Sunday, November 20, 2016

Corridor Brewery and Provisions

The explosion of Microbreweries in recent times has provided for the idea of the "neighborhood brewery".  It's nice, when you are out, to be close to a place where you can stop for a beer, and possibly food, that isn't the same as everywhere else.  While some local places just serve beer, some also serve food, although the kinds of food served varies widely.  I was in Lakeview in the Southport Corridor around dinnertime recently and decided to stop into local brewery and taproom, Corridor Brewery and Provisions, which does serve food as well as brewing their own beer.  As can be gathered by the name, the place is long and narrow.  There is bicycle parking in front, as well as a sidewalk patio.  They are a sister brewery to the very popular Dryhop Brewers (although they brew independently of one another) and they are in a very popular area, so it can get crowded.  There are tables sufficient to seat about 50 people which you have to wait for, but the bar which seats about 10, is first come, first served.  I did come on Saturday night during prime time so there was about an hour wait for a table.  I prefer to sit at the bar when I am dining solo and there was a solo diner/drinker that was getting ready to leave, so my wait was less than five minutes.  As this is a brewery and taproom, I started things out with a beer.  While it was evening in the fall, I decided to go with Pale Afternoon, an East Coast Pale Ale.  It is pretty hoppy, at 70 IBUs, but is not considered an IPA, because its ABV is 5.4%, as opposed to the 7-8% which is the standard for IPAs.  While it was bitter, it was not one note and had many other flavors including citrus, passionfruit, pine and peach.  It was pretty crisp and actually kind of reminded me of a Kolsch, although more bitter.
While I was enjoying my first beer, I looked at both the food menu and beer menu to plan my attack.  Their beer menu did have several things that interested me and they did offer a flight of 6 - 5 oz pours, but I was not in the mood of drinking 30 oz of beer, so I decided that my next beer, when I was ready for it would be another 10 oz pour (They do pours of 10 oz, 12 oz, and then Crowlers, and Growler fills).  For my food, after looking at the food menu I decided that I would have a pizza.  Corridor's food menu consists of several shared plates including Croquettes, a Cheese and Charcuterie board, a warm Pretzel, and Mussels, several Salads, the aforementioned pizzas, and several sandwiches including the standard burger.  The pizzas served were 12 inch pizzas cooked in a clay hearth oven and included such things as Mushroom, Leek, and Goat Cheese, Chorizo and Date, and Steak and Chimichurri.  I went with a Clam and Bacon Pizza, which had Quahog Clams, Smoked Pepper Bacon, Garlic, and Oregano.  It was served with sliced lemons and I tried it with and without.  It was very good with a nice chewy crust and peppery bacon, but while there were plenty of clams on the pizza, they were fairly neutral in flavor unless the lemon was added.  It was a very good pizza and I would definitely have it again.
Sitting at the bar near the front gave me a good view of the dining and brewing area and I like what I saw.  The bar is at the front and runs back into the room with the brewing area at the back of the bar area.  There are some booths that begin where the bar ends that border the brewing area.  There are 6 - 5 barrel mixing tanks each on top of a fermenting tank.  They have a single manual canning machine for their crowlers (32 oz cans which are a half-growler size) located in the bar area with the taps, the record library, and turntable.  The bartenders provide their own vinyl and on the night that I was there, it was a mixture of classic funk, and Kanye West.  On the wall opposite the bar hang several classic European cycling posters as well as an old Tandem bicycle.  I really like that wall, but what struck me was the wall behind the bar.  Just a quick glance makes it appear to be wallpaper with an old classic design, which would fit with the general vibe of the place, but if you really look at it, you will notice rats, pigeons, parking meters, and fire hydrants.  It is still a very nice design, but with these things, it is a little odd.
I finished off the evening with another beer.  Sour beers have become pretty popular in the last couple of years.  They vary widely in style, flavor, and quality, which might be an argument to stay with one you like, but I use it as an argument to see what else is out there.  Corridor was serving a Brett Pale Ale (a Pale Ale fermented with Brettanomyces Yeast which imparts a sour flavor) called Funkadelic #5, so I decided to try it out to see how it is.  It was sour, but not overwhelmingly so with flavors of Mango, Pineapple, Grape, and Sour Apple.  I generally prefer my sour ales to be a little more sour, but this was pretty good.

I like Corridor.  They have a nice design and are pretty laid back despite their popularity.  Because they are so popular, I am not sure if I would bring a large crowd here, but if I was in the area and we were looking for some good beer and good food in a casual atmosphere, it would come under consideration.     


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