It would be hard to top last month's extravaganza, anyway. In the last few days of the year, everyone's running around like maniacs: office parties, shopping sprees, extra work before the week off, and so forth. For me, it was the last day of a very busy term. So it's not surpising that it was hard to find a quorum among the brothers.
Then again, all it takes is a committed core of three to make quorum. Diehard Dan called. "P" blew off the office party. I got out of my meeting at 7PM. So we quickly threw it together and agreed to meet at the Hop Devil Grill.
The brothers have been here before, not once, but twice. Well, it's worth multiple trips, plus it was Dan's first time. Sadly, The Belgian Room is no more—it's been replaced by the way cooler Hop Devil Lounge, a nice place to chill with comfy chairs and a mellow vibe.
The atmosphere in the Grill was quiet and mellow when we arrived. The food was just okay. The beer, on the other hand, was especially good tonight! Dan and I started with a Cape Ann Imperial Pumpkin Stout. Wowsers! Smooth and Rich! (Kinda like me, come to think of it...) Really terrific stuff! Our waitress, Sophie, was pretty terrific, too. "P" ordered a Weihenstephan Hefe Weis. Ever since Erich turned him on to wheat beers, it's practically all "P" will drink. (I admit that I like a hefe myself from time to time.) I had a second Cape Ann while Dan moved on to a Rogue Chipotle Ale—spicy!!! Well, I liked it... Round three was a round of Weihenstephans! This beer had a strong vanilla note that offset the spicy food (and that Chipotle).
Things strted to get noisy at the Devil, and "P" needed some cheering up, so we walked a few blocks to Standings, a spot on our E. 7th St. pubcrawl. The tap selection here is smaller—about a dozen—but there were two outstanding entries from Rogue. The Rogue Chocolate Stout was creamy, dark, and smoky with a strong chocolate flavor. "P" ordered a Two Brothers Ebel Weisse. After two porters and a stout, I wasn't feelin' another heavy beer. Ah, but to have? We all went for the Rogue Morimoto Imperial Pilsner. It's not yer typical light-clear-yellow pilsener. No, it's definitely orangey in color. It goes down very smoothly but there is definitely a bitter finish. A fitting end to a round of great beers. I didn't realize until the next day, that it had an 8.8% gravity. No wonder I felt so buzzed afterward!
Golden in color with a dry hop floral aroma and intense hop bitterness supported by a big malty backbone which culminates into a hedonistic mouthful.
Kinda like poetry, isn't it? Anyway, I think Newport, Oregon is worth a journey. Rogue Brewery definitely puts it on the map!