If you like beer, even a little bit, I highly recommend you head to the Lower Eastside this weekend and enjoy one of the world’s truly perfect brews before they’re all gone. Telegraph Brewing Company, located at 416 N. Salispuedes Street, has recently opened its tasting room to the public on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. – and their seasonal Strong Ale is just about to run out. Stronger than most stouts, with an alcohol content of 7.5 percent, the Strong Ale is amazingly light and smooth in body – though full in spice, which is deliciously offset by a touch of molasses. Head Brewer, Brian Thompson, and Assistant Brewer, Patrick Slavin, have even given up drinking it themselves in order to save it for the common good (and hey, letting the public try this beer has gotta be good for business).
A friend and I recently decided to check out the new tasting room’s happy hour potential. Well, suffice it to say, I was like the guy in Wayne’s World who can’t stop telling all his friends how much he loves them. “No, man, I mean, I really love this beer,” I kept saying to my friend. “I get it,” he kept replying, through increasingly gritted teeth. “I really love it, too.” While I savored every foamy sip of the Strong Ale, he couldn’t stop raving about the stock porter. Never a big fan of porters myself, even I could appreciate the unique flavor of this oak barrel-aged variety with chocolaty undertones.
Even if you don’t make it to the tasting room in time to try the Strong Ale – which will soon be replaced with an IPA – there are at least other four good reasons to check out the new tasting room: 1) their signature California Ale; 2) their Golden Wheat Ale (not served with a lemon for fear of overpowering its sweet-and-sour citrus flavor); 3) their Stock Porter; and 4) unlimited pretzels. For five bucks, you get a taste of all four varieties and a full goblet of the beer of your choice. Pints are also available for $4 for those seeking a more standard happy hour experience. And Pat and Brian are the quintessential good hosts, cracking jokes, giving tours and production explanations, and good-naturedly pretending it’s normal to make orgasm noises while sipping their beer. The tasting room is also a great way to stock up on delicious local beer cheaply, with growlers available for an initial $11 and refills available for $6.
You can feel even virtuous going to Telegraph for happy hour, as you’ll be helping a relatively new company add more good beer to the world and helping two great guys do something they love. And isn’t that what the world needs? More beer and fun jobs? (Don’t answer that.)