19 May 2010

Firkin Updates, and Max's website update

Last night had three firkins in the bar at Max's Taphouse: Troeg's Java Stout (if memory serves correctly), and one each of only five firkins each of Heavy Seas Below Decks aged in Cabernet Sauvignon and bourbon barrels.  The two Below Decks are almost opposites: the bourbon has to be the best of many such bourbon-aged non-stouts I have ever had, and the cabernet version comes off with a classic wine-like tartness reminiscent of somewhere between Belgian lambic funk and oak character.  I've not been smitten with Below Decks in the past, because I felt it lacked a certain depth and fullness; these projects demonstrate it's the perfect vehicle for experiments like this, because it's a more "blank palate" for such development than, say, a big, raisiny or brandy-like barleywine.

Friday at Alonso's:  Stillwater Stateside Saison firkin.

Thursday at Pratt Street Ale House: the debut of their "Channel Crossing" joint Stillwater/PSAH project, tapping at 6 PM.

Thursday at Metropolitan--some firkin TBA (well, if you go there, it'll say on their "coming firkins" menu board).  Also cask night (and Flying Dog Night) at Max's, and firkin night at the soon-to-relocate Frisco Grille in Columbia.

Incidentally, Max's has just dramatically revised and updated its website.  Now the beer list looks reasonably up to date.  And this just in via e-mail:

Victory Altbier
Victory Citra Pale
Victory St Boisterous
Victory Scarlet Fire
Victory Saaz Braumeister Pils
Vicotry Throwback Lager
Victory Storm King Stout (Cask)
Harpoon 100 Barrel Single Hop ESB
Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA
Harpoon UFO Raspberry
Crispin Cider
THURSDAY MAY 20-      5pm
Flying Dog Barrel Aged Gonzo
Flying Dog Coffee Stout
Flying Dog Heller Hound Old Ale
Flying Dog Horn Dog (Nitro)
Flying Raging Bitch (Cask)
FRIDAY MAY 21      5pm
The Bruery Hottenroth
The Bruery Hummulus Rice
The Bruery Seven Grain Saison
The Bruery Rugbrod
The Bruery Coton
The Bruery Orchard White
The Bruery Tade Winds Triple
The Bruery Trade Winds Triple (Cask)
Weyerbacher Verboten
Weyerbacher India
Great Divide Dunkel Weiss
Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti
Oskar Blues Gubna (Cask)
Boulder Cold Hop (Nitro)
SATURDAY MAY 22----3pm
Stillwater Stateside Saison
Stillwater Cellar Door (Cask)
Stillwater Cellar Door dry hopped(cask)
Olivers Hot Monkey Love
Olivers Cherry Blossom
Olivers/ Stillwater Channel Crossing dry Hopped(Cask)
Evolution Haymaker
Evolution Summer Session
Evolution Lot #6 (Cask)
SUNDAY MAY 23-     3pm
Smuttynose Maibock
Smuttynose Rouge D Shire
Smuttynose Imperial Stout
Smuttynose Barleywine
Allagash Victor
Allagash Victoria
Southern Tier Gemini
Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly
Southern Tier 2XIPA
Unita Barleywine 2008
Avery Samuels
Schlafly Dry hopped APA
Schlafly Kolsch
North Coast Brother Theloinous

Anyone else want to check in with their firkin reports, or other special beer tappings?


Scott Cover said...

From the Metro fan page:

American Craft Beer Week
Monday at 12:58pm
Here is a list of the events at Metropolitan this week as we celebrate American Craft Beer Week.

Lindsay's Trivia of the Damned will feature tasty brews from Shmaltz Brewing Co., makers of He'Brew beers and Coney Island beers.

Harpoon IPA Pint Night in the Main Bar. Come early and get a coveted Harpoon IPA pint glass, as well as other valuable trinkets.

Firkin Thursday with Smuttynose IPA from Smuttynose Brewing in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Flying Dog Pint Night in the Main Bar. Get a coveted Flying Dog pint glass. Beer style to be determined at a later time by the capricious winds of chance.

Other events may be added at the spur of the moment.

JohnM. said...

"Incidentally, Max's has just dramatically revised and updated its website. Now the beer list looks reasonably up to date."

Weird. When I initially googled Max's, I got the old website with it's outdated taplist. However, after using your link, I now get the new site. It's definitely a vast improvement, though I wish Casey would make more of an effort to keep the list up to date. The current draft list on the site has to be at least a month old (the 2007 bon chien has been gone for a month or more). Still, baby steps, baby steps... hopefully this is a sign of better things to come.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Duuude, it takes me long enough as it IS for me to get a beer down at Max's. I'd rather they actually focus on the customers that are actually THERE, rather than spending another couple minutes updating each new beer for the people watching through the webcam! Besides, with a potential 102 beers, something's likely to run out on the daily printed list any minute now......

Besides, if you are the kind that would drive in many miles just to sample a 2007 Bon Mot Whatever, are you really not going to find something else worth drinking if they kill that keg five minutes before you walk in? It's not like the brewpub where they *just* ran out of the dry-hopped IPA and Kriek, but hey, they still have the amber and pale ale......

JohnM. said...

"are you really not going to find something else worth drinking if they kill that keg five minutes before you walk in?"

That's kind of irrelevant, don't you think? Whether they've got a million taps or just two, if I drive an hour to sample a specific beer I saw on their website, yes, I am going to be annoyed if they're out, and no, the fact they can probably find something else for me to drink that I can tolerate is not going to make me any less unhappy.

Alex, if I follow your logic, then I assume you would recommend that they not post their webstie at all. After all, they have 102 taps, so who cares what the on-line draft list says (cuz I can always find something I can tolerate, right?). Maybe that's the solution and they should just provide a representative list, much the way Judge's Bench used to do on their site.

However, presently the website states "now serving" with a completely inaccurate list of beers on tap. My feeling is that Max's need to make up their mind. Either keep the on-line tap list reasonably current or don't bother to publish it at all.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

You know, you're not going to get any sympathy from me.

I've called a brewpub to confirm that they still had a specific beer on tap, and asked them to pour me a growler just in case, and made a two-hour trip one-way. Yep, they ran out while I was on the road AND forgot to get around to that growler. But I still had a good time that trip.

Yes, being "promised" something only to be disappointed sucks, especially if one makes extra effort to go there. And, yes, Max's needs to either get more timely on its list updates, or date its beer list postings along with a disclaimer.

But I've said it before and I'll say it again: If your happiness revolves around driving an hour to have one very specific beer to check off your checklist, it's not there, and you still can't find anything to make you happy in that mess of hundreds of top-notch beers, your probable diagnosis is a form of Asperger's Syndrome. I gave up "checking off" beers on any kind of checklist years ago, because then it all becomes about the destination and not the journey, about "bedpost notches" and not the romance.

JohnM. said...

Shrug. I think at this point we're just arguing semantics. Needless to say, my happiness doesn't revolve around my ability to obatin a specific beer... I'm talking about a minor disappointment, not a life altering setback.

That being said....

"Yes, being "promised" something only to be disappointed sucks, especially if one makes extra effort to go there. And, yes, Max's needs to either get more timely on its list updates, or date its beer list postings along with a disclaimer

That's really all I'm saying. For years Max's didn't update their taplist, which had absolutely no impact upon the frequency of my visits. On the other hand, like you it sounds, my time is limited and if I'm going to make a special two or three hour trip to try some rare beer up in SEPA, if I get up there only to find that the beer promised isn't there, it's not going to stop me from having a good time, but my experience will factor into my decision to go to that beer bar in the future (there is a beer bar in Howard County that I stopped visiting after they completely screwed up a promised Stone event, didn't tell anyone in advance that many of the promised kegs were no-shows, and then were completely unresponsive to the tidal waive of disappointment that followed).

You may disagree, but I happen to think it's bad business for Max's to list a "current" taplist that isn't current at all. All I said in response is that I hope in the future Casey makes more of an effort to keep it up to date... but that's because I like Max's and I want to see them do well. In the future, I hope they either keep the list reasonably current or just stop listing a "now serving" section on the website.