Monday, August 07, 2006

Dashed Hopes: Summit Cask Update

I've never gone through so much trouble to try a beer and end up being so disappointed. Saturday I was all pumped about Town Hall Brewery having two Summit beers on cask, so my wife, the queen that she is, let me drag the family to Minneapolis for lunch and beer. I asked the server to try the Summit cask beers, and she brings me what was clearly not a Summit, but a steam beer (what is legally called a "California Common"). Friggin' amazing, but I didn't stuff the family in the car for a road trip across the river to try a regular tap.

After throwing a bit of a fit, the server, bless her heart, sent the manager over to ease my brewing worries. Apparently, all the websites failed to mention that this was in conjunction with Saturday evenings' Fringe Festival shows in the area, and that the kegs wouldn't be tapped until about 6pm for Fringe-ers to sample, and for the general public at 7pm. Fair enough, I thought. I'll just stop back later. An 8pm arrival would ensure me a sample, he said.

So me and a couple buddies show up at about 8pm, swagger up to the bar and order a round of Summit ESB on cask. "Nope sorry, just ran out." Apparently, Town Hall Pint Club meets Saturday evenings, and they, in conjunction with Fringe Fest attendees drained the keg in two hours. We weren't sure to blame Summit or Town Hall, but someone had slashed our expectations. Thankfully, the Great Northern Porter was still around, and while much better as a winter ale, its smoky coffee-maple overtones were amazing, even in August. If the ESB matched this, which I would expect it to, then Summit lovers have something to look forward to.

And what better way to enjoy beer on an August evening than outside? We proceeded to take our beers out on the patio, and were immediately approached by a server who said we need to pour our drinks into plastic glasses if we wanted to sit outside. Fine, ok, I suppose. But she hands us fresh-out-of-the-dishwasher-HOT TO THE TOUCH-glasses. C'mon, she didn't really expect us to pour our already warm beer into a 120-degree plastic glass?!

So we sat at the bar to enjoy our fine porters, watch the Twins sink the Royals, and drink more of Town Hall's finely-crafted beer. It's amazing how a good brew can solve most of the days' problems.


Fineous T Crumpkin said...

Truly, it is a shame how our otherwise fine city's beverage merchants see themselves in these aggrandizing ways - presuming themselves as gods, who we must appease for our daily beer! To willfully deceive the commonor with such false promises, and not make true on their offer! Will they not in due time receive the just penalty for their hubris? Many an honest and plain citizen such as myself has fallen victim to their devious and haughty ploys. Let not the whip be spared!

Jane said...

Sorry I missed the activities on Saturday. Although, it sounds like there wasn't much to be missed. Any other cask opportunities?

Anonymous said...

Summit ESB is on tap at the Happy Gnome on Selby in St Paul. Reports are that it's pretty excellent.