Tuesday, July 28, 2009
On July 23rd, Sunset Tavern hosted its first beer tasting event. The event was a little different than other beer tasting events I have been to. Instead of having one person explain the beers, they had representatives from the individual beer distributors or breweries talk about their beers. The beers that were chosen were a good range of styles and the turnout was one of the biggest I've seen at recent events. I felt Sunset Tavern was a great venue for a tasting like this. I had never thought of Sunset Tavern as a spot for beer connoisseurs but their selection has greatly improved since the last time I was there. The last time, the craziest beer they had on the menu was Killians Red. Now, they have three different types of Sam Adams, Brooklyn Lager, Warsteiner, Anchor Steam and a bunch of other quality beers on tap. Jahn Kirchoff, owner of Sunset Tavern, said they will be bringing in Bell's Oberon on tap as well. The bottle collection has also grown with selections from Dogfish Head, Stone, Shipyard, Falkensteiner, Rogue and a bunch of others. Though their beer selection has changed and grown, their local crowd has stuck around and they are now expanding their beer horizons. This event has great potential in serving as a place to bridge the gap between people who only know big macro breweries (Bud, Miller, Coors etc.) and those who know more of the independent micro breweries (Dogfish Head, Rogue, Brooklyn, Seirra Nevada, etc). After the event, the people I spoke to seemed to enjoy the more independent beers over the macrobeers that they are used to because of their abundant flavor. Just looking around, the beers in peoples hands looked much darker than what I have seen at Sunset Tavern before. One of the few complaints I heard about the event was that instead of the tasting going from lightest to darkest, it involved one distributor going through all of their beers and on to the next. Going from a Stone Imperial Russian Stout to Presidente Light was a bit of a step back in the tasting. Also, the glasses were washed after every couple of beers and it was leaving a soap residue on the glasses that you definitely picked up in the beers. It really started to change both the smell and taste. I would suggest if they do another tasting that they just leave a pitcher of water and a champagne bucket on each table so that people can rinse the old beer residue out of their glasses. The one other thing is that they were a little short on the amount of beer they advertised. They announced a tasting of 20 beers and only showcased 14. They made up for it a bit by giving everyone a coupon for a free drink at a future time. Overall, the event was a big success with a great turnout. It introduced people to beers that they may have never tried before. Here are some pictures from the event and you can find even more here.