Three days into my new running plan and I've already deviated from the schedule. But I assure you it was for a good cause. That cause? Why, beer, of course.
Last night, a local chain restaurant, the Winking Lizard, hosted a Magic Hat beer tasting. On tap was No. 9, Circus Boy, Lucky Kat, Single Chair Ale, Roxy Rolles and Braggot, the latter of which is this season's Odd Notion.
I've already sampled half of these in the bottle and No. 9 on draft, but I was excited to taste the rest from the tap and see what exclusive beers were included in the tasting. I enjoy most of the Magic Hat beers. They tend to be light and refreshing. However, tasting these six flavors in succession made me realize just how similar they all are.
All were ales, save for Circus Boy, which is an American Hefeweizen. Sadly, none of the beers distinguished themselves. Half were a variety of pale ale. One was a golden ale and the other a honey ale. Mixed together, all the flavors seemed the same.
In the winter, I prefer darker beers. The majority of these are light and would be tasty on a warm day out on the porch. This is November in Northeast Ohio. Give me a porter or a stout. According to the Magic Hat site, the brewery does make a stout, called Feast of Fools. Where the heck was that?
In addition to the underwhelming selection of beers, the tasting itself was a tad under-organized. Now, granted, I haven't gone to many tastings, but it seems to me that the brewers are the experts on their beer. Shouldn't they tell me what order to drink these beers for proper enjoyment?
Well, there was none of that. It was willy-nilly: pick your flavor from a sheet of paper that described the beers. Perhaps the top-to-bottom order of the beers was the suggested sequence of consumption, but this was not made clear.
I did however get a sweet T-shirt, a pint glass, a keychain bottle-opener, a sticker, and I actually won a raffle prize, a Magic Hat flag. Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy drinking Magic Hat, but I was not impressed with the variety -- if you can call five ales out of six beers a variety.
I would like to get my hands on the stout, but until then I will wait until the Spring to enjoy another No. 9. As the evening went, a Christmas Ale nightcap was the cure for a bored tongue.
Running tonight? Sure, why not. And perhaps some hot, mulled cider and whiskey to warm the cockles. Cheers.