m.
I peeked into Brewed the other day and grilled executive chef John Kramer on what to expect this week. He said there’ll be a limited menu on weekdays and on Saturday and Sunday a brunch menu, all in preparation for the big launch on Thursday, Oct. 11. Will a Temptress go well with a fancy omelette or eggs Benedict? Maybe, but if drinking a hefty stout with breakfast sounds like it would send you back to bed, there are plenty of other craft beers to nurse, most of which are Texas-brewed. Kramer also said there will be iced coffee and kombucha tea on tap, in case a beer with brunch sounds unreasonable. — S.S.
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