Beer with Friends / Anderson Valley Brewing Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout

American Craft Sign

Last night we went out with our newly found friends Elina and Adam. My wife has been following Elina’s blog HealthyandSane for some time now, and we all met at the Boston craft beer tweetup I held a couple of months back. Elina also made a blog post about our adventures last night. I’m envious of her awesome camera. I really need a nice camera. Anyone want to donate to the beer reviewing cause? 🙂

American Craft Draught Board

We started out evening at American Craft. They have an excellent beer selection. I started with a glass of Goose Island Pepe Nero. I followed it up with a glass of Pretty Things Fluffy White Rabbit.

Don’t hate me for not taking notes on these brews…I was “off duty”!

American Craft Beer - Goosle Island Nero

Dinner was yummy. Much props for having an excellent selection of toppings for make-your-own burgers (note that the menu consists of much more than burgers). I had a veggie burger with fried egg, mushroom, and cheddar.

Unfortunately, the type of burger they make isn’t my “thing”. Squishy texture just doesn’t do it for me. I need a little meaty consistency. In addition, the egg was closer to over-hard than over-medium. When egg is on a burger, the yolk should run! That all said, I cleaned my plate!

American Craft Veggie Burger

Later in the night we walked a VERY short distance to Publick House, which is owned by the same company (sorry, no pictures). P.H. was MUCH more busy than A.C. We personally thought the beer selections were comparable, and the food was much better at A.C.! Local readers: Any idea why P.H. is more popular?

I had a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine at Publick House. We also shared a delicious cheese plate. I’m such a sucker for a good cheese plate.

We had a great time and it was well worth the 45 minute drive to get into Brookline!

Anderson Valley Brewing Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout

Fast forward to tonight. I’ve had a different kind of adventure this evening. The weather is ridiculous for April in New England. It hit 90 degrees today! We couldn’t help but get the urge to grill dinner. I fired the grill up for the first time and found the left burner wasn’t lighting. Took the grill apart. What was blocking it up? A nest of spiders that had taken up residence in the gas-port of the left hand burner. Can you say “nasty”?

Cleared that mess up, put the grill back together, cleaned the grill, and by 8:00 finally had dinner on the table. Grilled veggie wraps with garlic hummus. Now I need to relax and have a beer!

I’ve had this Anderson Valley Brewing Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout sitting in the fridge for a few months. I bought a six-pack and really disliked the stuff at the time. I’m hoping that it was a “phase” I was going through.

The brew is deep dark black as one might expect. About a finger of brown head. Oatmeal dominates the aroma, although I’m getting some other (glassware) related stank. Our dishwasher sucks major ass and leaves glasses brimming with chunks of crap. I wash my glasses by hand before each review, but I’m sure it’s not 100% doing the job. Does anyone else have this problem? What’s the solution?

Luckily the funky glass isn’t screwing up the flavor. The beer is WAY different from what I recall. I’m wondering if letting it warm up has seriously mellowed it out. I recall drinking the other 5 while they were relatively cold. This one I let warm up for a LONG time. 20-30 minutes-ish!

Taste is clearly oatmeal with a touch of vanilla. Goes down easy like water (note: does not tasted watered down). Given that I expected to really hate the brew, I’m stoked that I’m actually digging the brew. Resetting my expectations, I wouldn’t call it a homerun/awesome beer, but it’s definitely worth a try for anyone that hasn’t had it.

Finally, much props to Anderson Valley for their “greenest” – The brewery is solar powered! *clap*

Anderson Valley Brewing Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout

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Author: Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.