Okay so it’s been months since we made this visit; fortunately, I wrote this right after we went so I can assure you that it is an accurate representation of what happened. Just the facts, folks, as they say.
So anyway, just as we were urged by friends to go to Dragonmead, Jeff and I were urged by friends to go to Kuhnhenn’s in Warren. I happened to be wearing my purple “I teach, therefore I drink” t-shirt that almost always elicits positive comments. I’m sure one day some turd will yell at me for not being a paragon of virtue chaste schoolteacher, whatever, but hey! This day was not that day, Charles Ray. I got at least four compliments on it—-from bartenders and patrons—-plus a high five from the cute college age dude across the bar. As often happens, I also got a “bless you” and a bow when I said where and what I teach. (For the record, I do not find my district, specialty or age group cause for any special consideration. It is certainly nice to hear, but I don’t do it for accolades…plus, it’s not like I’m a volunteer…I do get a small paycheck every two weeks or so).
First up, I had to try the Simcoe Silly, because it is a favorite of mine from the beer festivals and also because Simcoe hops are in short supply this year. It was just as delicious as it is at the festivals and again, I found myself back at the summer festival, standing on the lawn in bare feet and splashing in puddles. Ah, summer! And just like summer, this beer was awesome—all Simcoe hops with a slight banana taste and a bubblegum finish.
Next was the Crème Brulee Java Stout. Jeff, who does not like coffee, was skeptical of this beer. But after the tasting it, even Mr. “I Don’t Even Like Opening Your Travel Mugs For You Because You Know I Hate Coffee” man was impressed. Lots of chocolate taste to this beer, smooth like ice cream.
The “biggest beer” that we got—and indeed the biggest beer we had drank all day—was the DRIPA, a double rye India pale ale. I decided though that DRIPA really stands for “knock you on yo’ ass” because that is what this beer could do if not handled properly. Weighing in at 10.5% ABV, everything about this beer was big—the alcohol, the taste, the body. Unlike some “double” beers, it was not “too much” in that it did not have any one overpowering flavor. Again, you would want to consume this in small quantities unless you had your own personal jet pack and were flying that home rather than driving the way we were.
My favorite of the visit was the Few Shillings Scotch Ale. This was a pleasant surprise as I am not normally a huge scotch ale fan. It was a very robust beer and kind of reminded me of a porter. Caramel and toffee flavors and a nice, smooth finish.
We also tried the Penetration Porter (I scribbled—hey, it was late in the day—“yummo” on my notepad for this one), the Weizenbock (delicious! Light banana taste, malty, creamy), the Lunar Eclipse (a black double IPA which was hoppy and roasty and yummy) and the Kuhnhenn Fest, which is their Oktoberfest. I found it delightful to be drinking an Oktoberfest beer in April as this is one of my favorite styles of beer.
The atmosphere at a brewpub is also very important to me. I found the atmosphere at Kuhnhenn’s to be very comfortable; not too bright, not too noisy and very relaxed. They also have wines and root beer for those who like those sorts of drinks. If you are at all a beer fan though, don’t wait like Jeff and I did…posse up and head out to Warren. And if you want some high fives, you can borrow my teacher shirt! 🙂