This being a holiday week, we have been able to justify more getting out and drinking beer than we usually do (and can) during the regular 5 day work week. Whoo!
Last night, we went to the Avenue Pub's Pub Quiz, and came in 2nd! Which, sure, there were only like 8 teams, but still, we were pleased with our showing. We won a mix six pack of a beer I hadn't heard of before- St. Arnold's and 2 lovely belgian tulip glasses, which, shamefully enough, we'd been lacking in our beer glass collection. (We do have one of these, though!)
We had a great time- it was just the two of us on our team, and we actually didn't know anyone else there except for Polly. But that was fine, sometimes it's just nice to relax. I drank a Unibroue Trois Pistoles, a Brooklyn EIPA, a 10-oz of Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, and then downstairs, the '08 (10 oz) and '09 (4 oz) He'Brew Jewbilation. Somehow this got me completely hammered. Well, I had a beer at home before heading out, but that doesn't count, right?
The categories of the quiz were: the 80s (with the obligatory Michael Dukakis question), Musicals, Computers, Comic Strips, Beer, (all of which we did super on) and also: Mexico. I am ashamed to say our knowledge of our neighbors to the south was patchy at best. The half time question (Name the top 5 MLB player producing states per capita) and the Final Jeopardy question (rank 5 various cities in order of population) were not kind to us either. Still though- fun, free beer (our prize), and mostly not feeling like an idiot!
Hilariously, many pub quiz dudes are annoyed about the beer round which favors us beer geeks and would like it to come to an end.
Tonight, Polly and Eileen served up a tasting that was right up my alley- Christmas/Holiday beers!! They had not one, not two, but THREE years of Anchor Christmas Ale served in a vertical tasting. The 2008 vintage was very smooth- had a very bright fruity taste. The 2009 was complex and nuanced- had amazing molasses notes- a deep, dark sweetness. The 2010 suffered slightly by comparison- it's so new, it goes down "hot" (you can really taste the burn of the alcohol) and the spicy/coffee notes still are not fully integrated with each other. It definitely has potential, and if I was drinking it without the others aside it, I'd certainly enjoy it. I have already certainly enjoyed it, actually.
The next beer up was the De Ranke Pere Noel, which was a significantly lighter beer than the Anchor series. When I first sipped it, I got a hit of spiciness, which upon closer examination (and more sipping) was actually a combination of the hop bitterness, the Belgian yeast, and the typical esters of many Belgian styles. There was a citrusy undertone along with a slight Bengian funk which I enjoyed- it's a very different kind of holiday beer, and I'd be happy to have another glass of it.
The final beer of the tasting was the Sierra Nevada Celebration, which I believe I have made my feelings about known. Specifically- YUM! I actually grabbed a pint of it downstairs when we first arrived EVEN KNOWING that I would be having it as part of the tasting. Again, nice balanced IPA with crack or something in it- I can't explain in beer terms why I love it so, but I do. Also, I'm tired and wish to go to bed.
In conclusion: Pub Quiz at the Avenue every Tuesday night at 8, and beer tastings every Wednesday night at 7:30. Also, I noticed this on our table and liked it enough to drunkenly snap a phone picture of it: