Hopslam. The name is gold for many a beer snob. I’ve seen people on facebook and talked to people who look forward to the day it’s released. Actually, it’s a mad rush to the store to purchase it. Well, I had never had one before the Wifey and I had our annual tax day date. We ventured to the Fenton Hotel and had a very nice meal. During that wonderful evening, I tried a Bell’s Hopslam. Wow, was it good. I’ve had some pretty exclusive Michigan beers before. In my opinion, Hopslam bests them all.
It has a very hoppy taste (duh, the name tells you that), but it’s not overly bitter like other pale ales (it’s a double India pale ale, for you beer snobs out there). It has a strong hop taste at the start. The middle has a slight tart, citrus taste while the finish has nice, mild hoppy bitterness to it. Now, I am a fan of the Two Hearted Ale by Bell’s as well, but this is much smoother. If drank from a glass (like all quality beers should be), the aroma has a strong but pleasant bouquet of hops, citrus, and even a slight floral tone. One note: this is a very strong beer. It contains 10.0% alcohol, so you have to be very careful as it doesn’t taste like it’s that strong.
This beer is not cheap. I found it at my local market for $17.99 a six pack. I bought one and it was well worth it. If your local purveyor of quality malted beverages has any left, buy a six pack and enjoy. I did.
Ahhhhh . . . Tax Day in our household. No, no, not April 15th, but the day we go to the tax accountant. It’s not a bad day here in Food Good Land. The best part is we get a night out. When I say we, I mean just wifey and myself. No kids. Let me say that again, no kids. The words just roll off the tongue. So, against all fiscal responsibility, we went out to eat. We chose a place we have heard very good things about: The Brick Street Grill in Grand Blanc, Michigan. It was a pretty good choice.
We arrived about 7:00 on a Saturday evening and had a 45 minute wait. We thought about leaving, but saw an opening in the bar and sat down. I had a Bells Beer while wifey had a chocolate martini and an amaretto stone sour. About right on the dot (45 minutes) we were seated in the pub area. Yes, there were sports on TV’s and it was a little loud, but the atmosphere was very pleasant for an evening out. Our meal started out with a nice selection of breads and a delicious honey walnut butter. We ordered their Brick Street Lettuce Wraps and were pleasantly surprised. The spicy sesame ginger sauce was very good. Spicy, but not burning hot. The salad was ok, nothing to write home about. Nothing really different with it.
Now the meal was very good. I ordered the Tender Bricks: saffron lobster ravioli in a red cream vodka sauce served with beef tenderloin medallions covered in a demi glaze (sic) topped with onion hay (fried onion strings). Very good. None of the flavors were over powering and the meal just covered the pallet. I love the initial taste of the saffron ravioli, followed by the fresh tomato mixed with the red vodka cream sauce and finishing with the mild sweetness of the lobster. Now throw in the beef tenderloin and you’ve got a winner. I ordered a Shoofly shiraz to go with the meal. Actually, the wine was the worst part of the meal. Not very full. The middle and the end of the drink were pretty mild and fruity. Not a good combo for me.
In all, the experience of taking my wife out to a nice restaurant was great. The music was great and the service pretty good. I would (and have) recommend this place to others.
Here’s the menu. Look and see what interesting types of things they have there.