Monday, October 22, 2012

A Couple Pints at The Barley Oak

Nola Irish Channel Stout
Parish Envie Pale Ale
If anybody out there reading this post doesn't know about The Barley Oak in Mandeville, you're sadly missing out on one of the best craft beer bars in Louisiana.  Sitting right on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, this "Old World Draught Haus" offers a lovely view, and I'm not just talking about their tap handles.  While passing through recently, I decided that I ought to stop and have a few pints as well as a little lunch.  Fortunately for me, they had a couple local brews that are actually quite rare.  I began with the seasonal Irish Channel Stout from Nola.  The Barley Oak had it on a Nitro tap.  The dark, delicious stout poured out with a gorgeously cascading tan head.  The beer is absolutely my kind of brew.  It is rich and flavorful yet ridiculously drinkable and refreshing to me.  I challenge anybody who has a thing against "dark beer" to grab a pint of this stout if they ever see it out.  Upon finishing my pint of stout, I noticed a tap handle from the Parish Brewing Company that did not say Canebrake.  I asked Vanessa behind the bar, who immediately poured me a Parish Envie Pale Ale before I could even ask.  This beer, which really hasn't been released yet to the masses, was leftover (seemingly just for me) from a special tapping.  I've had this beer from Andrew Godley before, but never in a bar.  It is an American Pale Ale which certainly comes across as hoppy but not quite as out of balance towards bitter as a lot of IPAs do.  I found the Envie to be a great beer-drinker's-beer.  If you like craft beer, then it'll be for you.  And if you don't, then I'm surprised you're reading this blog!

A Reuben at The Barley Oak
For some bites to go with my booze, I opted for The Barley Oak's Reuben sandwich.  The corned beef with Swiss and sauerkraut on marble rye definitely did the trick.  I like sandwiches that combine textures and flavors in a simple yet harmonious way.  Sometimes a sandwich can be a little underrated, but never in my book if it is grub like this!  Thanks Barley Oak.  I'll be back for more bite and booze soon!

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