Alton Place, a scant 4 block or so south of Ft. Reno Park, is where we call home. Our block, 3700, is especially close-knit. We have annual neighborhood gatherings, baseball outings, luau parties, and as a beautiful Monday showed, the occasional spontaneous front-porch happy hour.
Stef and I have just recently had work completed on our half, as well as the neighbors half, of our previously shared front stoop. What was a single dreary, decaying slab has now become two separate and stylish porches. Ours became the de facto bar tonight. The not-so-shabby bar tab contained apple martinis, gin-and-tonics, and a couple decent craft brews. First up for sharing was a bomber of Racer 5, imported from California: clearly more than fruits, flakes and nuts (and former actor politicians) hail from California. Bear Republic makes some fine beer. Racer five is a mid-level hop-bomb of U.S West Coast ilk---a dry, sharp middle finger at the staid, smooth pub-fare variety of english pale ales. Americans like their cars, countries and hop beers BIG! Racer 5 is mild next to many a west-coast IPA (India Pale Ale), IIPA (Imperial India) and DIPA (Double), but holds its own, and had our french neighbor inquiring for a mild-mannered lager.
The other entrants tonight were a seasonable, reasonable hefeweizen offering from Vermont's own Magic Hat brewery (of no known affiliation to Vermont's other major exports, clouds and Cherry Garcia ice cream); and Dogfish Head's Midas Touch Ale. DFH is known for outlandish brewing ideas, often proffered by their fans. Midas Touch is kitschy, and, supposedly, taken from a "beer" recipe scrawled inside King Midas' tomb, which described a concoction of beery ingredients as well as muscat grapes and saffron. Bombay meets L.A you say? Well, maybe, but it tastes great. I suppose with a name like Midas, you'd have to call this a golden ale?