Beer on Tap. Oh, How I’ve Missed You

27 01 2012

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The other night the wife and I headed out for an early dinner and some drinks. We drove down PCH to one of our favorite restaurants here in Laguna Beach, La Sirena Grill. If you aren’t familiar with La Sirena, you need to introduce yourself to this great, as they call themselves, MexECO restaurant. Kelli and I absolutely love this place and are so grateful to live smack dab in the middle of two locations.

What’s even better, is one of those two locations was recently remodeled from a pick-up counter with a few tables, to a much larger pick-up counter with several tables and a bar. But not just any bar. A beer snob’s type of bar. Unfortunately for me, and subsequently my wife, this transformation took place while I was still finishing up the Fifty-Two Bottles project. So, we were doomed to pick up food while drooling over the impressive selection they had on tap.

That is, until the other night. We bellied up to that bar and I just sat there and stared in amazement. Several times the guy working behind the bar asked if I knew what I wanted and I still couldn’t decide. As if it wasn’t hard enough with the selection in front of me, I was limiting myself to just two beers because I was going on a pretty lengthy run in the morning (there I go limiting my drinking again. What is wrong with me?)

After rolling idea after idea around in my head, I finally decided to try the Cappuccino Stout from Lagunitas. I watched with anticipation as the guy poured the glass for me and once he sat it down in front of me, it dawned on me. Other than a few tasters here and there, it had been well over a year since I enjoyed a whole beer on tap. I had been strictly bottles for so long, I almost forgot that kegs even existed (not really, but you get my point).

After snapping a quick picture of my beer like I was a Food Frenzy writer, I finally got to break my long streak of bottle-only beers. And boy was it a good beer to start things off with. First impression was a very strong chocolate smell that gave way to an even stronger taste. The chocolate came through at first before it transitioned into a very strong cappuccino taste. And at 7.9& abv, it packed a great punch.

Somewhere between ordering that beer and drinking it, I looked back up at the taps on the wall and realized they had Maharaja as well. Thankfully I didn’t suffer buyer’s remorse because I knew as soon as I emptied my glass (no hurry, though) I would be enjoying that wonderfully hoppy imperial IPA. Once I got the Maharaja in front of me, I was happy as can be!

Before the night was over, Kelli and I ended up splitting two bottles of her favorite beer, Delirium Tremens. When it was all said and done, I had taken down three amazing beers. Three beers! This is a concept that I’m still not quite used to. And probably for good reason considering how much of a challenge my 11 mile run was the next morning. Either way, I didn’t mind. All of those beers were worth it!

As if that wasn’t enough, we also made a friends with another of the employees at La Sirena who is started to put together a blog of her own. So in between bites of my awesome shrimp fajitas and swigs of my cappuccino stout, I chatted beers, breweries and bars with @TapYourThirst. Keep an eye on her blog Tap Your Thirst for its debut.

Finally, let’s hand out the hardware on the beer. Cappuccino Stout is a no-brainer for a “Thumb’s Up” and is being the first beer of 2012 to get the seal of “52’s Faves.” Maharaja was previously only given a “Thumb’s Up,” but this time around I’m going to go ahead and put it where it belongs; on the list of “52’s Faves.” And I purposely ignored Delirium Tremens in this post. It’s day will come soon enough…

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