The rain was held at bay as if the Heavens understood our collective Friday plight, our need to convene in convivial conversation. Only a few rain flecks found their way to us, gathered as we were in repose on the grounds of Dog Hill.
We started with an entry from Maine, a classic east coast IPA: light, not overly hopped, smooth flowing and as refreshing as the light breeze that rustled the tree tips and toussled our hair. Gone in 60 seconds.
Smithwicks followed, a hop across the pond to Ireland. This is an uninspired an unoffensive beer, like that guy in right field on the softball team. You know he's there, but that's about it. Oh well. It's Friday. We killed it. (Next was Bell's Oberon. It's light, good, innocuous; summer in a bottle. Enough said.)
Now, dear friends, a little Masala; a little tandoor, some spice and taste that you can categorize, debate and devour: enter The Maharaja. Clear from the West Coast comes this East inspired beer from Avery. This was pine cones in a bottle. No malt character to speak of, just a coniferous forest squeezed into a bomber. Single of purpose but divided in reviews, we tossed the empty bottle aside like notions of a congressional balanced budget.
We thought we were seeing double next, and we were right: Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe IPA. Now, this is a balanced beer! Citrus hops with just a hint of sweet malt. The flavors meld perfectly in this excellent brew, truly nonpartisan in matters of hops vs malts. This is a beer that will pass all legislative branches with a full majority. Well done Weyerbacher lads!
Then there was the Rogue beer of the bunch---conspicuous in it's familiar Rogue cloak of "etched" art bottles. We drank it. Um. We drank it. Did I say we drank it and finished it?
Next up was a homebrew Weizenboch, as we made the roasted malt leap to a darker beer, befitting the squizzling sun beginning to set softly over Tyson's Corner. 'Twas well received by all around, with aplomb.
As the former neuftet-plus of nimble imbibers dwindled to a truculent trio of dog-park lawbreakers, we capped off the evening with one last dog: Flying Dog Porter. This was a nice, smooth slide into homeplate and the weekend. This one packs no punch but flows like DC parking tickets.
Thus ends another fab Friday at Dog Hill. The beer selection seems to be elevating like the stakes at a poker game: pretty soon that same twenty dollars that got you in the game won't get you five minutes of fun in the back alley! Cheers to all, and to all a good night.