Yesterday was going to be a lazy Friday night at home, until we got a message from some friends interested in joining us on our brew tour. We decided to check out Rockford Brewing Co. since it is very close to home for us, it's brand new, and Tom's been dying to check it out. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that it's a place we're going to want to frequent. The atmosphere was fine -- there's a downstairs and and upstairs with plenty of seating, though the upstairs was pretty full. They had six beers available, so the guys both got the sampler to try them all.
Tom and John were our beer experts for the night, and both of them had little in the way of good things to say. The general consensus was that all of the beers tasted watered down. Even my own inexperienced beer palate was not impressed. However, there were definitely some that were better than others. The guys ranked them, and definitely agreed on the order of the ranking as follows - from best to worst:
1. Rogue River Brown - This is the beer they had on the nitro tap, which we learned creates smaller bubbles in the beer, and helps to give a creamier mouthfeel to stouts and porters. It was the favorite of both John and Tom -- and possibly mine, too. For me, it was kind of a toss-up of their top two.
2. Sheehan's Irish Stout - Tom says it was a good balanced, flavor, though it still had the watered down taste. Not exceptional, but had your average stout taste.
3. O'Brien's Red - This is where things began to go downhill fast. John said this was the worst Red he's ever had. A bold statement. Other quotes I wrote down where, "not great" and "kind of blah."
4. Carriage House - This was a very light beer, with no flavors that really stood out. According to John, it tasted like a flavorless gummy bear. Yeah, we'll just leave it at that.
5. White Pine Wheat - Our friend Meghan ordered a pint of this. She didn't finish it, if that says anything. It had some citrus notes, and also some banana-y flavors -- not a good combination.
6. Belgian Multigrain - According to the guys, this beer was miles apart from any of the others -- in a bad way. It had a weird taste to it -- John said it was just "awful". Both of them had to literally choke it down just to finish the little 4oz sample.
So, there you have it - our rather harsh critique. Hopefully we'll have better luck at the next place we stop!