Thursday, February 11, 2010

HiPS has big plans on tap

Just got back from a trip to HiPS where I picked up a half-gallon of Snake Handler and a bottle of cider for the wife. As they were mopping up a broken bottle of Boone's Farm (or were they mopping with a bottle of Boone's Farm? Hmmm) I chatted with them about future plans.

Sometime in March, HiPS hopes to have at least 14(!) taps spilling forth the best beer in Birmingham. That includes several Good People brews as well as (ready for it?) St. Bernadus. Not sure yet which variety, but we were told HiPS will soon be pouring that Belgian as well as others ASAP. Don't expect the Belgians to be cheap, but where else are you gonna go to get it on draft?

How soon? Well, let's just say HiPS has the cabinetry (as seen in the photo at right) and the granite top already in-store, they're just waiting on the draft hardware.

Just remember, good things (beer) come to those who wait.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What we were drinking last night: Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout

Mmmmm. Nothing like a thick, black stout on a sub-freezing night. It's no secret how much we adore Good People's Fatso, a stout with few rivals in our book.

But we didn't count on the Japanese. That's right, the Japanese. Hitachino Nest brewery in Ibaraki, Japan has turned out a super-fine Espresso Stout that gets pretty close to our beloved Fatso.

Hitachino's version has less bitterness and more chocolate than GP's, and the Japanese beer is nowhere near as dark or as thick. Fatso allows no light through, while a faint glow can be seen behind the Asian brew. Hitachino claims 7.5% alcohol and

If offered either a Hitachino's Espresso Stout or a Good People's Fatso, we'd have to pause for a second to consider our choices. But if we were paying, we'd take a $10-half-gallon of  Fatso over a $5 12-ouncer from Hitachino any day.

Verdict? Espresso Stout is definitely worth a try.