Yesterday evening was spent with my lovely lady at The Malt House. They now have Capital's Autumnal Fire available so the available pool of lagers has increased by one since my last visit. I asked the proprietor, Bill, if he had any plans to carry mead this winter. This led to a conversation with the other bartender about the White Winter Winery who said that she was originally from Ashland, a mere hop, skip, and a jump away from White Winter. Thusly she was familiar with their luscious elixirs. By the end of our stay, Bill was investigating how to order their meads. So now it seems I can look forward to warming myself up at The Malt House this winter with some fine mead. He also said that he'd be getting a cider on tap from AEppeltreow Winery
. I was impressed with their beverages at the Great Taste
earlier this month.
Being a beer dork, I also asked if there were any "retro" beers available. By this I didn't mean the 1960s formula for Schlitz or some pre-Prohibition brew from 1900. What I meant was those really retro beers that replicate recipes from the days before hops were used to flavor beer. Mankind has brewed suds for millennia but the now ubiquitous hops didn't come into general use until about 500 years ago. Before that various botanicals
were commonly mixed together in a blend called "gruit" and used to flavor beer. Bill said that he didn't have any…yet. So there might be a heather ale in my future.
A bit before we left, I found another reason why The Malt House is one of the best taverns in town. In addition to the fine selection of beer and the absence of televisions, they have a good jukebox. In fact, I'd wager it's probably the only one in town that plays King Crimson. And not just the 1980's incarnation with all its Discipline
and Three of a Perfect Pair
goodness – we're talking the mid-70s Hendrix/Bartok hybrid. "Easy Money"
from Lark's Tongue in Aspic
was playing yesterday and that probably won't happen anywhere else in town. Life is good when you're drinking a Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen and being regaled by Robert Fripp's geetar.
My comments led to a conversation between Bill and myself about prog. I discovered that there was some Tull on the jukebox as well and that he'd first seen Genesis live in 1976 on the A Trick of the Tail
tour in Milwaukee. (That would have been 21 April at the Riverside Theatre, if anyone cares to know.) I offered him some free bootlegs so perhaps there will be a little live prog in The Malt House's future.