October 10, 2005

Pub Post

One new bar on which to report: Birch Lodge located on Michigan Street.

As per our usual arrangement, Tyson and I trekked over towards Logan's Alley for the live music at 9pm on Sunday. Logan's is pretty small (read: very small) and we got there a little after 9, so the place was crowded. Plus, the band wasn't knocking any socks off for the few minutes that we were inside. So we opted to bail and check out Birch Lodge, which we had passed on the way down. Again, this was another hole-in-the-wall type of joint that seem to be common on Michigan Street. The atmosphere was decent however, and they were pushing the "lodge" feel with warmer pine wood and skiing/sporting paraphenalia on the walls. There was even a row of ├╝ber-tacky cut birch logs nailed above the bar.

Note the "Stella Glass" necessary for true
enjoyment of this Belgian Brew.

The draught selection was slim, six or eight taps ranging from the usual domestic lights to some more gnarly local stuff like New Holland's "Mad Hatter" India Pale Ale. We selected a middle ground with a pitcher of Stella Artois which was reasonably priced at less than $11. We've been ordering quite a bit of Stella recently; it's light and easy to drink yet has a very gratifying "beer" body and taste unlike domestic crap. Incidentally, I've had Mad Hatter before in bottles and it was some funky stuff. Apparently American micro-breweries like to play this little game called "Let's see how much hops we can put in the IPA!" Don't get me wrong, I'm all about hops but I feel that a successful incorporation of hoppiness should be balanced and drinkable as oposed to pure pungency.

Speaking of bottled beer, after having been down to Founders a couple of times and experiencing how amazing their selection is fresh from the tap I have a newfound appreciation for the local brewery. I suppose the same could go for stuff like Mad Hatter and I should keep an open mind about ordering draughts of micro-brew that I didn't care for in bottled form. Regardless, I will always be puzzled by people who go into bars and ordered bottled beer. When I'm paying four or five times the retail price for a portion of beer I at least like the illusion of getting something that you can't get in the store. To each his own, I suppose.

"You just gotta keep living, man. L-I-V-I-N, living!"

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