Had dinner with some friends Friday night. Bleu Cheese stuffed burgers, spinach salad, pasta salad, fries for the kidlets. I, naturally brought the booze and my daughter prepared her “precious little apple babies” for dessert.
On the left is a growler of Row Hard Root Beer from Weston Brewing Company. On the right, Blumenhof Winery’s 2012 Chambourcin. The Chambourcin was given to me by a grateful co-worker for whom I covered a shift. She did some detective work and figured out that Chambourcin is one of my favorite varietals. I thought it would be the perfect compliment to the yummy bleu cheese burgers. The root beer is getting a ton of great word of mouth, and my friend’s hubby is something of a “drink geek” so I thought it would be fun to try…
We cracked open the growler. In preparation for it’s sampling my hosts had graciously provided chilled glasses. We poured three glasses and resumed pre-dinner chatting. I was happy to find that the root beer did not disappoint. I’m not sure quite what I was expecting– beer with a slight root beer flavor? But this tasted JUST LIKE ROOT BEER. Which I love. There was a very slight beer-ish aftertaste. But it was quite delicious. In fact, I believe one of the first statements I made after tasting it was that if O’Malley’s Pub was not serving root beer floats made with Row Hard that they were really missing the bus. Guys, if you are not, MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
The mishap of the night was that I enjoyed the root beer so much that I poured myself a second glass and completely neglected to taste the Chambourcin. I did give it a sniff when I was first uncorked. The nose was unremarkable. Some fruit, a good bit of oak, the earthiness that I enjoy so much in a Chambourcin was all but nonexistent in the bouquet. It was also much lighter-bodied than other Chambourcins I have enjoyed. I am disappointed to say that’s all I can offer in review of this wine. But I have learned my lesson. Never will I forget to taste the wine again. You have my word.
Update: I spoke to Corey Weinfurt from Weston Brewing Company this morning and he offered me a bit of insight on the Row Hard Root Beer as well as the Pedal Hard Ginger Beer, which were both collaborations with The Root Sellers. These have been in development for about a year, the Pedal Hard released in June, the Row Hard available this month on tap (and in growlers). In the coming months they should be available for purchase in 6-packs. I am very excited to try the Pedal Hard as well and will be bringing my growler over for it soon!