Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How many beer selections is enough? Let's find out!

Sunset Grill & Tap

130 Brighton St Allston, MA

My first visit to Sunset Grill and Tap was nearly five years ago, but time had allowed only for a quick beer (it was by the way, a hard-to-find world-class Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier on tap!) Nice comfy atmosphere! The beer tap selection was jaw-droppingly astounding! The food menu, vast and varied. I vowed to return. A while back, my sons treated me to late lunch and later I returned the favor. Once, as a favor to a friend in the beer distribution business, fellow beer researcher, Larry and I delivered a load of great kegs to the Sunset. Seeing all the behind-the-scenes beer tap apparatuses in action was like being in a Disney Fantasy Beer Adventure Land! Hmmm. Good idea! The beer selection is just as exciting and overwhelming as the times before. Talk about sensory overload!

The Sunset appears small from the exterior and when you first enter. It expands from there with a little foyer at the entrance with 2 seating arrangements upstairs in either direction, additional space downstairs and a L-shaped bar with a row of raised seating at a set of long tables parallel to the bar. At first glance you notice about 5 taps located on top of the bar, but upon closer examination to the right, the full arsenal of taps come into view, all lined up like toy soldiers at attention. Over a hundred of them! A little intimidating actually. So many beers, so little time, or so little kidney and liver tolerance!

The tap selection reveals an impressive lineup of many different beer styles. Ales, Ambers, Barley Wines, Bitters/ESB Bocks, Browns, Doubles, Triples, Quads, Lambics, Cask, Kolsch, IPAs, Steam, Double IPAs, Lagers, Pales, Pils, Porters, Marzens, Stouts, Scotch Ales, Hefeweizens, Wits, Seasonals and Saisons! Not enough to entice you in? There are also Ciders, Perries and root beer on tap! How do they keep all the tap lines clean? How do they rotate the stock? The bottle selection is equally impressive! 380? WOW!

The vibe of the bar is hip, yet familiar. I haven’t visited during busy weekend nights, when the BU or BC student bodies flock in to retreat from their studies, so I'll need to update this review at some point.

The bar staff, “Beertenders” as they refer to themselves, are knowledgeable, friendly and prompt. The first beer I tried, Jever Pilsner from Germany was fresh and mighty tasty! They have a "Just Tapped" and $ Beer Deals $ printed on the beer menus. Great idea!

Not so thrilling is the use of “nitro” taps for some of the beers. We avoid those.

My my! Can't make up my mind! Hop Rod Rye on tap is SO good, but so is St. Bernardus 12! Wait! Oooo! Lost Abbey Brandy Barrel Angel Share!! It’s craziness!!!

The lunch and dinner menus are extensive as well. It’s sort of an expanded Tex-Mex/BBQ menu. The Brontosaurus Texas-style ribs are amazing! The place is known for their Quesadillas and they did not disappoint. It’s probably a better idea to just link you to the website;

Hungry? Thirsty? Who’s in?

Quote: “The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer”.- 2200 BC Egyptian inscription