Okay, so I have discovered something good about being a "blogger." Most of the time I'm kind of embarassed to admit I have a blog, given how often I've heard about how bloggers are just any hack with a keyboard and an agenda to ruin a restaurant or whatever. But I don't think I am a hack, and I don't have an agenda. This blog is kind of like a school notebook for me, where I keep track of what I've been doing and learning. No one else has to read it, but it's cool when they do. I especially like when people add to my posts with extra tidbits of information, and of course I like it if people ever tell me I am awesome.
But I never expected to actually get perks out of it. I'm not the type of person to be relied on to review a product that you send me (ask the marketing survey people!) and I don't expect someone to beg me to quit my job and write my blog full time for a sweet salary, or write the next hit food book or whatever.
But I have discovered that sometimes, if you're nice, you'll get invited to special events. I attended my first one last night: Bloggers and Beer, at the Library Bar downtown. I often have to attend continuing education classes is the nearby Sheraton and many times recently as I have wandered over to Wolfgang Puck's Gourmet Express or to Loose Leaf, I have slowed down slightly as I passed the Library Bar and wistfully lingered over their happy hour menu before deciding that as boring as the seminar may be, I'm still not allowed duck out for a quick drink in the middle of it.
But last night I finally got to go, and even better, Christina Perozzi, beer sommelier and blogger herself (Beer 4 Chx) was on hand to offer us a fantastic flight of eight (no wait! Nine!) beers.
I am afraid that after the ninth beer, I didn't have the presence of mind to slip my tasting notes in my purse and they spent the night at the bar instead. Luckily, I can reconstruct the list because some of my fellow bloggers are quicker on the draw than I am.
Here are the beers:
- Craftsman 1903 Prohibition Lager: This is brewed in Pasadena, and is very light. It was kind of "meh" to me compared to some of the beers to follow, as it didn't have much flavor other than regular beer flavor (I guess malt, hops?) but was nice to start.
- Unibroue Blanche de Chambly: This is a Canadian beer in a Belgian style. I love Belgian beers. I love how they are light but strong and I love the interesting flavors you can get in them. This one was very light, almost more like a German weissbeer. I liked this one but it didn't leave much of an impression, like the first one.
- Brasserie Dupont Saison: A saison is a type of pale ale brewed in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. These beers are artisanal - produced on small farms. They are actually fermented in a way that is similar to wine fermentation, which gives them a unique quality. This is where things started to get interesting. This is an actual Belgian beer, and you can definitely tell the difference. You can distinctly taste other flavors in this beer, a little citrus and a little spice.
- Unibroue Maudite: This is a strong beer, from Canada. This is a beer that can actually be aged. The flavor of this beer was amazing. It was very complex, with underlying herbal flavors. I think this was my favorite of the night, although I can't really pick a favorite between this and the Saison.
- Deschutes Brewery Inversion IPA: This is a version of India Pale Ale that's made in Oregon. I have to admit I have never tried IPAs before, but my husband says that he normally doesn't like them and he liked this one a lot. IPAs are bitter beers, and this one has an intense flavor, but it also has distinct currents of fruit and spice that make it tasty.
- Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter:: This was definitely the most memorable beer of the night for me. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. This was a very dark beer and it had a strange flavor to me. It was very earthy and even tasted a bit like ash to me. I don't know that I liked it, but it was interesting enough that I can't hate it.
- Flying Dog Road Dog Porter: Whew! This is about where I started to get really exhausted. Tasting beers is hard work! Okay, so mostly what I remember about this beer is that Hunter S. Thompson had something to do with it and it had a correspondingly trippy label. I'm afraid my tasting capabilities were starting to go downhill due to my lack of using the spit bucket.
- Brouwerij Westmalle Trappist Tripel: Okay, while the details are getting fuzzy, I remember that I did like this one quite a lot. This beer is made by monks, so you know it has to be good. When first brewed, the tripel was called "superbier." It's got a high alcohol content, for one - 9.5% and has the light effervescent flavor that says Belgian beer to me.
- Quelque Chose: This was the secret special ninth beer that I wasn't expecting. But in the interest of full reportage, I had to try it too. This beer is also made by Unibroue (which, I am 12, because the name always makes me laugh. Unibrow!). It is very very cherry. It almost tastes like juice and not like beer at all. It demands a chocolate dessert, so it was kind of sad that I didn't have one.
So I had a really good time at the event. I like the vibe at the Library Bar - it's dark and cozy and really looks like someone's library in parts. If I lived near it, I would be there all the time.
And it was fun seeing all the bloggers, even if I was too shy to go meet everyone. I wanted to try to talk to people, but I'm pretty bad at that, so I hunkered down at the bar with my man and Erin and just kind of stayed there. I did get to meet Caroline on Crack briefly, and Nancy from Slife PR, and Tannaz, who all happened to be in my general vicinity. I also saw Pat Saperstein, whose blog was one of the first blogs I ever read, but I was too shy to say anything, because she seems famous to me, even though she's just a cool lady. Maybe next time ...
So if there's another blogger event sometime, and you happen to notice I am there, please do come talk to me. I'm a social cripple, but once someone breaks the ice I'll never shut up.
The Library Bar
630 West 6th St.,
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(At 6th and Hope)