There is a theme at Brass Union in that almost every drink has an element…
Adventure Boston – Liquid Assets – The Independent
We need a drink but not just any drink. We are on a quest to find the most epic beverages in Boston.
The Independent, founded in 2001, is one of the oldest bars in Somerville and these days longevity for an establishment is definitely something worth bragging about. As I learned in my conversation with Bar Manager, Sean Farrell, The Indo was the first of owner Ken Kelly’s restaurants to open in Boston and some of the woodwork and pictures hanging on the wall are from Ken’s family’s original pub back in Ireland. I love history in a bar and The Indo has plenty of it.
I used to frequent The Indo when I had a friend in Union Square about 10 years back, and like the square itself, it has experienced a few upgrades along the way. However ownership has managed to retain the charm of the original bar and yes, they still really care about their beer. The independent carries a ton of hard to find labels and I’m especially excited to try a couple of their sour beers which they just happened to be featuring this week. Sean explained that sour beer’s rise in popularity is a lot like the popularity of the bitterness in an IPA, and that they’ve exploded recently as people have really taken to a taste that may be initially disagreeable. Humans are very interesting.
The first beer we tried was The Old Chub Nitro Scotch Ale out of Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado. Nitro means that it uses a different pumping system which produces air bubbles that are super small and the result is an amazingly smooth beer. This beer was very dark and rich with an incredibly malty and delicious flavor. It’s almost creamy which I believe is created by the microscopic nitro bubbles. I really enjoyed this one.
The second beer we tried was the Astrid from Allagash Brewery in Portland, Maine. It’s a barrel aged sour beer which gives it a smoothness that resembled a glass of wine. I enjoyed the taste and it lingered for an extraordinarily long time which I would describe as an after after taste. It also packs a punch and even though there is no fruit added, it had a very strong bouquet which also made me think of wine. I can understand how a beer this complex could certainly grow on you.
The third beer that Sean poured for me was the Poperings Extra Dry Hommel hailing from Belgium. This beer was probably my favorite of the evening. It was golden in color with a punchy hoppy taste that did not linger. It was extremely drinkable. I do have a soft spot for Belgian beers and this is certainly one I’ll be ordering again. This was beer was originally brewed specifically to celebrate Tri-Annual hop festival in Belgium’s Poperinge region and it was selected so many times as the festival’s best that it has become synonymous with the region itself.