Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mash House

Being the Good Beer Show's resident funny guy and full-time stand-up comedian, I get the opportunity to drink a lot of beer in a lot of different places... Last night it was at the Mash House, a local brewpoub in Fayetteville, NC.

The Mash House took a silver with their IPA in 2001 at the GABF, and it's a hop bomb. Not quite the punch of a Gumballhead or a Stone's Arrogant Bastard, but a fresh tasting palate-wrecker in its own right, and more than worth drinking.

There were a few other beers of note: their Hefeweisen, Blueberry Blonde, Stout, and "M"perial Stout.

The Hefeweisen was cloudy and damn near looked like orange juice in the glass. It had a floral nose, and a very spicy and slightly floral flavor. The tart spiciness reminded me a little of a saison. This was definitely the standout beer in the bunch, though not a session beer (at least not for me.)

The Blueberry Blonde would have rocked ass with a slice of cheesecake. The blueberry flavor was very strong and inordinately sweet. I'd bet it was done with a syrup rather than with the actual fruit, though I didn't get to talk with the brewer. I wouldn't drink a whole pint of it, at least not if there was something else around, but my wife would dig it.

The Stout was creamy and slightly sweet, with a thick, tan head that laced well and a definite dark fruit flavor. Very drinkable, if you fall on the sweeter side of stout fandom.

The "M"perial was a stout on a different level, though. Also thick and creamy, it wasn't as sweet and didn't have nearly the same dark fruit presence, but had a rich, satisfying chocolate flavor. It had nearly twice the ABV, and warmed the belly, but no obvious alcohol burn.

The food was good, too, but I really have to comment on the asparagus (I have become a fan of asparagus in the last couple of years.) My portion came with 6 or 7 spears, each about 5 inches long and about as thick as my thumb. Buttery, but not overly so, and seasoned simply but perfectly, they were wonderfully al dente, not woody or mushy.
The rest of the beers on offer (Irish Red, Blonde, Porter, and Nut Brown--which was their seasonal offering) weren't bad, but didn't really stand out to me. The bummer about this place is that, while the brewer owns the recipes, he works on a salary and doesn't share in the profits of the beers, so he has little reason--outside of festivals-- to innovate or market the beer beyond the restaurant. I wonder what North Carolina (and maybe the rest of the country) is missing out on...

1 comment:

GROUCHO said...

This might be the first 10 beer review! Did you do a gig here?