Friday, November 7, 2008

Do you know the Gingerman?

A little more beering in Houston. A friend of mine and I called another happy hour for guys in the Oil & Gas industry. "The Oil and Gas Boys Happy Hour". Every time we have one of these, someone decides to bring his girl or something. We are thinking about changing the name to "The Oil and Gas Boys Happy Hour, Bring the Women". Anyway, we always do this at a beer bar somewhere, and this time it was Gingerman.

This a nice pubby beer bar and ranks in the Top 3 in the beer bars of Houston, along with the Flying Saucer. As many pints that I've knocked back at the Sauce, I could see myself spending more time at Gingerman. It's smaller, more intimate, and oodles of taps. They don't have the numbers of beers like Saucer, but they have a lot of different beers there I haven't even seen at the big Specs downtown. The bartender was a cool dude that knew his beer. We talked beer for quite some time, mostly discussing some Belgians and Real Ale. He even let me try a shot of a couple beers as well. When I do my Beer Bar rankings at the end of the year, I may have to put this at or near the top of my own list.

Date: November 5, 2008
State: Chillin, a little irritated, still fired up with the Obama win

The wife stuck me with the baby so she could play beach volleyball, so I got to my own happy hour 2 hours late. A lot of my friends had already left, but I many were still there. I decided to stick to the beer on the chalkboard without any particular style in mind...

New Belgium Giddy Up
The girl at the bar warned me that this has a small shot of espresso in it. I don't really drink coffee or espresso, but with all the coffee tasting beers I've had, why not. It smells and tastes of lemon and coffee, with a nice malt backbone to remind that this is a beer. This is very smooth with a dark amber color. Damn nice beer. I'm sticking this with a 3 star for now. Hella strong flavor. And I was awake the whole night.

Real Ale Dunkel Roggen
No clue what this style was. I see dunkel and I think dark. I see Roggen and I think conservative from California. This one is light orangish in color and smells of that Belgium Bret and fruitiness/banana. I did not see that one coming. And it seems that Real Ale pulls the old switcheroo, as the taste is way more bitter than I thought. It smooth with some Bret in taste near the back of the tongue. The mouthfeel is very interesting as well. 3-4Stars.

Real Ale would easily be the best brewery in Texas if it weren't for the Saint Arnold's Divine Reserves, both of which I put as 5 Star Beers. Then again, do I want to give SA credit for just brewing some ish that a homebrewer submitted. All they had to do was let the guy in the brewery to do his thing and slap it in a bottle and sell it for 3 times the normal six pack.

A lot of the guys were leaving at this point, but a couple of us were still up, so why not some Chimay I haven't had...

Chimay Cinq Cents Tripel
It has that bret smell again and the fruitiness again. I first notice the hops and alcohol, followed by the fruity maltiness. It is hoppy/bitter on the aftertaste. As it warms, the sweet/sour continues to come out. 3Star.


assurbanipaul said...

"Top 3 in the beer bars of Houston"? What's the third?

The American Don said...

Right now I have JP's Hops House over on SH 6 near Westheimer. It used to be a brewpub, and a few of the boys bought their little brew sculpture. They have about 30 craft beers on tap with lord knows how many bottles.

The clientele is also very knowledgeable and they don't mind if a bring in a sample of homebrew from time to time for the locals to try.

I give them the nod over Richmond Arms b/c RA served me an American Barleywine in a frosted mug, twice. Can't let that slide. There's still a couple I haven't made it to yet in town.