Best Random Beer Encounter at a Pub or Restaurant

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by deschutes_fan, Sep 12, 2014.

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  1. deschutes_fan

    deschutes_fan Disciple (381) Sep 24, 2013 California
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    This evening the wife wanted to go out for dinner with the nice weather and all, so we went to a local pub & grill in Boise that has good outdoor seating. Lucky me, they happened to have 2010 Abyss on Draft and at the ridiculously reasonable rate of $6/glass. Needless to say, the wife drove home :-)

    What's your favorite unexpected beer encounter?
     
  2. Spinrathen

    Spinrathen Initiate (0) Dec 18, 2013 Iowa

    Most recent favorite was king sue on tap and very few people drinking it while I was there. Sat down had 5 of them and an early dinner.
     
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  3. deschutes_fan

    deschutes_fan Disciple (381) Sep 24, 2013 California
    Trader

    Wow! Was that at brewery or a local bar? Either way, 5 king sues would make any man feel like a king.
     
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  4. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Meyvn (1,428) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska
    Trader

    This happened a year ago to the month--last September. The wife and I go out to eat at a local restaurant that we really like for the owner/chef. When they first opened they were a pretty standard upscale restaurant with a big wine list and not much beer emphasis, although they did have a handful of Boulevard taps like so many KC-area places do. But the owner has steadily gotten more and more into craft beer, for example, she went out to New Belgium awhile back to work with them on making her own sour blend. She also opened up a taproom at another location and served at the Taps and Tastes beer/food festival portion of Boulevardia back in June.

    So that's the context for my expectations... anyway, we hadn't been to the place in several months, and as I go to look for something to drink, I notice that they now have a beer bottle list similar to how you might see a wine list at a nice restaurant. Mostly good stuff--some Boulevard Smokestack beers, some off-the-shelf Lips of Faith and FW bombers, that kind of thing. Cool, but nothing crazy.

    Then I notice that LOF Tart Lychee is on the list. I figure it has to be a mistake since that was a one-time beer from 2010 and it seemed crazy that they would have it in 2013 since they were fairly new (6 mos) to the extra emphasis on beer. I ordered it anyway, expecting the waiter to come back telling me that it was long gone, but as you probably figured out since I'm telling this story, he came back with a bomber of wonderfully delicious Tart Lychee. It was a beer I'd long wanted to try but had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't likely to finds bottle and NB probably wasn't going to brewing again. I still feel like I can remember the taste from 12 mos ago--that's how much it stood out in my mind.

    Runner-up: stopped by my favorite bottle shop on a random Tuesday last December to get some to-go beer and as I'm waiting to check out, I see Bourbon County pop up on the tap list. My excitement turned to joy when they brought my glass and it turned out to be the Barleywine. The menu just said Bourbon County, so I assumed I was getting the stout, which I had sampled many times before. Definitely a nice surprise.
     
    #4 LambicPentameter, Sep 12, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
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  5. deschutes_fan

    deschutes_fan Disciple (381) Sep 24, 2013 California
    Trader

    Interesting find with that 3 year old Tart Lychee. A local whole foods got a few cases of 2009 Transatlantique Kriek several months back, no idea how they scored that since the store had only been open for a little more than a year and no other shops got any that I know of.

    Honestly though, I would've been way more stoked with the Bourbon county BW on tap :-)
     
  6. gillagorilla

    gillagorilla Meyvn (1,300) Feb 27, 2013 Maryland

    I can't think of something specific at the moment, especially since I usually don't just drop into bars without knowing they have at least one thing that I want.

    However, Max's always has something unexpected on tap.
     
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  7. strohme2

    strohme2 Meyvn (1,036) Nov 3, 2007 Michigan
    Trader

    My best unexpected find was at Comerica Park a couple years ago. Went to the ball game only intending on getting a couple beers. The newish Craft Beer stand had Black Note on tap so I ordered 2 for me and my wife ordered 2 more for me. CoPa has since done a great job announcing special beers on tap but that was a good day.
     
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  8. Asics

    Asics Disciple (370) Jul 28, 2012 Washington

    I met the head brewer for Gordon Biersch's Seattle location while at my favorite local, he was a really cool guy!

    Oh on tap? Fremont Kentucky Dark Star on tap at a nice little bottle/sandwich/growler fill shop down the road from me.
     
  9. BedetheVenerable

    BedetheVenerable Meyvn (1,140) Sep 5, 2008 Missouri

    Stumbled onto CBS at my favorite local back in IL. It was on tap (before Founders started bottling it) and like $8 a snifter. Not bad!
     
  10. APBT91

    APBT91 Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2013 North Carolina

    Back when Hopslam come out, my bottle shop had a sign that said no we don't have Hopslam with another sentence in smaller print underneath that I didn't read. It was a joke and they did have Hopslam so I got a few more to take home with me.
     
  11. glass_house

    glass_house Zealot (587) Jan 10, 2014 Ohio
    Trader

    Heady Topper. I kind of thought it was a joke when I looked at the beer menu. Just so happened that the owners wife was from Vermont and would occasionally bring some back to sell. Illegally of course, but I wasn't in a rush to turn them in.
     
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  12. azorie

    azorie Champion (892) Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    My euro street cafe starting carrying Founder Porter, nothing earth shaking but its another great reason to go. too pricey for me but 1 with lunch is nice.

    The local bone fish grill starting carrying local brews was nice, but we stopping going there.

    WE do not eat out at the high dollar places much anymore.
     
  13. SirRainboom

    SirRainboom Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2014 Germany
    Deactivated

    Some guy handing me his Krug of Landbier the establishment had on draft. It was especially good since I never had any Landbier on draft before.
     
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  14. Spinrathen

    Spinrathen Initiate (0) Dec 18, 2013 Iowa

    A bar, granted it's a crazy good bar that I always know there will be 30 things I'll want to drink.
     
  15. PuckIt

    PuckIt Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Lost Abby Deliverance and Angels share on draft (and included in half-off happy hour)
     
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  16. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    A few years back I wen't to lunch at a place with good food, 10 taps (non dispensing BMC) and a well-selected bottle list.

    The beer manager here knows her German beers, but I was still quite surprised to find they had on offer bottles of 5 year old Aventinus that was aged by the brewery in their Eiskeller. Since I had no meetings or major commitments that afternoon I immediately decided to pay bar prices for a bottle to have after lunch as dessert. It was soooo good that during the next month or so I wen't back more than once to get another bottle.

    I personally had never seen the brewery aged Aventinus before and I've never seen it since. My understanidng is that they put away 250 cases of the fresh Aventinus each year and then release about half of them at 3 years bottle ag and the rest at 5 years. For me it was compelling proof that age related changes in some beers truly justifies cellaring them.
     
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  17. fredmugs

    fredmugs Meyvn (1,484) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Deactivated

    I was at Oskar Blues and after ordering a beer I was told it was out. I was looking at the menu and decided to ask what replaced it and the person said Pliny the Elder. That was my first Pliny.
     
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  18. MaltLickyWithTheCandy

    MaltLickyWithTheCandy Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2013 Maryland

    Some Bourbon County brand stout, and Succaba. Both on tap randomly, in July of all months. 3 of those, and I was feelin reeaaaal tipsy
     
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  19. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,361) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Most recent was a couple months ago. I went into the best beer bar in my town to find out they had Highland Cold Mountain on-tap. A much-coveted winter seasonal that they had decided to sit on until a random day in the middle of the summer. I had missed out on a chance to try it this past winter so it was a score for me. Very tasty as well. Oh and, even more recently, the best bottle shop in my town that also has 20 taps had '13 Event Horizon on-tap when I was lucky enough to just stroll in and find it. Also had never had that one before until then. I've had others but I can't think of my ultimate best random encounter at the moment.
     
  20. 1beergeek

    1beergeek Initiate (92) Oct 26, 2012 New Mexico
    Trader

    Went to the Made in the Shade beer festival in June of this year in Flagstaff, Az. After the festival was over of course the beer drinking didn't stop. Went downtown to the Monte Carlo Hotel. They were having a Founders tap takeover. KBS, Devil Dancer and about 4 other flavors on draft. They were in a shift change and the new bartender (who was inexperienced I guess) was pouring 16oz. pints of both the KBS and Devil Dancer. Needless to say we had to walk back to the hotel and it was not a pretty site. LOL!
     
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  21. Shinck14

    Shinck14 Initiate (0) May 30, 2014 Kansas

    Random cellar clearing party at a good craft beer bar in KC. Had 2013 Bourbon County, Ten Fidy and 2012 Abyss in the month of June. I was asking what else they had in the cellar and bartender was telling me about a 4 pack of KBS that they didn't know how to get rid of. I asked if they'd sell it to me and so after having those 3 great stouts I walked out with a 4 pack of KBS
     
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  22. musicman7070

    musicman7070 Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey

    Bourbon County Coffee Stout at The Reservoir in Vermont, in the middle of July (last year) while visiting! Best random beer encounter EVER!
     
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  23. brewskifan55

    brewskifan55 Poo-Bah (1,826) May 17, 2011 Mississippi
    Society

    I was at Stein's in New Orleans right when they opened at 9 am. I went past the restaurant section, straight to the beer room in the back. There was one guy shopping for beer. When I got to the checkout with my beers, I noticed the same guy with a 4 pack of Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout on his table with his breakfast. I asked him where he found it and he pointed to Dan Stein at the register. "How many you want?" Dan asked. A four pack is fine, I said. It's nice when Dan shares his secret stash.
    On another occasion, I was buying a current Old Stock (2013) and Dan said he had some earlier years in the back, was I interested. He sold me a 2008 and a 2011 (at $3.50 each). The '08 was stellar.
     
  24. vurt

    vurt Meyvn (1,222) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    Pints of KBS in FLAGSTAFF? Respect. That is outstanding.
     
  25. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (283) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Trader

    Suburbs of NYC last may. We had an unexpectedly large party of 10 for dinner, and of all the places we tried to get into, we finally found one that had little to no wait... 3-5 beers on tap. It was more of a wine/steak/seafood place. We had no expectations of what to expect. But there it was. In late May, Founder's Breakfast Stout just sitting there on tap.

    I knew it was a seasonal and I had plans to try and find it in a bottle on that trip. So to see it on tap at a place we didn't plan for. It felt like fate. I think I went with 3 pint pours before calling it quits on a high note
     
  26. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,689) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Society

    I saw some absolutely insane bottles last time I was at Dirk's Filet & Vine in Montgomery, AL.
    Borderline Whalez just sitting on the shelf as they're still new to the craft beer thing down there.
     
  27. Roudy

    Roudy Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2009 Georgia

    Not that special a find, but I recently stopped by a solid bottle shop that is too far from home to visit regularly. Because I hadn't been there for months, I was slowly walking the craft isles. A young female must have detected a puzzled look on my face and asked: "Are you here to buy The Oracle and Mars?" I didn't even realize it had hit the shelves two hours before. I said yeah and she went into the back to give me the limit of two bottles each. Think I'll continue to look lost when I'm in such establishments in the future :grinning:
     
  28. mnredsoxfan69

    mnredsoxfan69 Disciple (321) Dec 27, 2013 Minnesota

    Went to a Deschutes takeover at the Red Cow in Minneapolis, my first for this sort of event. Had real goodies on tap, 2012 & 2013 Abyss, Black Butte XXIV and XXV. It just so happened that I managed a seat at the bar next to the distributor's rep and out of the blue he pours me a glass from his own personal bottle of Black Butte XXI. Paradise in a bottle!
     
  29. gasanesthesia

    gasanesthesia Initiate (57) Oct 23, 2012 Georgia

    All I can say is "Wow"! You guys have had some seriously, outrageously, good fortune with great beers!
    I got to have Parabola at House of Blues at Disneyland. Thought I was lucky..!

    Chris
     
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  30. chiefojibwa

    chiefojibwa Initiate (0) May 19, 2009 Washington

    a guy walks into a bar (me) in eugene, oregon, and finds that the bar has all 12 sierra nevada beer camp beers on tap.
     
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  31. ari32

    ari32 Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2013 Georgia

    I went to an authentic Sichuan restaurant on a stretch of road with plenty of other authentic, hole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurants, all of which are not known for craft beer, if they even serve beer at all. This place in particular does offer Founders Porter in addition to Tsingtao and the other staples, so that's not too bad, but definitely as good as it gets for the area.

    However, on one particular evening they happened to be selling Mexican Cake bombers at only a dollar more than they were at the local beer stores, and a week after MC had released. Needless to say, I bought one and enjoyed one of the best Sichuan dinners ever. I think MC and Sichuan were meant for each other. Sadly, they were out when I came back 2 days later. Still, that was a huge surprise.
     
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  32. SDRedDevil

    SDRedDevil Savant (976) Oct 25, 2011 California

    Toronado recently had a keg of Bells Black Note that lasted all week and we could just pop in and have some (also had some RR sours), while they usually have unbelievable taps the popular stuff goes fast.

    Some of my friends were lucky enough to happen to go out to a hh during Pliny the Younger week this year and a brewpub in downtown put on a keg on a Wednesday night, no one was there and they got as much as they could drink. Considering the pandemonium that PtY generates it was pretty unreal....
     
  33. Cyrano41

    Cyrano41 Aspirant (246) Aug 7, 2009 Virginia

    I recently attended a minor league baseball game in Norfolk, VA, (go tides!) when my wife purchased some discount tickets. I'm not a baseball fan, but any live event can be fun, especially for the kids. In my head I envisioned bud light and off-grey hotdogs. I was pleasantly suprised to discover a "craft beer pub" on the concourse with 10 taps and as many bottles. I don't recall everything they had, but I did have a Virginia Beach Brewing (local) altbier, riptide on tap and they also had several O'Connors brewery offerings, El Guapo, Red Nun and Norfolk canyon. The food was far better, too, with a buffet in restuarant with a clear view of right field, a Y'not pizza, and a mexican place in addition to typical stadium fare. I'll go back for the beer & food alone.
     
  34. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    Nothing specific, only a general encounter or two when I go to a restaurant and don't expect too much craft beer since they aren't on ANY website. When I walk past the bar and see that there is no craft on draft and ask at the table what they have besides the usual suspects and get an answer other than: Bud, Bud Light, Coors Light, Heinekin and Amstel [and this way I know the server is clueless] I am extremely surprised.
     
  35. HOMEPL8

    HOMEPL8 Initiate (176) Dec 26, 2010 Virginia

    Visiting a friend in Mass...she says "we have a beer fridge in the basement, but I doubt there is anything you'll like it in...bunch of SA Lager, Corona, etc...but we do have a beer a friend left here 5 years ago...a Rochefort 10..."

    I'll take it...it was 15 days from it's 5 year best by date...quite delicious.
     
  36. HOMEPL8

    HOMEPL8 Initiate (176) Dec 26, 2010 Virginia

    I've posted this before as well...but back when Hopslam was at it's peak, I walked into a Faux Irish Pub called Finnigans...they sold Two Hearted so they got a sixtle of Hopslam...they didnt' know what it was and were selling it by the pint for happy hour prices of $3 per...
     
  37. makeminerandom

    makeminerandom Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I went on a brewey tour a few months back which included shuttle transporation. The pick-up point was at @Bocktown Beer & Grill, a local place with a good craft selection. Before we left, the owner cracked open a 2006 Gratitude by East End for us to share on the ride to the brewery. Awesome brew, and an awesome gesture.
     
  38. PenningtonNY10

    PenningtonNY10 Initiate (170) Nov 20, 2009 Connecticut

    Ever since I was a little kid my family has been going to Lake George, NY for summer vacation. There's a pretty small bar called Judd's Tavern that I must have walked past countless times as a child and as an adult. This summer, with my girlfriend, we walked in and to my delight the craft beer selection was great. They had DFH 120 Minute on tap, along with some great local stuff, and good cans/bottle selections from the likes of Westbrook. Finally got to try that Gose. What a treat.
     
  39. TWStandley

    TWStandley Crusader (761) Jan 15, 2008 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Was at Decicco's grocery store in NY and they have a tasting room attached. On draft was BCBS (this was 2012). While drinking it was making small talk with the bartender about how I like to age it sometimes. He told me to wait, came back with two bottles of 2008 BCBS from the back room and let me buy them. Solid find.
     
  40. One1Asterisk

    One1Asterisk Aspirant (295) Apr 8, 2014 Florida

    During my start in drinking craft beer, I was (hell, I still am) a big fanboy and would drag anyone I could out to Cigar City to try out some beers. I pulled my dad out there one wonderful afternoon, I believe it was right after Hunahpu Day, to have some flights. He doesn't much like being around too many people so we had our own little table for a time. For our second round we moved up to the bar and struck up a conversation with an older gentleman next to us. He was in town for business staying at a hotel overlooking the brewery, and saw the insanity that was Hunahpu Day outside his window the day before and decided to check it out. I was working that day, and was unable to attend or get any bottles at all. He purchased a couple of bottles, took them to his room, and didn't much like the one he opened. He went back to CCB while we were there to try out some of their other selections and when somehow our conversation turned to Hunahpu Day, and he OFFERED to sell me his extra bottle. I was floored that a bottle of Hunahpu just found it's way into my possession. He even still had the empty sitting there for me to add to my bottle collection. What an awesome turn of events!
     
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