Friday, July 16, 2010

Hummers, Hummus, and Guaranteed Hangovers

If there’s one thing folks in the Pacific Northwest know, it’s how to get completely obliterated – and how to have fun getting there.

While you may have to do some driving to locate some local greenery, at least the directions are clear.

And chances are that no matter how small of a town you’re in, they’ll have a local microbrewery that serves several very well-made craft beers.

After all, what other area of the country celebrates Craft Beer Month?

After a couple of business meetings in Klamath Falls, Oregon and a trip to Crater Lake to check out that national treasure, I had worked up quite an appetite – and a strong thirst.

I was also feeling good and ready for some celebration. My meetings had gone well. My rental car company had run out of lame cars, so they grudgingly handed me the keys to a PHAT Hummer H3 with three or four Priuses still stuck in the grill.

On the way back from my adventures, I saw exactly what I was looking for -- the Klamath Basin Brewery Company. I immediately pulled in and got ready to get it on with the locals.

The brewery is actually a converted warehouse and factory that at one point made ice cream. They’ve kept some of the previous company’s logos solely because they look cool.

The interior of the bar is 100% brewery – not sports bar. While there’s a couple of sports team pennants and a handful of TVs, this place is solely about the beer.

There was a band playing outside called Fat Sexy that was pretty good, but I opted for a seat at the copper-covered bar which gave me a nice view of the TVs the glass-enclosed brewery tanks, and the huge chalkboard that listed the brewery’s beers.

They have about ten in total – and American puke beers have been given the shaft. Coors Light was the only one I saw on tap. And the “King of Beers” is served only in bottles from a dinky fridge under the counter. They probably call you a loser if you order one.

I started off with a "Drop Dead Red" – a strong dark amber – while I looked over the menu.

The prices weren’t bad and they had a nice list of different steaks, sandwiches, burgers, pastas and salads. They also do patrons the service of suggesting beer pairings with each dish.

My choice was the Garlic Hummus appetizer.

It’s a cup of hummus with garlic mixed in, kalamata olives and olive oil. It’s served with toasted pita bread sprinkled with garlic salt.

And it’s mighty tasty. The salty garlic flavor went very well with the beer.

The only problem was that I didn’t realize I would be spending the rest of the evening with this dish. No matter how much beer you drink, that garlic flavor does not go anywhere.

Believe me. I tried.

In my quest to soak away the stink emanating from my mouth, I tried two more of the Brewery’s beers.

The second was "Buttcrack Brown" which smelled way better than your average buttcrack, but I imagine it's still probably a favorite of the local homosexuals.

I also really liked this beer. The best part was a nice toasted-almond aftertaste which went really well with my garlic breath.

The third beer I tried was the "Crater Lake Amber Ale" which is the kind of beer that could get you in trouble. It’s a red, but a very mild one that goes down really easy even in the middle of July.

I had one or two more of these. Or three or four.

Well, more than one and less than ten. Somewhere around there.

The prices were pretty good for a microbrewery too – about $3.50 or so per pint.

I chatted up another business traveler at the bar who always hits this brewery whenever he’s in town. He tells me this is by far the best food and beer in town.

I believed him. But when you head out Klamath Basin Brewery Company, make sure you have a couple of pain relievers for the next morning.

The only thing that will last longer than that garlic taste will be your hangover.

Rating: Seriously Thought About Buying a Shirt.

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