Our local Giant Eagle used to have a good beer selection. Then for awhile, they dropped off and were only selling the ordinary watered-down-for-mass-production kind of beers and a few decent microbrews. Then they made a great move. They remodeled and opened a state liquor store complete with a fully revamped beer & wine section and HOLY SHIT! They came back strong. With the exception of the very limited Founders selection (and by limited, I mean only Dirty Bastard), they have most of my favorites in stock now and even a few I haven’t tried yet. They also have a fully stocked 22oz shelf with a great selection of newer local stuff, plus premium small-batch craft brews. 1 word, no space, SUPERAWESOME. It was sheer nirvana seeing the new layout unveiled.
So, what do a couple of beer snobs do when something like this happens? Of course, we pick up a couple of 22oz singles to try out. The first one I want to tell you about is from a local Barbecue joint that we have come to love called Lager Heads. They are located in Abbeyville, Ohio, just about 25mins from our house. So, even though it’s not a frequent thing, we will venture out for a meal there every once in awhile. It’s totally worth the trip if you like great BBQ. If you go there, make sure you try the bacon-wrapped, beer-battered Italian sausage and take home a bottle of their home recipe BBQ sauce. We do both every time we go there – how could we not?
Anyway, we were surprised to see that apparently, Lager Heads is brewing beer now and had some for sale at Giant Eagle, so of course, choice number 1 for us was their Bed Head Red. I have to admit that I was fairly unimpressed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good red, but there was nothing that made it stand out among other good red beers. So, for $5 per 22 ounces, it just wasn’t worth it to me. I would definitely have one with my dinner while I’m at their smokehouse, or I would even pick up a 6-pack of 12oz bottles for $10, but I can’t see myself spending premium price on it again.
The other beer we picked up is the Galloway Porter by Epic Brewing Company. Again, it fell short of my expectations. I understand that it is named as one of their basic beers, but at $6 for a 220z, I was really hoping for something memorable. Yes, I once again think it is a very good porter, but just like the red, if I’m going to spend $11 on 2 beers, I want them to be home runs, not just RBI’s. This is definitely a well-balanced porter and has a good, malty, but somewhat bitter finish like I enjoy, but I really wanted something that I could sit by the fireplace with and marvel over for a few minutes. So, I have to say it again – give it to me in a reasonably priced 6-pack and I will be happy to buy it again, but for now, I’m content with what I’ve had. I was just checking out their beer menu, though and what I really want to try from them is the Fermentation Without Representation Imperial Pumpkin Porter. That sounds like something truly worthy of calling “Epic”.
So, maybe I have just elevated myself to a new height of beer-snobiness and maybe I’m becoming too critical of the beers I drink and if that’s the case, then please complain to Founders Brewing Company and Revolution Brewing Company for being so awesome that they have set a standard of flavor greatness that is hard to match. I think I might have to venture out to find some Backwoods Bastard later.