Mr. Coqbyrne and I met at the Captain Lawrence Brewery yesterday afternoon for a tasting at their taproom. The place is a real brewery, and NOT a brewpub. They just open the taproom on Friday nights from 4 to 7 and again on Saturday afternoons. The have a LOT of traffic in and out of there!! I counted 20 people that went in and out with multiple growlers in about 15 minutes. There were many others tasting, and a few other groups that bought growlers and just hung around drinking them. Coqbyrne and I tasted 3 of their brews. We started with their Pumpkin Ale offering. Very subtle, and just OK in my book. They soon changed out that keg...maybe the new one was better. Then we went to my standard favorite, Pale Ale. As usual, it was good, with some nice grapefruit tones and the right amount of bitterness to balance the maltiness. We walked around the brewery, talking and tasting, getting more involved in our conversations, and forgetting about the beatiful new bottling line, the newly installed whirlpooler, and the additional fermenters that were installed. It made me remember that the best part of tasting beer is the company, and not so much the surroundings. Coqbyrne and I could be in a Turkish prison and not even notice, since we are always fully absorbed in our conversations about family, life, business, aspirations, movies, vacation spots...you name it, we talk about it!
Finally we had the Brown Bird, Coqbyrne's favorite, but for some reason, wasn't as good as usual for him. It was a brown ale, with a roasty flavor, but no real aroma or finish. Maybe it was just that night. Maybe our palates were tainted with the hoppy Pale Ale. But, I ALWAYS recommend Captain Lawrence as a great local brewer...they do an outstanding job. So, if you go for a tasting and are not thrilled with everything you try, don't be discouraged, the next time will be great.
Afterwards, we went to a local pub to grab a burger and anouther CL Pale Ale. The beer was good, but the conversation with Coqbyrne (which continued in the parking lot for another hour) was the best, as always!