Sunday, January 29, 2017

Forbidden Root Brewery - Brunch

Another day, another brewery.  Despite the fact that I have been heavy on breweries of late, I am not turning this into a blog about brewery food.  It just happens that things fell in such a way that dining (and drinking) at several breweries fell in such a way that they happened to be consecutive.  A recent brunch took us to Forbidden Root Brewery, a brewery that focuses heavily on botanicals and makes me wonder what they might be like if they decided to make Gin or Amaro.
Located in the former Hub Theatre in West Town (picture obviously taken several months before it was opened), it uses the front lobby as the dining room which is very rustic.  The floor is mostly cement, but there are remnants of old tile.  The walls are old brick and the ceilings are high with offices above the entrance.  The bar is rectangular and is in the center of the room with a tap menu on both sides.  There are seats all the way around it, but in order to see the tap menu, you have to be on either side (and not the front or back).  There are five large communal tables in the dining room and in a small space in the back that overlooks the brewing area and there is banquette seating on the side walls.  There is a display cabinet on the back wall on either side of the space leading to the brewing area.  The cabinet is filled with gallon jugs of dried herbs and spices, that I would guess that they use in there beers and elixirs (They make two ounce tinctures of herbs and spices that you can drink on its own or add to beers or cocktails to change the flavor).
Being a brewery, and an unusual brewery at that, it would be a shame to go and not try some of their beer.  They also serve cocktails, but I always feel guilty ordering a cocktail at a brewery.  They started out with a hard Root Beer that had a root beer flavor, but was not exceptionally sweet, a hard Ginger Ale, and a WPA (Wildflower Pale Ale).  I had already had all of those so while I did order a flight, I decided to go with things that I had not yet tried.  They have a wide variety of styles and I decided to sample widely.  From left to right, I was served a Kold and Wet Kolsch, Green Eyes:  Underberg  Edition Coffee-Infused Blonde Ale, Spruce Willis Colorado Blue Spruce-Infused Saison, Snoochie Boochies Double IPA (someone must be a Kevin Smith fan), and Ukie-Vass Rye Ale brewed with Ukranian Village Rye Bread in the style of Kvass.  None of the beers were bad, but some I did like more than others.  I liked the ones with the most distinctive flavors, specifically I liked the Green Eyes and Snoochie Boochies best.
Forbidden Root's brunch menu is kind of small covering both breakfast and lunch items.  they do have the usual brunch standards, but with a pretty good cheffy spin (Coconut Milk French Toast with Vanilla Bean French Toast and Huckleberry Jam or a Savory Pancake with Kimchi as examples).  My selection was relatively mundane for me, but it still had a spin and it was pretty good.  I had a Three Egg Omelet with N'duja (an Italian-style spreadable salami) and Provolone Cheese with a side of Fried Potatoes and House Ketchup.  I also had a side dish of Beeler's Bacon.  The omelet was light, fluffy and cooked perfectly.  The N'duja added a spicy, meaty flavor and you can never go wrong with cheese.  The Provlone added a light cheesy flavor and texture.  The potatoes were crisp and salty with a nice flavor and the bacon was very good, cooked between crisp and chewy.  I had never heard of Beeler's Bacon, but apparently it is from a farm in Iowa (Beeler's) that raises there pigs in a humane manner and feeds them a vegetarian diet with no antibiotics or other drugs.  The pork was good quality and the care of the animals showed in the taste of the bacon.  I will definitely have to find this for when I don't feel like making my own bacon.  Brunch was very good as were the beers.  I will definitely keep this in mind when I want to have something familiar and yet with a spin.

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