Craft Beer Week definitely snuck up on me this year, which I'm sure is a commentary on life with a six-month old. Plus family obligations kind of make it tough for me to take in too much. Still, there's always enough going on that it's not that hard to try a couple specialty items, or just things I've never had before.
So we're going to kick off with one of Tin Roof's specialty beers for the week, the Smoke Stack Brown Ale, which I picked up at the Bulldog on Perkins on Monday. You can grab this at their tap room, which is really nice and has some great happy hour deals daily, and trivia on Thursday.
This looks like your classic English brown ale. Rich brown color, slightly tan head. Smells that way too, with just a hint of roasted malts in the bouquet. That carries through to the first taste. Malty, with a little bit of sweetness and that roasted flavor that you came to the show to see. Hints of chocolate, or maybe toffee. That burnt sugar flavor. But from there, the beer takes a hard left into the smokey flavor that you might not suspect if you didn't know what you were drinking. In a lot of ways it tastes kind of like NOLA's Brown Ale, a favorite of mine, only with almost like some liquid smoke mixed in. But not in a bad way -- it complements the roasted malts well. This would pare really well with some grilled foods or something lightly smoked. I don't know that it would go with like some real barbecued pork or brisket, but something like chicken, or maybe a burger? Very well I think. I give it a nice 3.5/5 stars. Solid for a specialty, and worth having again, though not necessarily in huge amounts. I don't think I'd session it.