Saturday, October 2, 2010

Troegs Night at Varga

On Thursday, Troegs Brewery hosted an event at Varga Bar.  I was excited because they were supposed to have the new Scratch 34 plus an undisclosed firkin of something.  I was hoping that the firkin would be Java Head with vanilla beans since it was delicious but we wouldn't know until we got there.  Of course, the weather Thursday night was abysmal but we ventured out anyway.

Varga is at 10th and Spruce and is a small place on the corner.  Possibly because of the weather there weren't too many people there when we arrived.  We picked a spot at the bar and waited for the Troegs beers to come on draft.  (Let me say that I had a bad cold Thursday so my descriptions won't be incredibly great since it was hard to taste or smell anything.  It's the reason I haven't posted at all this past week.)

I started with a glass of Troegs Dead Reckoning which is an American Porter.
It poured a basically black color with a small brown head.  Looks like what you'd expect from a porter.  I couldn't smell anything because of my cold so I'll skip that section this time.  Surprisingly, the first taste had quite a large hop character to it.  Porters are almost always roasty and malty, but this one had a much more up front hop taste to it.  It was actually really enjoyable since it gave it a really unique taste.  The hops blended into the roasted malt to create a mildly sweet flavor that I really liked.  I want to try this again when I can smell and taste better.

The next I had was the new Scratch 34, a Belgian Brown.  (Also known as an Abbey Dubbel I'm pretty sure.)
Scratch 34 was a really, deep brown with very minimal head on it.  The first taste was all Belgian.  I could taste bananas, a bit of sweetness, and exactly what is expected from a Belgian beer.  It was really enjoyable.  Apparently it's bottle conditioning right now so I'm hoping I'll be able to get a bottle of it at Capone's when Troegs finally releases it.

Finally I capped off the night with a glass of their Java Head. 
It's listed as an Oatmeal Stout on Beer Advocate, but it reminds me more of a coffee stout than anything else.  Poured a nearly black color with a nice, foamy brown head on it.  Looked really nice.  I don't have very clear impressions from this honestly but I did like it.  Jo said it had a mild coffee flavor to it.  I'll have to try it again at the next Troegs night at some other bar and write a better report then.

The event itself was put together by a guy named Nick who is the Troegs representative for the area.  I talked to him for a while and he's a really nice guy.  He mentioned he puts together events like this all over the city so I'm excited to check them out over the next few months.  On top of that he said that he had a keg of Mad Elf from '09 for an event so definitely want to check that out.  The only disappointing thing about the event was that the firkin he tried to get wasn't filled for him so the undisclosed firkin never made an appearance.  They did end up with a Dry Hopped version of their Dead Reckoning on hand pump, but since I already had a glass of that before finding out about it I didn't get a chance to try it.  Probably would be pretty interesting though.

I'm in Massachusetts today and heading to my favorite bar in Lee, Mass.  It's called Moe's and it's a little spot of beer heaven in a small town.

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