Full disclaimer: I am not a beer drinker. I know very little about beer except for the fact that I don’t like the ones that look like piss and have lite in their name, and I tend to like the ones that are smooth and dark and full-bodied.
I was invited to go to the Capitol Beer and Tap last night by a friend who is ALL BEER ALL THE TIME. His yelp quote is “I’ll have the IPA.” His profile pics on yelp and Facebook generally show him drinking a beer or making beer. Yeah, that’s right, he makes beer. Out of his house. Every month, because he needs to keep his supply coming. He brews 50 bottles worth. I told him he should say he makes boutique beers. Sounds far better than some of the alternatives I was thinking (considering he stores the beer making thingy in the spare bathroom. See earlier comment about beer that looks like piss.)Why wax rhapsodical about my friend, you ask? Isn’t this a review about Capitol Beer and Tap? Why yes, yes it is. However, I wanted to provide an offset to my disclaimer about my inexperience with beer, with my friend’s obsessive immersion in the stuff. See, now it all makes sense, doesn’t it?
Okay. So I had to circle the block (or triangle) of Howe/University/Fair Oaks a couple times looking for parking and finally scored with one right out front. The place is set back from the front of the buildings, tucked away on the side, but you can’t miss the frenetic energy you sense almost immediately as you approach the patio. The place is packed with men between the ages of 24 and 60. Score. Wait, I’m here for the beer.
I entered the place and it looks like I entered the wrong place, initially. I was expecting to be dumped right into a bar/pub area but instead I was greeted by a small grocery store looking place, walls lined with refrigerators and shelves showcasing beers from all over. I quickly walked through to the back, where I saw the crowds of people. Seriously, ladies, you have no idea. Don’t hang out at Fats or Sienna or even Bandera next door… Capitol Beer and Tap is where all the men are! I saw maybe three women guests, and maybe 3 to 4 female servers. That was it.
Anyway, Found my friend quickly, tucked away in a prime corner spot with his bud (who deserves a review of his own. Really. He’s a golf blogger. Oh the stories that are just waiting to be unearthed.) My friend was already pretty happy after having been there since 5pm, and was insistent that I try the beer he had, and what he called the “elixir of the gods.” Yes, an India Pale Ale, also known to the beer afficionados as an IPA. I’m an accountant. To me, an IPA sounds very close to an IPO, an Initial Public Offering, which makes me sit up and take notice. This, my friends, would have bombed on opening day in the stock market. I tried it, and the bitterness settled in the back of my mouth and I couldn’t hide my distaste. Luckily, my friend, let’s call him R for ease, didn’t take offense and instead asked me what I liked. So I explained what I said up there in my disclaimer. He was able to translate that into a glass of a pretty awesome Obovoid (by the Boulder Brewing Company.) Dark, nitro enhanced creamy head, delicious. Now we’re talking! Quickly realized that the place doesn’t serve food, but you can order in food from Tokyo Fro’s next door. Pretty accommodating.
Oh…I forgot to mention why I was even dragged over there…for the Knee Deep Tap Takeover. Something I knew nothing about until two days earlier, when R explained it to me: when a local brewery brings several of their beers and “takes over” the taps at the pub, and then the pub is swarming with beery men salivating for a taste of the manna from heaven. Or something like that.
The place had a great energy, lots of conversations going on, happy, excited, unrestrained. So this is what its like when women aren’t around. Interesting. The counter ran along the entire length of one wall, but the bar only came to half the distance…looked a little awkward to me, but the patrons had enough to look at on the wall…lots of little framed chalkboards with great drawings by one of the servers…who draws tributes to the beer being highlighted at the moment. Not bad, supporting the arts…I am liking this place more and more!
I stayed for little over an hour, good conversations with my friends, a lot of beer knowledge was imparted (in one direction, to me, the novice) and then I headed off to midtown to meet another group at the Pour House. From beer to whiskey. That’s the life.
I will definitely be back. And I’m not sure if I will bring my girlfriends with me. Kinda want to keep this all to myself and my guy friends. Selfish? Maybe.