6% ABV on draught
House of Brews can kind of feel like a research library instead of a bar. I mean, yeah, they have plasma TVs showing sports, and they have a menu loaded with greasy and delicious foods replete with mayo-based dipping sauces, and sometimes even females show up there. On purpose. But, I don’t think people do a lot of picking up there–I certainly haven’t–and I don’t think many people get hammered there, and certainly there are not a lot of recently graduated frat boys that go there to pound Goose and tonics, yo. It’s a place to indulge in quality beer, nothing more, nothing less. Most people drinking there are alone or with a single other person. And, that’s absolutely fine by me. I hate being served high-quality beer by a pop tart of a bartender that knows more about drinks that end in -tini than she does about the nerdy questions I need to ask her about my brew (“Excuse me, miss, how many IBUs are in this barley wine?”). I hate trying to enjoy my brew in a refined manner while some finance guido whose bald pate is busting out of his dress shirt tries to get his bros to do SoCo and lime shots with him. Thus, House of Brews is a perfect place for peacefully drinking alone.
The last time I was there, sitting to my right was some mid-fifties guy from the Midwest wearing bifocals on the absolute tip of his nose like Santa Claus does when he’s making his list and checking it twice. The guy sipped his beers with the tiniest of sips, once every five minutes or so. In between each sip he would sniff the beer, twirl it in the glass, and hold it up to the light. Beside him, he had a massive sheet of paper, his “tasting notes.” He was lost in the beer experience so I was able to look over his shoulder in the same manner I cheated on physics tests in college. These tasting notes had tons of boxes to check and data to fill it. It was more befitting a tax return or maybe a census form. The man meticulously copied all the information about his beer that he could cull from its bottle onto his notes. He then looked into the air with his tongue upturned like Charlie Brown used to do when he was thinking real hard before he began laboriously writing his thoughts on each aspect of the beer. It took him well over a half-hour for each beer.
The man on the left of me was a mid-thirties tourist. Possibly European I would guess by his dress. Beside him at the bar he’d plunked down his Fodor’s type guide book. However, it wasn’t a book that told you about museums and theatres and boring shit to take your bitch wife to. It was something called “The New York City Bar Guide.” Wow, that sounds like a pretty awesome vacation. I know it’s what I want to do whenever I’m on vacation (“Did you go to the Louvre?” “Is that a bar???”). OK, so I thought this man had to be pretty awesome. Then, he pulled his laptop from his bag and opened up an Excel spreadsheet. He then began to log information about the beers he was drinking into the file. Good lord. Nerd alert. Christ. Giving beer drinkers a bad name. Who brings a fucking laptop into a bar?
These were some fairly loathsome creatures in my humble opinion. I didn’t even want to shoot the shit with them, even if they might have had tons of knowledge to share with me. Please, please, please if I currently am, or ever become, one of these folks, make my next shot hemlock. You know how I make my “tasting notes”? I either fucking remember how good, bad, or mediocre my beer was and write it down later. Or, if I have some really unique or important or world-altering points to get down–remember, Louis Pasteur did say “A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world” and I’d like to think several bottles of beer would apply as well–I grab a stack of cocktail napkins and furiously scribble my stream of conscious notes down. Waking up the next morning to have my thoughts spewing out of my pockets written on anything I could find to write them on. The more notes I have is inversely proportional to the number of people I was drinking with the previous night. Alone, with nothing to do, I’m writing briskly like Dostoyevsky. But if I have friends to hang out with and women to mack on, then you better be fucking sure I’m not excusing myself from some girl’s “fascinating” story about her cat to write about beer. I’m trying to, you know, enjoy my life. It’s not too hard to recount my feelings about drinking a beer the next day or so. I mean, do you take notes when you fuck? I don’t, though that would be funny (maybe a microrecorder in the bed post? “Test, test, OK, my partner’s neck is kinda salty. Her ‘mouthfeel’ is clean, crisp, kissable. I think she ate a burrito earlier today as I detect hints of guacamole…”). Yet, we are all still able to recall in intense detail both our worst and best sexual experiences, sometimes years past the fact. And so am I when it comes to beer.
OK, onto this beer review as I look through my crumpled cocktail napkins trying to piece my thoughts together. I was alone when I drank this one and had absolutely no interest in befriending the dorks around me. Liquid Gold has a great smell that I adore and an even better taste. It’s very unique in flavor, befitting it’s cool name. It’s very spicy, exciting the mouth. Almost like a mouth full of Pop Rocks. It’s really malty and alcoholy tasting. Tons of summer fruits, honey, and even some sourness. Nicely carbonated, yet goes down easy. I’ll drank as many of these I can this summer and will hope more and more city bars begin to stock this local brew. Love it.