Who Needs Wine Tasting When You Can Get Beer Flights?

Who Needs Wine Tasting When You Can Get Beer Flights?

It’s always amazing to walk into a beer-focused bar and see 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, or more beers on the menu. Long walls of taps are exciting, but can also be intimidating. What should you try? How many can you try? Can you get an Uber home? Well, many bars are now providing you with a solution: beer flights!

Common in wine bars for a long time, you can now enjoy beer in the same way, with just a little bit of each. The sampler glasses of four or so ounces allow you to pick out a few you want to try without having to worry about whether you can get home. It’s a wonderful thing for someone like me who gets paid to drink beer and tell you all about it.

I was recently in Tulsa, Oklahoma and went to Roosevelt’s, a beer lover’s paradise with 70, count ‘em, 70 beers on tap. The back wall of the bar is a marvel. Beer, beer, and more beer. This is the perfect place for beer flights, and Roosevelt’s delivers. Along with my tasty burger and fries I ordered two flights of four beers each.

With 70 beers to choose from, it took me a while to get through the menu and narrow down the beers I wanted to try. Here are the highlights.

One of the best was the Big Jamoke Porter from Marshall Brewing Company in Tulsa. The beer’s name has a great story. It was named after the B-25 bomber that the grandfather of Brewmaster Eric Marshall flew in World War II. This porter is big and bold, with that malty goodness you find in porters, and a hint of coffee and chocolate. It paired really well with my burger.

Another one I really enjoyed was the Rahr and Sons Bourbon Barrel Winter Warmer. Aging beers in barrels, most commonly bourbon barrels, gives a beer an extra layer of flavor and a hint of smoke. The Winter Warmer is a dark English ale with six malts, which give it a rich, smooth, roasted flavor. It’s the kind of winter beer you want, hearty, tasty and evoking the spirit of the holidays without going overboard.

I enjoyed two other barrel-aged beers. The first was Crazy Mountain Local Stash Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale. As you would expect with a Scotch ale, this beer packs a punch with a 10.5 percent ABV, has a heavy malt flavor, caramel color, and (especially because it was barrel-aged) is smoky. I loved this one. In flights with multiple beers, this is the only beer that I completely finished. Every last drop.

The last beer I loved was the Oskar Blues Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY, an Imperial Stout. Another solid stout, this epitomizes the “beer you can chew” description. It’s super malty, and has caramel, chocolate, and coffee flavors. If you like a hefty dark beer that just can’t be ignored, this is perfect.

I had four other beers, including the Avery Maharaja IPA, Evil Twin Pachamama Porter, Rouge’s Promise Gone Aw-Rye, and the Tallgrass Backpacker Brown Ale. After all of these barrel-aged beers, I felt like heading home and having a glass of scotch. Then a nap. This eight-beer tasting was made possible by the joy of beer flights. They’re truly a holiday present to my tastebuds!

Brad Jackson is a writer and radio personality whose work has appeared at ABC, CBS, Fox News, and multiple radio programs. He was the longtime host and producer of Coffee & Markets, an award-winning podcast and radio show with more than 1,500 episodes. Brad covers all things edible and cultural for The Federalist. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @bradwjackson.
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