Tip Top Tasting Success!!! 1

The first Tip Top “Drink With The Wench” beer tasting went off without a hitch last night. The event was a collaboration between The Columbus Beer Wench and Tim Lessner, local entrepreneur and owner of Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails.

The goal of the event was to create a “Community Inspired Beer Menu.” The concept is rather simple. Let Columbus citizens choose the beers they want Tip Top to offer on its beer menu. Let them also choose the ones that should be discontinued.

The turnout was great. Roughly 24 local citizens showed up for the event, 20 of which participated in the beer tasting. The tasting was officially led by Andy, a representative from the Columbus based beer distributor Premium Beverage Supply. Of course, true to her nature, The Beer Wench had some input to provide.

Participants tasted six different beers, three from the current Tip Top menu and three new beers. In order to preserve anonymity and ensure genuine voting, the beers were placed in random order and the tasters were not informed which of the three beers were new. After all six beers has been tasted, the tasters were asked to vote for their top three favorites — essentially, which three of the six beers should be offered on the Tip Top beer menu. Beers chosen by the group will be featured as local selections.

The order of beer tasted was as follows:

1. Southern Tier Brewing Company: HOP SUN. American Pale Wheat Ale, 4.30% ABV, Summer release. Commercial Description: Pour Hop Sun Summer Wheat Beer into a pint glass, give it a long whiff and you’ll realize that this isn’t your average wheat beer. Filtered to a golden clarity and dry-hopped to perfection, Hop Sun is a fantastic session ale in which flavors of wheat, barley and hops co-mingle to a refreshing and zesty conclusion. Hints of lemon and sweet malts waft to the fore as a touch of bitterness contributes to Hop Sun’s bright finish. Enjoy Hop Sun all summer long as a perfect balance to your outdoor recreation. Summer never tasted so good.

2. Flying Dog: Garde Dog Bierre de Garde. German Pilsner, Belgian Biscuit, 5.5% ABV, Spring release. Commercial Description: Proving the French may actually know something we don’t… Garde Dog is a traditional French Biere de Garde or “beer for keeping”. This classic farmhouse ale was brewed in March for drinking during the spring and summer months. With it’s toasted aroma and spicy, malty sweetness Garde Dog will liberate you from the winter doldrum.

3. Southern Tier Brewing Company: Phin & Matt’s Extraordinary Ale. American Pale Ale, 5.6% ABV. Commercial Description: When Phin and Matt sat down to collaborate on their new beer, they knew it had to be different if they were to call it extraordinary. “Let sprinkle it with fairy dust and wave our magic wands,” said Phin. “No way,” said Matt, “We’ve got to do better than that. This beer has to be better than any other in the galaxy.” “Let’s do some market research.” So the two strapped on their rocket pack packs and traveled to the intergalactic beer store. After sampling an array of beers from acrossed the galaxy, the duo hit on an idea. “I’ve got it” exclaimed Matt, “we’ll use vast amounts of whole hops, the finest malt, and put a little more love in every batch.” “Eureka!” shouted Phin. And thus became a beer so fresh and tasty the duo put their names on it. 37 IBU’s, 5.6% ABV

4. Flying Dog Brewery: Old Scratch Amber Lager. Amber Lager, 5.4% ABV. Commercial Description:
Ideal for the Lager drinker who prefers amber beers, the “Scratch” is a smooth, malt-accentuated lager. Brewed in the “Steam-Style” tradition, scratch is a so-called hybrid beer that is fermented at medium temperatures to develop some ale and lager characteristics. Ingredients: Water; Malted barley; Malted wheat; Hops.

5. Fort Collins Brewing Retro Red. A Classic Ruby Red Ale, 5.2% ABV. Commercial Description:
Retro Red, our hoppiest Specialty Ale, has a ruby red color and a distinct malty flavor, unlike any of our other brews.

6. Lagunitas: The Censored. Rich Copper Ale, 5.9%. Commercial Description: Anyway, we were going out to, uh,the ,uh, you know, thing, and all, and when we got there, well, uh, the dude was, like- “whoa man!” I mean, and we were all, uh, you know – “whoa!” and stuff, and when I said to him, like, you know, “hey man”, and all they, I mean he, was all “what?” and stuff- and I just told him what you said and all and they were all man- “not cool dude”, but whatever- so, uh, we split and went back to my lair and just hung out and whatever, but the whole thing was, like, just SUCH a bummer and all but, you know, it was cool and stuff, but you just gotta, you know, about the dude and all, like, it’s cool and all you know, but what’s up with that “blah blah blah”? Whatzit got to do with beer and all? I mean, really, dude, whatever…but, it’s cool and all…

And the results? The number one choice was almost unanimous with 16 of the 20 eligible votes. The favorite of the evening was Hop Sun, the summer seasonal wheat ale from Souther Tier Brewing Company. This beer has not been previously offered at Tip Top! In close second was Flying Dog’s Old Scratch Amber Lager, followed by third place winner Lagunitas Censored Ale. Both Old Scratch and Censored are currently on the beer menu at Tip Top, and will remain there for the time being.

As a result of feedback from its community, Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails will be offering a new seasonal beer — Hop Sun — on its beer menu and it will be continuing to offer two of its current beers — Censored and Old Scratch. All three winners will be on some sort of seasonal promotion.

Last but not least, I would like to send a huge THANK YOU out to Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails, Andy from Premium and all the members of the community who came out for the beer tasting! It was truly a success!!!

There are plans for more tastings in the works, so keep your eyes and ears open for Beer Wench announcements. (We have a potluck grill-out coming up as well as a beer tasting with Surly Girl Saloon and possible one with Studio 35.)

About Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails
A tipsy downtown neighborhood bar featuring Ohio Comfort Food, mean whiskey concoctions, draught microbrews, pinball, smiling faces, whiskey, Columbus pride, great local and not-so-local music, Cafe Brioso coffee and delicious pies. Located in the heart of downtown Columbus: The Independent Art Capital of the World!


About The Columbus Beer Wench
The Columbus Beer Wench is a local Columbus based beer blog written by Ashley Routson. With the creation of “Drink With The Wench,” Ashley has been successfully closing the gap between the interactive realms of social media with the real world Columbus community.


About The Beer Wench

Ashley is a self-proclaimed craft beer evangelist & social media maven on a mission to advance the craft beer industry through education, inspiration and advocacy. She is currently the “Director of Awesomeness” at Bison Brewing in Berkeley, CA — where her responsibilities include everything from marketing, sales, PR, social media & events. Ashley is also a freelance consultant and professional speaker on the subjects of social media, beer mixology, food & beverage pairings. She is the founder of DrinkWithTheWench.com & BeerMixology.com as well as a regular contributor to CraftBeer.com.

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