Hangin’ at The Barley Mow

I’m not a beer aficionado. I rarely drink the stuff. I’m not even sure I like it unless it’s been laced with artificial sweeteners, strawberry flavorings, and red dye #2.

Talk about anti-social. You can’t go on beer crawls. You can’t speak IPA-language. You know nothing about hops or yeast or alcohol content. You are simply ignorant. To not like beer these days is to be as unloved as a communist with satanic tendencies.

That was me until I discovered what’s in the photo. Bruery Poterie. Some kind of vintage victual. Check out the alcohol content. This beer is served in a brandy snifter. 5oz pour. You do not need more. It’s strong with a caramel overtone. Thick and rich and not a trace of bitterness. This was a drink invented for me. Like a good cognac, it’s expensive. That 32 oz can cost almost thirty bucks. Is it worth it? Yes it is.

Thank you Barley Mow for bringing this to town.

Barley Mow is a craft beer place. I go there on occasion because, despite the fact that I don’t love beer, they have an out-of-this-world menu. It’s small and that means excellence. Menus without a lot of choices usually provide the best food. The cooks don’t have to spread their attention across a wide swath of cuisine. They don’t have to cook a lobster next to a plate of greens and sausage, or a burger next to a cordon bleu. They can concentrate on what they do best. Whatever that best is doesn’t matter. It’ll just be the best.

Yesterday I had a salad with a genre of lettuce I never heard of. With a great dressing I never heard of. Shaved Asiago. Croutons made out of corn bread. Who knew? And a swaddling of passionfruit globules that popped in your mouth with just the right tension and flavor. Immaculate. Orgasmic. I’m still dreaming about it.

I had a cider to go with it because, as I’ve stated, I don’t care for beer. The newly-minted boyfriend ordered a snifter of the beer in the picture. He forced me to taste it. Immaculate. Orgasmic. We ordered a crowler. A quart.

Now we’re just waiting for a special occasion to open it. Wedding? Graduation? Nah. Let’s just wait until the end of the day. Or maybe have it for breakfast.

Here’s to the horses.

—Sue Lange/Producer/LE BON CHEF

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