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We had a huge turnout for “Drink With The Wench” – Tour de Barley’s on Friday evening. Many were familiar faces: Mandy, Josh, Jim, Keith, Roland, Jessica, and the Wench — as well as some newbies: Somer, Lauren, Sara, and Vivian. We were a bit nervous about hosting the event at Barley’s — since the Arnold Classic was being held across the street. Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised to find plenty of space.

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Apparently an Ale House that is known for greasy food and beer is not popular amongst the fitness gurus. Go figure.

We were able to take over the entire “Seat Yourself” section in the bar area, which turned out to be very comfortable.

We discovered that both french fries and Jeni’s Ice Cream (especially her latest flavor: Roxbury Road) pair excellently with beer. Mmmmm.

As for the beers, here are our notes:

Barley’s Pale Ale: American Pale Ale, on draft. Appearance: average/ frothy white head, good lacing, clear amber brown color. Aroma: light straw malt, light flower/ grassy hops, light yeast. Palate: full body, mineral texture, lively carbonation, bitter finish. Flavor: average duration, moderate acidity, heavy bitterness. Overall: a pretty decent Pale Ale.

Barley’s Alexander’s Russian Imperial Stout: Russian Imperial Stout, on draft. Appearance: small/ diminishing frothy head, good lacing, hazy body, lightly cloudy particles, dark red brown color. Aroma: toasted/ coffee/ molasses malt, light pine hops, peach, charcoal. Palate: medium body, thin texture, soft carbonation, chalky finish. Flavor: long duration, moderate sweetness, light acidity, moderate bitterness. Overall: Unique stout with a decent balance of malt and hops.

Barley’s Raspberry Winter Ale: Wheat beer, seasonal, on draft. Appearance: spare/ diminishing head, spare lacing, cloudy particles, light yellow amber color. Aroma: hay malt, average hops perfume, average doughy yeast, average alcohol, raspberry, cassis, butter, honey, coriander. Palate: light body, thin texture, lively carbonation, astringent finish. Flavor: short duration, moderate sweetness. “A chick beer for sure. But still good. Light, lively and effervescent.”

Barley’s MacLenny’s Scottish Ale: Scottish Ale, on draft. Appearance: small head, good lacing, lightly cloudy particles, dark brown amber color. Aroma: average caramel hay malt, heavy hops, average yeast, average alcohol, pineapple, nutmeg. Palate: medium body, slick thin texture, lively carbonation, metallic finish. Flavor: average duration, heavy sweetness, light bitterness. “Very smooth taste, great flavor.”

Barley’s Firkin Friday: Ivan Porter: Porter, on draft. Appearance: large/ frothy/ diminishing head, good lacing, murky body, dark brown color. Aroma: toasted/ nutty/ molasses/ burnt/ heavy chocolate malt, average orange hops, doughy yeast, heavy alcohol, prunes, cola, clove, dates. Palate: full body, creamy thick texture, soft carbonation. Flavor: long duration, moderate sweetness, moderate acidity, heavy bitterness. “Dark and delicious! Nice and chocolaty.” “It was dark and a little more bitter than what I wanted. It was sticky sweet and too yeasty for me.”

Avery’s Hog Heaven: American Barleywine Ale, 9.2% ABV, on draft. Appearance: large/ creamy/ off-white head, excellent lacing, lightly cloudy particles, reddish brown color. Aroma: average toasted/ caramel malt, average floral hops, light doughy yeast, heavy alcohol, port. Palate: full body, creamy texture, lively carbonation, astringent finish. Flavor: average duration, moderate sweetness, moderate acidity, moderate bitterness. “The alcohol came through pretty strong. Overall it was a decent Barleywine. Excellent lacing!”

Stone Ruination IPA: Year-round IPA, on draft, ABV 7.7%. Appearance: average head, light cloudy particles, orange color. Aroma: roasted malt, pine/ flower/ citrus hops. Palate: full body, thick texture, lively carbonation, bitter finish. Flavor: long duration, light acidity, heavy bitterness.

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA: India Pale Ale, on draft, ABV 7%. Appearance: average head, excellent lacing, clear body, lighlty cloudy particles, light yellow color. Aroma: light malt, average citrus/ grass hops, light yeast. Palate: medium body, alcoholic texture, lively carbonation, metallic finish. Palate: average duration, moderate acidity, moderate bitterness.

Josh got creative and ordered a black and tan, combining Barley’s Pale Ale with Barley’s Russian Imperial Stout. It turned out to be a pretty decent combination.

Barley’s Ale House No. 1 was a perfect venue for “Drink With The Wench.” I definitely foresee trips back in the future. We will also have to check out the second Barley’s location, Barley’s Smokehouse Brewpub over on Dublin Road. Rumor has it (on the Barley’s website) that Bell’s Hopslam is on deck to be a guest tap. When that happens, I will be one of the first people there to try it!

Stay tuned for information on the next tasting!

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Calling all [Columbus] Beer Lovers, Afficianados, Home Brewers, Hopheads and the like.

You are all invited to the next “Drink With The Wench”

This time around we are going to do a “TOUR DE BARLEY’S.”

WHAT: “Drink With The Wench”

WHO: The Wench & EVERYONE who A. loves beer B. likes beer C. hates beer but wants to come out

WHERE: Barley’s Ale House No. 1

WHEN: FRIDAY. February 29th. 7pm. (Stragglers are free to come whenever).

WHY: In the name of research, I’ve decided to try at least one new beer every week.

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My ultimate goal for this group is to start up a gathering for fellow beer lovers and hopheads in the Columbus area. The invite is open to anyone and everyone interested in learning about and drinking beer. Ideally, I’d love to meet up with people who are more knowledgeable about beer than I am — and are willing to assist me in my voyage to beer connoisseur land.

I intend on this being a great social forum and conversation starter for beer lovers across all levels of expertise. Even if you do not know me, I still encourage you to come out and play. Everyone that has turned out has had much fun thus far.

There have been lots of new faces meeting me out, as well as some lovely regulars. I’m really enjoying meeting new people and sharing great conversation!

As always, I will be bringing along copies of a tasting sheet I found at Ratebeer.com. It helps serve as a great learning tool and conversation facillitator.

Who’s with me this time?

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