Found Quite a Gem of a Beer Joint on Our Rest Day

By the middle of the week, while at the Red River Gorge, we were in desperate need of a rest day. Our fingertips had no skin left from climbing and we needed a break. Its very easy to want to go climb on a rest day, so to prevent this, we headed into the closest town, Lexington for dinner and a movie.

After watching the new Star Trek movie, we found an adorable, awesome beer joint! It was on a cute, friendly, historic looking street and it was called The Beer Trappe.

It was a bit hard at first to find a place to sit or stand. But after a few minutes of awkwardly standing around, we managed to get two seats at the bar!

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This place also had a ton of beer for sale. They didn’t have a kitchen, but there was a food truck out back with an amazing little menu! We ordered a few small snacks and plates and checked out their menu.

I was in heaven! The Beer Trappe had a big selection of Gueuze and sour beers! Almost a better selection than any bar I’ve been to in DC!

It was a hot sunny day and I just couldn’t help myself, I had to order then Boon Oude Gueuze Mariage Parfait by Brouwerij Boon of Lembeek, Belgium at 8% abv.

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This is a great example of a traditional Gueuze. Acidic and sour, some sweetness is contributed by the malts. Slight hints of woodiness from being aged in barrels. Very bubbly and with a crisp dry finish.

Jack got the Cuvee Freddy by Picobrouwerij Alvinne of Zwevegem, Belgium at 8% abv, and was nice enough to share it with me! It was one crazy beer!

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This beer had a lot of flavor and was almost overwhelming. It’s a Flemish Oude Bruin but wow, it really stands out as different. Balsamic vinaigrette, prunes, tart cherries, red wine. Almost completely still with no carbonation. Really cool and worth trying!

Next, I was practically harassed at the bar by the drunk woman sitting next to me that my next beer, HAD to be the Abbey de Saint Bon Chien which they had on draught.

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With such a strong recommendation, how could I say no?

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Yes, it’s a Belgian style beer, but its actually made by a brewery in Switzerland, the Brasserie de Franches-Montagnes. Lightly acidic, but smooth with lots of subtle fruit. Tart cherries, barrel ages oak, vanilla. a little boozy and you can tell there’s a good amount of alcohol in it. Complex and warming.

I will definitely try to make it back to The Beer Trappe the next time I’m in Lexington! What a find!

Beers at the Red River Gorge, Kentucky

This spring, we took our annual trip to the Red River Gorge, Kentucky! The climbing is amazing. I really trained and pushed myself through the winter specifically for this trip. It was totally worth it! I saw major improvement in my climbing, and was super happy. We must have had so much fun climbing that we were too preoccupied to take pictures.

But of course I got some pictures of the beers! Jack and I split the Mikkeller Yeast Series 2.0 Brettanommyces Bruxellensis by Mikkeller ApS of Kobenhavn, Denmark at  6.4% abv.

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It was lighter than I expected and not quite as sour as I hoped. Usually in sour beers the Brettanomyces yeast is what makes it funky and tart. Tart apples, pears, papaya. Not super smooth either, it seemed like the beer had a bit of texture to it. Almost gueuze-ish. Quite drinkable. Id love to try more beer from this series.

Next we all split the Plum Noir by Southern Tier Brewery of Lakewood, NY at 8% abv.

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I didn’t get the taste of plums with the first sip, but they became more apparent with time. Dark malts, chocolate, charred wood. Creamy, smooth, with a crisp finish. Really nice beer, I would drink this again.

Lisa’s Wedding Shower!

This is why I sometimes run so far behind in posts. Because I’m lazy and also because I know I have some absolutely behemoth post with a bazillion pictures that will require two days to organize and write about. So, this has been on my plate for a while, Lisa’s wedding shower.

That morning we went to the church hall, set up, decorated and all that jazz. Tara and I took a break at one point in the morning and went out to my car and split the Weihenstephaner Vitus of Bayerische Staatsbrauerie Weihenstephen at Freising, Germany at 7.7% abv. (Damn, I don’t even know how to begin to say any of that!)

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It was the best possible pick-me-up imaginable! With renewed determination we continued with the shower. It was delightful. Then we cleaned up.

After a very long day, we headed out to the South Side Saloon!

I started off the evening with a Gouden Carolus Easter of Brouwerij Het Anker of Mechelen, Belgium at 10% abv, that they had on draught!! Although I took this picture with the bottles so that I could have something good to photograph. This also compares the labels from last year and this year. (This year on the left, last year on the right)

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I have been waiting to try this beer for about nine months since I learned of its existence when we visited the Het Anker brewery! Such a delicious beer! Velvety smooth, candied apples, plums, caramel, black licorice. High carbonation with tons of effervescent little bubbles, yet still your typical heavy Belgian beer.

I believe after this beer, I began to split bottles and beers with people. Tara and I tackled the Positive Contact, an Imperial Belgian Style Wheat beer, by Dogfish Head Brewery of Milton, DE at 9% abv.

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Lots of yeast and apples. Very cidery. The beer is also brewed with cilantro and cayenne. I didn’t really taste any cilantro, but is does have a nice spiciness to it. Warming, it must be from the cayenne, but not overpowering.

And then it was back to something dark, Heresy by Weyerbacher Brewery of Easton, PA at 8% abv.

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This beer was just perfect for the day. It was super chilly out and beginning to get dark, made me want to snuggle down and enjoy this beer. Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, molasses. And almost completely still, very little carbonation. Mellow and so enjoyable.

Shout out to my favorite bar tender Joe! It was his last regular time bartending at the Saloon before he moves over to run the South Side Saloon Brew Thru right down the street! I haven’t been there yet, but hopefully they have a wonderful selection of import and craft beers!

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And then the night takes a turn for the crazy! We noticed that the Saloon had balloons up everywhere all over the walls and that the balloons were for sale at $1 each. This made us curious why anyone would want to buy a balloon, so of course we did. When you pop them, you get a little ticket that tells you your prize!! I won a Franziskaner Frisbee! And someone else won a beer glass!

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This was too exciting to pass up! We each bought 20 balloons! It was a popping frenzy!

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We won completely useless but very fun beer related things!

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The balloon aftermath. What a disaster! I think I left with a t-shirt, Frisbee, two Spaten mugs, two Franziskaner glasses, a blow up beer bottle, and some Unibroue sings. I gave away quite a bit of the glassware when I had more than my matching sets.

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And I managed to finish off the night with a KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) by Founders Brewing Company of Grand Rapids, MI at 11.2% abv.

I think this is one of the better bourbon barrel stouts that I’ve had. Smooth and full of character, oak and chocolate, bourbon obviously, and vanilla. Full mouthfeel, a heavy beer yet silky smooth. Very nice!

Jack’s Birthday

Jack’s Birthday was pretty low-key this year. We spent an evening at the gym climbing with some awesome friends and then all headed out into Old Town to King Street Blues for dinner and drinks!

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Liz, being her usual awesome self, made a special birthday cake for Jack! When she asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he said Spiderman.

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So Liz comes through with a Spiderman cake!! It was sooo delicious!

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Jack was as happy as a four year old!

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And I had a margarita and a beer! I got the Out of Bounds Stout by Avery Brewing of Boulder, CO at 6.3% abv.

I was tentative about ordering this beer because I was pretty sure it would be like most west coast beers and be way too hoppy. It was actually pretty good. Still had more hops than I prefer in a stout, but quite good. Roasted malts, dark chocolate, hints of coffee. A very subtle smokiness to it, caramel and a dry finish. I’d pick this up again!