..that wears a crown," said Shakespeare. And so it came to pass at the most recent gathering of "Senators" at Hailey's 7th Beer Senate at Hailey's Harp and Pub in Metuchen. But, I digress.
The Beer Senate is a popular monthly gathering of beer lovers who assume control of Hailey's large back room to sample specially selected beers, matched with creations from Hailey's kitchen. The brainchild of Moishe the Barman (who also has exceptional culinary skills), the Senators sample four or five beers selected by Moishe to determine which beer gets to occupy a coveted Hailey's tap. Moishe's well-prepared finger food accompanies each dish.
Each Senator gets a score sheet, which, in The PubScout's humble opinion, needs revamping and simplifying. How, for example does one rate the "clarity" of a stout or a hefeweizen? But, after scoring the beers, each Senator writes down the name of the beer that "won" on his scorecard. A voice tally is taken and the winner gets the tap.
|The Beer Men|
Last night's event featured four Jersey beers--Carton, Flying Fish, Climax and River Horse--and reps from all four places (including Climax brewer Dave Hoffman himself) were on hand to speak about their beers. Flying Fish's RedFish (formerly Exit 9 Hoppy Scarlet) nudged out Climax and the others for tap honors.
It was a night of good will, good cheer, good food and good beer. One fellow, Ty Fedak, came all the way from Arizona to take his Senate seat.
|Senator Ty Fedak--(I) AZ reaps the benefits|
Of course, this being a Senate, there were politics involved.
Without spilling a drop of blood--or, more importantly, beer--the reigning president of the Senate was summarily removed from office--(amid much howling and laughter ) by Owner Chris Flynn--and laughed about it, vowing to return. The Roman forum, in retrospect, was a place of decorum--except for when when Julius Caesar learned that Brutus was not really his bosom buddy.
No such high drama here, though getting the attention of a beer drinking crowd is much easier at the beginning of the night than at the end. The crowd did, however, listen intently enough to enjoy the story of Chris Flynn's St. Patty's toast to his wife.
|Natalie, Larry and Debbie|
Moishe, though, had to work hard to arrive at a plan for the April Senate. The theme of that will be "One Beer--Four ways." No new President has officially assumed the reins of leadership, but you can bet his head will either be on a swivel or a plate in April.
There are two pressing questions for that conclave. First, and most important, can Moishe pull off the "One Beer--Four Ways" idea? Second, will Pete Rosky, stage a comeback coup?
More pictures here.