Happy Thursday! Welcome to what will now be a weekly beer-tastic series. Every Thursday on LBLF you’ll get a glimpse into my real life beer diary. For those who’ve been following along, you’re probably a little excited, and a lot scared. Reasonably so.
This week, the hubs and I just HAD to check out a brand new microbrewery, not 6 miles from our house: 50 West Brewery. I always get a little too excited when I hear that new beer-related, well, anything opens up nearby, so I try to set myself realistic expectations. But when we got to 50 West on a busy Saturday night, with its fantastic music blasting (vinyl Black Keys!), my inner hipster couldn’t help but be pretty psyched. Lucky for me, they did not disappoint.
As you enter what used to be the Heritage Restaurant, a beautiful historical building, you feel a lovely sense of old meets new. They clearly kept some of the original features of the space, but updated it enough to feel like a fun, 2013 brewery and bar. We were greeted warmly by a very pleasant staff member who happened to also be a brewer! (Whit, of “Whit’s Wit,” discussed below).
After a quick tour, we caught the bar tender’s eye and got down to the real business. The make or break purpose of the night: the beer. For the first round, we ordered their single and double IPAs: the “Coast to Coast,” and the “Forgot Stevie.” We tend to judge breweries on their IPAs, and this was no different. The “Coast to Coast” is so named because apparently route 50 actually stretches from one coast to the other. Who knew? This beer had a fabulous West coast hop character, without the harsh bite that can be an unpleasant characteristic of some West Coast beers. It had a clean, crisp mouthfeel with a grassy, dry finish. The double, “Forgot Stevie,” was like CtC’s big brother. Similar flavor profile, but a tiny bit boozier and bigger. And not in a bad way. This was a very well balanced, and drinkable beer at 8.7% ABV, 110 IBUs. One word: yum.
Next, we moved onto two completely different beers: a Scotch ale, and a wit. The Scotch ale, “Horse and Buggy,” was absolutely tremendous. There was a big, long, “Mmmmmmmmm,” that just came pouring off my lips after the first sip. Always a good sign. The malt was smooth, sweet and a little creamy; I wondered if they added a tiny bit of lactose. The mouthfeel was light and it had a nice clean finish. The wit, “Whit’s Wit,” was really interesting. The Belgian yeast and lovely, while not overpowering citrus, were the dominant flavors here. It definitely had a nice funk to it, but funkier in smell than in actual taste. I wanted to drink it on a warm summers night, sitting on a beach with good friends.
The ONLY thing. Literally, the only one. Is that they don’t serve food (yet). Apparently they are working on getting some tasty eats going in the next few months, and luckily we were aware of this before we went so weren’t disappointed. Overall, I am pretty freaking stoked that these guys moved in and am crazy excited to make another trip back. This time we’re bringing friends though because we can’t keep this place just to ourselves, it just wouldn’t be right.