Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My local beer shop: Dorn's

For all my tightwad-ness, I do like to try new beers and drink some quality stuff every now and then. So I'm very lucky to have Dorn's only a few miles from my house. Their "official" name is Dorn's Liquors & Wine Warehouse, but I rarely buy liquor from them and while I do buy my wine from them, I hate the whole "warehouse" part - makes them sound like the Sam's Club of wine. They are not.

  Dorn's is a tiny little store squeezed into a shopping center between a framing store and a newish restaurant. There's a casual vibe. I'm almost always older than the anyone working (I'm 37) and they're, for the most part, friendly and ready to talk about the products. One of the guys appears to have an endless supply of tiedyed t-shirts.

  They have THE best prices on wine - hands-down (I bought the wine for my wedding last year from them). They also have an amazing fancy cheese selection, as well as other fancy foodstuffs - European chocolates, etc.

  They have a decent beer selection. It's not big, but they've got some interesting stuff, beer you're certainly not going to find at Publix. But what I like best about Dorn's is their tastings: wine, liquor, cheese, and yay - beer!

  Last week they had a tasting with a theme in keeping with the July 4th holiday, "American Originals." Twelve American-brewed beers of varying styles and price points.

  The good: From New York, Brooklyn Brewery's East India Pale Ale. I don't normally like American-made pale ales as they're too damn hoppy for me. Anything that smells perfumey just isn't going to taste good - in my opinion, although millions of people apparently disagree with me. This was crisp and hoppy, but not too hoppy. Very refreshing; I'd drink this by the pool, or heck, on the couch. I made the mistake of thinking my husband would like it and bought him a bottle. What was I thinking? His favorite beer is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (Colorado), and the Brooklyn IPA just wasn't hoppy enough for him.

  Also good was Sprecher Brewery (Wisconsin) Black Barvarian. This is a German-style schwarzbier, or "black beer." While it's a dark color like a stout or porter, it's actually a lager, making it a lighter, smoother tasting beer. The Black Barvarian was smooth and surprisingly sweet, with a coffee flavor that wasn't bitter at all (as it can be in stouts/porters).

  The surprise: From the Virgin Islands, St. Johns Brewers' Tropical Mango Pale Ale. As fruity as it smelled, it wasn't overwhelmingly "mango". I learned from the brewers' web site that they use mango extract, because mango juice/fruit would be too strong. Names aside, this is closer to a fruity light lager than a fruity pale ale. If you turn your nose up at Budweiser et al, you won't like this. But it would be a great Florida summertime beer.

Posted via email from Scurrilous Tosh's Posterous

1 comment:

Annah said...

You are like, a BEER GURU. That place Dorn's sounds like a lot of fun.

And Sam's clubs has good wine. Does that make ma novice? ;p