December 2, 2010

The Session #46: An Unexpected Discovery

Now for something completely different. As regular readers know by now, our focus is on the Phoenix beer scene. But today's Beer Blogger Friday Session topic gives us the chance to venture beyond the Valley of the Sun. While travel exposes one to new cultures, locations, and tastes, it has the added benefit of access to new beers, including beers that may never be available where you live.

Our topic this month is an unexpected discovery as described by our host, Mike Lynch at Burgers and Brews:
I recently drove out to Colorado for a concert, and realized this was a perfect opportunity to stop at as many "beer destinations" as I could. I researched, plotted routes, looked at maps, and generally planned the entire trip around beer. What I was surprised to find was that despite all the amazing stops I planned, one of the best beer experiences of the trip was completely accidental. I found great beer in the last place I thought to look for it.
David's Unexpected Discovery
If you are like me, when travelling you research ahead of time on websites such as Beer Advocate and the Brewers Association for good beer bars, brewpubs and bottle shops. A few years ago I was regularly travelling to Boston for work. Over multiple trips I was able to sample beers from most of the brewpubs and visit some of the better beer bars in the area. As with most places, the beer could be hit or miss. Some great places included Portsmouth Brewery (try the curry mussels) and the Publick House. The not-so-great places shall remain nameless.

One of my trips included a stay over the weekend so I planned an excursion to New Hampshire for some hiking and biking in the White Mountains with a return stop at the Portsmouth Brewery on the way back. While biking I was wearing an old shirt from the my homebrew club. While returning my rented bike, one of the workers at the rental shop noticed my shirt and we started talking about homebrewing and beer. He mentioned a place a 5 or 10 miles nearby called Moat Mountain Smokehouse & Brewery. Luckily, it was on the same road towards Portsmouth so I decided to stop in for a couple of pints.

While I don't remember which beers I sampled, I do recall being impressed with the quality of the beers for such a small town establishment. The restaurant was warm and cozy which was nice as the weather had turned cold and rainy outside. I remember having a crab cake appetizer which really hit the spot after a couple of hours mountain biking. The place was obviously frequented by locals as they had an assortment of numbered mugs hanging over the bar for their mug club. Altogether it was a unique experience and a great place to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon. They even have an inn you can stay at. If you are ever planning a trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, consider making Moat Mountain the base of your operations.

1 comment:

  1. I've been there several times, and I have to say, I was surprised as you were to find it. Not only that, I was surprised to find it was so good! One of New Hampshire's best kept secrets.