During a recent business trip to Garrett County, Maryland, a new brew pub, Mountain State Brewing came highly recommended. So, needing a place to eat, I wanted to give it a try. Actually, I'd heard about this place some months earlier but for some reason thought it further away than it actually was. Now this didn't much of a decision at all. Looking at the Yelp reviews it looked like a place I'd enjoy - fresh beer and wood-fired pizza. Two of my favorite things in the world.
So, Steve, my traveling companion for the week and I made our way to this place tucked between a field and a farm. It was threatening to storm so when asked if we wanted inside or outside seating I was told some outside seating was under cover. Good call. The view over the valley and mountains was beautiful.
As usual, I opted the the flight (see Efficient Beer Acquistion and Beer on the Road) to begin my tasting escapades. They only have four beers plus a guest tap. The fifth was a pear cider so I asked for the four. The photo here only shows three - I was so thirsty the first one went down without much thought. Before I could catch myself, I had an empty soldier on my hands. And yes, the sample glasses are long and narrow, the photo isn't distorted.
I started with the Cold Trail Ale. I have to admit, I liked this beer but it went down so quickly I only remembered that I liked it. I would have to have a pint later to get a better sense of this brew.
Second was the Almost Heaven Amber Ale. I took a good hard look, took in the aroma, then took my first taste. Ah, interesting. What is that flavor - caramel. Yes, and reading the beer notes thats how the brewer described it. Nice, sweet, but not the one I'll come back to when its time for a longer pint.
The third was their IPA, cutely named the Seneca Indian Pale Ale for the natives that lived in West Virginia a few hundred years ago. Good hoppy nose and finish. A little weak for my IPA taste buds but a good beer just the same. Not sure if this will deserve a pint this trip.
Then the black beer. These are the ones I usually develop an affinity for. The Miner's Daughter Oatmeal Stout was very nice. Perhaps a play on the Loretta Lynn song but so what. I took in the smells, let the black brew linger in my mouth. The oatmeal really mellows a stout well and this was no exception.
I ordered a mushroom medley flatbread pizza and thought the oatmeal stout would accompany the mushrooms well. So this was my first pint choice. And a good one. Enjoyed the whole experience - mountains, thunder clouds, sunflowers, church steeple, mushrooms and cheeses, and the stout balanced it all very nicely.
Finishing up the pizza and the stout, I still had room and desire for one more pint. Ah, I was going back to savor the Cold Trail Ale. This time taking it more slowly and deliberately.
Over all a very nice experience. I make this trip a few times a year and know this will be a regular stop from now on. I am the grandson of a coal miner, maybe that explains it or maybe its just a good combination of pizza and beer.