I like La Trappe in North Beach – a lot. I have been going there since they opened and I always have a good time and good beer. Sometimes the food has been a bit off, or maybe the crowd a bit odd (one time the closet started smoking – but they had just opened). Last night we just wanted a drink or two, to hang out, and then go home. It wound up being a perfect way to end our night.
We started at Church Key and shared a few beers:
The Bruery – Black Orchard bottle – not sure I loved it but it was very different. The Bruery is doing some real cool stuff in the OC.
Santa Cruz Uncommon Brewery Baltic Porter – like drinking a thick chocolate coffee drink of sorts. Good on a cold night. This was our second night in a row drinking this one there. It grabs your attention.
Morimoto Imperial Pilsner - Awesome – a great example of creating an imperial pilsner that still has a lot of the original pilsner flavor, but still with a good kick of alcohol.
On to La Trappe: Mike Moore saw us right away and said hi. We chose a Rodenbach (Grand Cru) and a St. Bernardus Prior 8. We wanted to show Jasmine’s brother Luke some beers that would surprise him and boy did they – especially Rodenbach. No matter how many times he tasted it, he looked shocked every time. Mike then started to ply us with a bunch of tastes – really awesome of him. We tried, if my memory serves me right:
Saison Voisin – surprisingly bitter – subtle with a lasting bitter finish.
Brigand - Belgian pale ale – oddly I feel it had chardonnay notes – fine beer – one of our favorites. Mike brought out the Brigand glass just to show us their cheesy Robin Hood-like logo.
Pietra - Italian with chestnut flour. When he first put this in front of us, Mike said, “It has a distinctive taste. See if you can tell me what it is.” After going around and all tasting it, we were a bit stumped. There was a smokey flavor, and something savory, but we couldn’t put a name to it. “Smoked ham,” he finally said. And boy it did smell just like smoked ham. Not necessarily a bad thing, by the way. But not necessarily that good, either.
I love tasting a bunch of beers I’ve never had. Shortly after all these tastes, a magnum of Duvel came out. We thought someone in back might have ordered it, but nope–the guys at La Trappe were just in the mood to pop one. Two years old and amazing–they poured until their arms hurt and everyone in the bar had a glass. Very fun with the entire bar cheering and drinking from this huge bottle. We managed to snag a quick picture with a cellphone camera. Good times La Trappe – Thanks!