Day two in Memphis, caught a lot of musical history, then said it was time to head out to the bars and hear some live music. (Day three is where I get the good beer, second half of this post, bear with me!) First stop was legendary dive bar Earnestine & Hazel’s. There was a jazz quartet in full swing when we landed in. There is no menu. You can have a soul burger and chips (what we call crisps) or you can go hungry. The beer selection is similarly basic. Whatever bottles are pulled to the front of the shelf! It was mostly the ‘lite family’, so I went with a Red Stripe.
Which I hadn’t had before and I won’t be in a hurry to have again. If you don’t want to read my bellyaching you might want to skip this paragraph and the next one. The band started playing ‘Blurred Lines’ and I took that as my que to leave. The next bar had a somewhat more authentic blues band.
So to conclude my griping, what is the problem with glasses in all of the above bars? You can drink from the bottle or a plastic cup. Talk about Hobson’s choice. At least I wasn’t drinking spectacular beer, and the music was good, for the most part!
A grouper is a BIG fish and a very tasty Southern speciality. Both of the IPAs were pretty standard American brews, not overly hoppy like the ones from the West Coast but still a good way to pass an hour on a drizzly afternoon.
In the evening I made a second trip to the Flying Saucer. The saucers honour people (mostly men for some reason) who have had two hundred beers there. You can only log three beers a day towards your total. When you hit your second two hundred you get a different colour saucer and so on… Seeing as to how I’m getting the Greyhound to Nashville tomorrow morning I don’t think I’ll be going up on the ceiling of fame! Meanwhile I said I’d get stuck into the wiiiiide selection:
Pretty standard fare from Brooklyn, and I mean that as a compliment! I find their beers to be consistently good. This one reminded me of an English style ale. I had the nicest freshest pretzel I’ve ever had to accompany my beer. It was topped with sausage and cheese and came with hot mustard. Delicious.
A local brewery Memphis Made teamed up with a local coffee roaster Reverb Coffee Company and the result of this match is their Reverberation Coffee Stout. I’ve had a few coffee stouts lately and this is up there with the best of them. It’s not a million miles away from our own Dungarvan’s Coffee and Oatmeal Stout. No head to speak of but it still tasted good.
I then got stuck in to a Green Flash Green Bullet. It’s a 10.1% imperial IPA but it doesn’t taste like it. It smells flowery and the taste is a mellow fruity one like apricots or peaches. Fantastically well balanced.
Green Flash is brewed in San Diego, which I’m hearing is brewery central. Their West Coast IPA could be a mascot for the area. It’s a real hop bomb with lime and pine and that bitterness is levelled off with just a hint of maltiness. A great beer to finish off my evening.