Big Time’s 20th Anniversary Week: Cellar Night
Last week, the Big Time turned 20 and celebrated in style all week long. Monday was the release of the 2008 Old Wooly Barleywine. I went despite having just Amtrak-ed back from a crazy weekend of beer drinking in Portland (more on that later). The Wooly tasted good, but not so good that I wanted more than one glass. It’s a big beer and a little goes a long way. They had bottles to go but I didn’t grab any since the price went up to $13.50 each. The markup didn’t seem to bother some folks, though…I saw several people taking home entire cases.
On Wednesday, I came back for Cellar Night. Head Brewer Bill Jenkins brought out all kinds of surprises in both kegs and bottles and the bar was more packed than it had been for Wooly night. I only stayed 30-40 minutes, so I can’t be a completist about what was brought out during the entire night. While I was there, draft offerings included older vintages of Old Wooly, Old Sol Wheatwine, Damned Spot Scottish Ale, Trombipulator Tripel and a beer called Emeritus, which I was told was an Imperial IPA brewed by Jenkins and former BT brewer (now with RAM Northgate) Kevin Forhan back in 2005. I tried the Emeritus and it was interesting. Not much hoppiness there after 3 years, instead it came across more like a barleywine or old ale.
As cool as the tap selections were, the best part of the night was the bottle sale. Like the taps, these changed all night so I can only say what was there during the short time I stayed. For only $4.95 you could buy 22 oz. bombers of: 2005 Decade IPA, 2007 Damned Spot, and 2007 Powderfinger Rye. Also available at the same price were this year’s versions of Trombipulator, Paxton’s ESB, Kölsch 45, Nemesis Strong Ale and Brown Bombshell.
If all this wasn’t enough, as I was about to leave they put two crazy selections on the board: 7 oz. bottles of the 1996 and 1998 Old Wooly. I ended up leaving with a bottle each of the Older Woolies and bombers of the Trombipulator and Nemesis. I probably should’ve bought more. Wonder how 10 and 12-year-old Wooly’s gonna taste…