Sometimes there are benefits to traveling alone. Like when you arrive at a popular brewery and the wait is long… For some. When you are a solo diner, often your wait is not long. You can be squeezed into just about anywhere.
When I arrived at 10 Barrel Brewing in Boise this was the case. It was a busy Friday night in the heat of the dinner rush. A waiter whisked me away to a family style table and handed me a menu where I sat at the end of the table filled with strangers, who happened to also be beer lovers. At least we could use that to break the ice.
10 Barrel Brewery and I had been introduced before, but I had never had their beer from the source. 10 Barrel has brewery locations in Boise, Bend Oregon, and Portland Oregon. They also have brew pubs in Portland and Denver Colorado. Part of this wide web of locations is due to them being owned by AB In-Bev. Better known as the owners of Budweiser. I’ll save you my feelings on craft breweries being gobbled up by huge conglomerates, but I will say I am not supportive of it. Craft beer is meant to be small.
I reviewed the beer menu and was a little surprised by their tasting flight. If you read my blog regularly you know I often opt for the tasting flights over individual beers. I do this because I can taste a lot of different beers instead of one or two, depending on how heavy the alcohol contents are. I was a little disappointed as the flights were preselected. Your choice was between two different flights. I usually like to pick my own beers on a flight, especially when it is a brewery that I have had some experience with. Why repeat when there are so many other beers to try. I picked the flight with the least amount of repeat offenders and awaited their arrival.
When the tasting flight was placed in front of me I had an “oh shit” moment. Mostly because I had never seen a flight that big before. Ten 3 oz beers looked like a lot. Granted all of them combined did not amount to two full beers, but having them stretched out into individual glasses looked like I had somewhat of a drinking problem. I guess you could split them with someone if you weren’t a “doesn’t like to share” only child like me.
I grabbed my first taste off the arched tray and was off to the beer races. It was the Joe IPA 6.9% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and a 70 International Bittering Unit (IBU). This beer was a redo for me, although not a bad repeat as it is quite delightful. An array of three different hops: Simcoe, Amarillo, and Mosaic round out this beer. The beer has some citrus notes with a nice bitterness.
The Amber Waves Of Grain with a 5.8% ABV and 30 IBU was up next. This beer is drawing from its ale roots with its pretty amber color and malty backbone and caramel notes. An amber ale done well.
There was no clowning around with the next beer. The Class Clown IPA with a 7.4% ABV and 72 IBU came with a pleasing citrus flavor and to quote me “a burnable hop flavor”. I’m not sure what I meant by that other than it’s got some bite to it. I should probably keep better details in my tasting notes.
My next taste was the Squirelly IPA with a 5.8% ABV and a 57 IBU. I am a huge fan of lots of hops being used in a single brew and the Squirelly does just that. Mosaic, Centennial, El Dorado, Cascade and Simcoe all make an appearance in this beer. Although the ABV is slightly higher, this is classified as a session IPA. Typically sessions have lower ABVs around 3 to 4%. I really liked the plethora of hops used and the citrus notes weren’t bad either.
To The Days Pale Ale with a 6% ABV and a 55 IBU was my next beer. The beer is brewed with a single hop, the Motueka hop from New Zeland. Tasting notes on this hop are lemon, lime, and tropic fruits. I definitely picked up on the lemon, however, it was not overly offensive like some lemon flavored beers can be. No one likes lemon pledge in a glass, am I right?
We were now half way through the flight. I grabbed the G-Willie, a Wee Heavy, also known as a Scotch Ale next. I really have a love-hate relationship with this style of beer. Love was not in the air when I tasted this beer, however. It chimes in with a 9% ABV and a 29 IBU. There were caramel and toasted flavors but my tasting note was “meh”.
Up next was the Power To The People Stout with a 7.5% ABV and a 75 IBU. This beer is kick ass! I have been loving stouts lately and this one shines. It may even give my favorite stout, Stone Brewery’s Russian Imperial Stout, a run for its money. It has nice roasted flavors and a high-five to the brewery, no coffee notes!
The Milk Stout with a 6.1% ABV and 35 IBU was next. This beer is not overly sweet and finishes smooth and flavorful. This beer uses experimental hops grown in Idaho and pairs up with chocolate notes and a caramel maltiness.
We’re almost there, with the second to last beer, the Double Mosaic Imperial IPA. An 8.8% ABV and a 95 IBU come rolling in hot with this beer. The Mosaic hop is used in this single hopped beer, hence the name. There is also some beloved dry-hopping with the Mosaic hops too, giving you some bold citrus and pine notes.
The last beer was the Lupulin Trip IPA with a “don’t mess with me 11.25% ABV” and a “don’t mess with me again 100 IBU”. This beer is a bold one with a tasting note from the brewer “proceed with caution.” And that is no joke. Lots of hoppiness in this beer, with the use of Mosaic and Simcoe, giving you some citrus and fruity notes.
And now that we have made it through the beer, let’s move on to the food. Because we all know how much I love a burger and a beer.
I did stray from my typical burger and went into uncharted territory with the Peanut Butter Bacon Burger. Now, most people who know me well, know I try not to eat pork products. And no, there is no religious reason because I am asked that often. It is because I think pigs are cute and don’t like to eat them. I did eat one this day, however. Go ahead and judge me. This burger was interesting as it married a traditional burger with Thai influence. I really liked the Thai peanut butter sauce and the little carrot slivers as garnish. I’m pretty sure I could have enjoyed this burger without the bacon as I did pull some off while eating this burger. Although it may have been the guilt setting in that I was eating a cute little pig.
The rest of their menu rounds out with traditional pub food of burgers and pizza with all plates under $20 USD. 10 Barrel does a good job of keeping their ingredients local, using several suppliers from around the Boise area.
10 Barrel Brewing Boise Idaho is located at 830 West Bannock Street.