Once again, Coach Gonz is on the lookout for good beers and good places to enjoy them. Herewith his latest perambulation....The PubScout
Have you thanked your friends lately?
Where would we be without our friends? Well if you have friends like mine, you would be enjoying a great craft beer at Tapastre in Somerville. Joe Bennett, Michael Battista, and JR Luccarelli have found a gem and like true friends, they share. I am a lucky fella!
We arrive at Tapastre in Somerville, a lovely establishment located on High Street that features some of the best and freshest beers on tap or bottled on the market today. A family owned enterprise since 2004, Mike Proske has raised the bar on excellent food and phenomenal beer. At Tapastre, you will find one of the most unique food and beer menus in Central New Jersey! Mike has taken his love of fine cuisine, fine craft beer, and his experience behind the bar and married them together in a fantastic gastronomical ménage a trois. Well let’s find out what Mike keeps behind the bar!
In order to fully appreciate the passion behind Tapastre, we start with a flight of beers recommended by Mike. Quickly we learn that Tapastre is an exceptional beer bistro. His recommended flight takes us on a journey; we begin with light and aromatic and end with dark, mysterious, and awesome.
· Zombie Killer – by B. Nektar is a light ‘pinky’ colored mead with a 5.5% ABV
· La Chouffe – from D’Achouffe is a Belgium double with a floral aroma and an 8% ABV that is just outstanding for summer consumption
· Hudson Pale Ale - from New Jersey Beer Company, a textbook ale with a hint of fruitiness – 5.8% ABV
· Ta Henket - by Dogfish Head is an ale with a crazy collection of flavors including a Middle Eastern spice Za’atar. A fantastic summer ale! 5.5% abv
· The Vanilla Porter - from Breckenridge, an amazing porter all the way, ‘nuff said! 4.7% abv
· Urkontinent - by Dogfish is a Belgium double that is brewed with chocolate malt. The flavors run the gamut: caramel, berry-fruitiness, malt, and a quick floral finish – we all agree this is one of the most unique beers. 8% abv – wholly cow!
· Sour Apple Saison - by Epic starts with a bitter crispness with nutmeg flavors and ends with the apple. Very light and refreshing but with an 8% abv definitely nothing to sneeze at!
On the bar side, Tapastre has 12 taps that are as different and enjoyable as the next, and in the bull pen, six new beers that are dying to jump into the rotation. Tapastre’s main goal is to create a buzz (no pun intended) for craft beers, really help build awareness for something that is relatively still in the dark. Side bar: Michael Battista is the catalyst for getting tap beers going.
Mike wants patrons to come in and enjoy a great food menu too. “There is something for everyone here – the steak and potatoes fan and the ultra-foodie will be thoroughly satisfied.” With New Orleans Chef Victor Sguera, he knows he will succeed. For Tapastre, food is very important to his beer menu. Mike is in constant contact with local craft brewers to see what can be added to help augment his special menu.
Based on Mike’s hospitality, he has garnered great friend status, and as great friends often do, he took care of us. He quietly tapped Allagash Bourbon and Black, a 9.5% abv ale that is aged in Jim Beam Bourbon Barrels for one year! This unbelievably drinkable ale is as good as it sounds! Mike truly pulled out all of the stops on our visit and as true friends, we promise to visit more often.
What’s next for Tapastre? July 26th there will be a Cigar and Beer Sampling. Tapastre will partner with Somerville neighbor Ashes N Embers to combine great smokes and great suds. Do yourself a favor and check it out. ENJOY!
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