Just another flight?

Flying is no big deal. In fact, it’s not uncommon to have two flights in a single week. How else would you get back home? Beer flights for me however are not common. I usually know what I want, or have had most of what’s offered. The second week of October marked Aromas Wine Bar‘s Oktoberfest.

So on Wednesday for the second week in a row I met others there for beers. The list was fabolous, brews from Cigar City Brewing like Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Pumpernickel Rye Porter. As well as The Bruery’s Autumn Maple and Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela. On a side note, all the guys went for the pumpernickel rye porter as their second choice of beers. Second to the flight.

The same weekend Sarah and I finally persuaded our dear friends in Winston-Salem to let us crash with them for a couple of nights. We hadn’t seen them since our vacation over the Summer in Dominican Republic. This brings us to our second flight. This one being at Foothills Brewing Company. If we were talking about airplanes, the flight at Foothills would be a 757, while Aromas is a little two seater prop engine.

Foothills Brewing Company flight

Foothills Brewing Company flight

Now remember this is October, not February, so no Sexual Chocolate to speak of. My favorites from the sampler were the pale ale, the IPA, the DIPA and the porter. Also, probably in that order. The DIPA was good, just not what I was expecting I guess. Again, it was not bad at all. I was shocked at how much I liked the porter. I’m not a big dark beer fan… yet.

Now to the point of this entire blog, how we handle flights. As men, we have a one track mind. Yes, it’s normally on sex then beer. Or beer during sex. But we think so methodically that we have to, MUST consume these beers in order of lightest to darkest. I’m not sure why the pilsner comes after the pale ale, but since I couldn’t rewrite their placemat, they were consumed in this order too. Whether or not we’re thinking of our palette or what, we can’t over think the order of reading left to right. Girls however, just like sex, involve way too much of their minds. Sarah would reach over every now and then and grab a sip from these, almost pints, and in no order what so ever. While at Aromas a fellow beer geek consumed in the same non-order. This beer geek is also the girl friend of a fellow beer geek Wortandyeast. I wouldn’t call Ari (cool name, eh?) another one of the guys, because it’s quite obvious she’s a lady, but she knows her beer just as well as we like to think we do. She tasted her ‘mini flight’ at Aromas in no order. I say mini flight since Aromas’ pours might have been 4 oz. while Foothills’ were quite possibly 10 oz.

So who is right? Or more importantly, who is wrong? Or does it even matter? While I don’t discredit beer more than wine, it’s not like we’re eating sweets and then consuming a dry red wine. It’s beer, it’s all sweet malt nectar. And it’s all good.


Posted on October 26, 2010, in Local Tap and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. To be perfectly honest with you,
    I’m surprised the Pils came after the pale ale. Beers in flights are typically servered in such a way as to allow consumption in order from the lightest beers to the darkest. This is done to keep the robust flavors of a stout or a porter from overwhelming the lighter, more fragile flavors of beers like pilsners and kolsches. A couple of thoughts on it – what you have before you put a beer in your mouth can have a significant affect on your enjoyment of that beer. I’m not sure I would be saying this if I hadn’t spent a morning with Gwen Conley who runs quality control for Flying Dog.

    Gwen would have me sample a food and then sip the beer – for example, Raging Bitch is fantastic with a sharp, creamy Vermont cheddar, but if the first time I had the beer were with a dry, crumbly sharp Irish cheddar, I may never have had the beer again. I came away from the tasting realizine that there were beers I may have enjoyed more at various brewpubs based solely on the idea that what I was eating didn’t pair well with the beer.

    This extends to drinking flights and the reason for the order. Sure, it’s just beer, but its also an alcoholic beverage that has been around longer than wine, has just as many varieties as wine, and can have the same subtle complexities depending on the brewer. Two brewers using the same (basic) recipe to make an IPA could have significant taste variations based solely on the fact that one likes to hop their IPA using only cascade, while the other possibly likes to hop using a combination of fuggles and citra. Some of those differences can easily be overwhelmed by having something like a porter, or a cask-aged stout.

    That said, the bottom line is whether or not you’re enjoying the beers. And if you’re enjoying what you’re drinking, who cares?

    On a related note – it might be interesting to go to a brewpub, order a flight of beers which you drink “out of order”. Take notes – what do you like, what don’t you like. Go back the next night, or a couple nights later and order the same flight (don’t look at your previous notes), and drink it in order of lightest to darkest, once again taking notes. See if anything changes. See if you enjoy more of the beers, or if you enjoy certain ones more. No big deal if the results are the same, but if they’re different, you have an interesting experiment and another article.


  1. Pingback: 2010 in review « Lazy Day Brews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: