Happy Sunday, everyone. I know we rarely post anything on Sundays, but those silly guys over at Red Door decided that today was a good day to tap their first seasonal beer. After making it through the first couple months with their six mainstays, the Red Door brewers were finally able to catch their breath and find the time to create something new.
The result is the Strong Scotch Ale, a malty, peaty little delight of a beer. Frank, one of Red Door’s owners, said the brewers were worried it would have too much of a peat flavor (which tends to be smoky, for those not familiar with the style), but I found it to exist in balance with the sweetness from the malts. It gave it a little kick, a bit of tangy flavor that would otherwise be absent. Even with that, it is still a smooth, almost decadent type of beer. Though no ABV was listed, Porter Pounder and I guessed it was at least 7 percent or higher, yet you do not get an overwhelming taste of alcohol. I found it just different enough to separate it from the Scottish ales at Bosque, Canteen, and Nexus, but still reach the standard of quality that those breweries have already set for the style in ABQ.
So head on over to Red Door today and grab a pint while you watch some football. Europa Roaming Kitchen will be providing the food (fitting, since it’s a Scotch ale and all).
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Prior to heading over to Red Door, I joined the Professor Emeritus of Beer (my dad) and my dear mother at Heimat House for dinner. It was rather welcome after spending 30 minutes-plus in a dreadful traffic jam on the 550 bridge in Bernalillo on my way back from covering the state volleyball championships in Rio Rancho.
A few things jumped out at me right away. Heimat House is busy, really busy, so if you expect to get in there and have your beer and food appear almost instantaneously, you’re going to be disappointed. Patience, grasshopper. As Carri and Blayne said back in our preview, the beers will be changing out pretty often, so some on the initial menu are already gone (I was personally saddened by the fact Odell Oktoberfest, which I have seen nowhere else in town, was out). The wait staff is up to date on what is available on tap, so they’ll guide you through it if the beer you want is tapped out.
The bottled beer list is now available, and it’s 61 beers long. That’s just ridiculous. The Crew is already planning a bottle share gathering, since many of those beers are not available at Jubilation or even Total Wine. Heimat House was not kidding when they said they would be getting some rare styles.
I followed in the Professor’s footsteps and had an Andechser Helles and a Hofbrau Marzen. The former is brewed by monks in Germany and I have vague memories of waiting in a line of cars as the Professor just had to get some of their renowned beers. It was certainly a quality helles, offering up a good balance of sweetness and some pilsner-like aromatic effects from the German hops. The Hofbrau Marzen was a milder version of what has become an almost too-sweet style in America. It was ultra smooth and a good beer with which to finish the evening.
On the food side, I grabbed something basic to start with in a wiener schnitzel with a side of french fries (it also comes with German noodles and red cabbage). The fries weren’t quite cooked long enough, but in the end they just reminded me more of some of the potato sides you get in Germany. The pork in the schnitzel was pounded down almost too thin. Mrs. Professor was not as keen on it, though I think her schnitzel was pounded down thinner than mine. The Professor grabbed some rouladen and enjoyed it, though he wanted a little less paprika in the sauce.
Overall for a place that has been open less than a month, I was impressed enough to certainly come back to eat and not just drink. Good work so far, Heimat House, we know you’ll only be getting better as time goes on.
But you absolutely, positively have to let us know when The Abyss goes on tap. We are not missing that one, no sir, we are not.