We started with an Arugula and Mushroom Flatbread and a flight of six of the pub's current offerings, which included (from right to left):
- Jemmy American Stout - Dark, almost black, with lots of roasted barley and chocolate malt. I was surprised to find that they also used a bit of wheat for smoothness.
- Alted State Sticke Alt - A German style brown ale. Caramel flavors with just a touch of noble hops.
- Madame von Schtupp Hefeweizen - A classic hefe in the German style. Just a hint of banana and clove, with a light yet creamy mouthfeel. Stands up to most any imported hefeweizen I can think of.
- Wheelie Popper Summer Kolsch - Another classic interpretation. Very pale and light in color with a nice balance of Hallertau and Tettnang hops.
- Das Hopfen German IPA - An American IPA with a German twist. Uses Munich and Vienna malts and 5 varieties of German hops for an amber color and a unique and intriguing flavor.
- The Victor IPA - The hoppiest of the bunch -- almost over the top but dialed back at the last minute. A West Coast style IPA using six types of hops, giving the beer strong yet varied citrus characteristics. Dry hopped with Centennial hops.
It was very difficult to choose which beer to get a pint of, because every single beer they brought us was stellar. After much deliberation, I ordered a glass of the German IPA and my girlfriend, not usually a fan of wheat beers, went for the Hefeweizen. We also got the Wrecking Bar's Hot Pastrami Sandwich with Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes and Brussels & Butternut Squash Hash on the side to share. I found out as I went between the different foods, that the flavors in the IPA changed, as if the flavors in one dish either masked or brought out one of the five hops in my beer. Very interesting - I'm going to see if I can clone the German IPA in one of my next homebrews.
About midway through the meal, I had one of those moments: "If I choked to death on my pastrami sandwich right now I'd die a happy man." Before leaving, we sampled the Golden Nelson Ale, a lighter beer using some New Zealand Nelson Sauvin (as in Sauvignon Blanc) hops I'd never had before. These hops made the beer taste almost like a dry, white wine. Though unusual, it wasn't what I was going for, so we ordered an Alt to wash everything down.
Next time I'm in Atlanta, I'd definitely like to go to this place again. I hope to catch a brewery tour, which happens on Saturdays, at 2pm and 4pm, to see if I can absorb some of the Wrecking Bar magic.
|Mmmm, happy tummy...|