Kate was, of course, indescribably perfect and uncharacterically quaffable for a RIS. Kev, J and I got our calendar days (tickets) a little before 9, and we were surprised to see that we were already at October. J was able to get himself and Adrienne September dates at the June 08 release around 1:15PM. We walked around town, hopelessly, fruitlessly searching for Kevin's milk shake, then back to PBrewery for 11 to stand in line for over an hour. We were able to get indoors just in the nick...only about 10 more people got in, then they had to stop...they were at capacity. We were inside for the tapping, as were so many other beerophiles. We were able to enjoy three tulips each. We are partially responsible for the reason their entire batch (I think ~5 barrels, or about 150 gallons) was sold out in a single day (whoah).
I want one right now just thinking about it. The two bottles I got (only 10 dollars each?!?!?) will be put away for some special company/moments.
My buddy J now has what is probably officially the best KtG collection on the entire planet (save for what Tod Mott might have under his bed): '06, '07, double oaked '07, '08 and now the '09. For the beer geeks among us, I think we can all agree, that's just a completely silly vertical in the making. For those who know J, I think we can all agree, this beer is in very capable hands.
Anyway, the tripel and flanders red were very well executed Belgian styles, and after sampling pretty much everything they had on tap (they just kicked the barley wine before we arrived...shoot) the cask conditioned (dry hopped w/ Saaz) oatmeal stout was the #1 session beer of choice for the weekend. Perfect choice for a long Sunday night of shuffleboard in the Jimmy LaPanza lounge. First (and probably the last) place I've ever been to with semi-erotic 60's era inspired nudes (painted on velvet, no less) behind the bar.
We saw quite a bit of the downtown area, including stops at Cava, Muddy River, Breaking New Grounds, Redhook, Bowl-o-Rama, and of course the Portsmouth Brewery (on multiple occasions).
Cava had some nice executions on their 'tapas'...the menu actually was not so much italian, at all, just small American dishes, really. Still, a very nice relaxed dinner in the tight but comfortable downstairs dining room.
Muddy River's BBQ hurt everyone's stomachs (and hence, noses) the next day.
Redhook's double black was pretty good (not great). Nice espresso bitterness, semi-full mouthfeel, medium hop bitterness, no real hop complexity or maltiness. Everything else we tried...meh. Tour was pretty full, and the dialogue was a bit canned, but its always good for more fantasizing fodder for opening up my own brewery some day. so...much....stainless....steel.
Bowl-o-rama supplied some much needed physical movement and Breaking New Grounds kept us all awake with their freshly brewed, adequately strong coffee. Hmmm, what's that? You smell an espresso aged KtG in the works? Yeah, me too.
Here are some shots from the weekend, I'll add more from Kevin, as soon as he sends 'em. Oh, and don't worry...all ended well for Kevin, J and I...we stopped for Fribbles on the drive home. I couldn't finish mine (gag).
Unfortunately, I had zero stomach space to warrant a visit to The Ham Store (which is right next to the Bowl-o-Rama), but that didn't stop me from catching some serious air inspired by my excitement over the purity of its very existence.