Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When a Senate Matters

The Senate is in session...
Ever since Chris Flynn and Moshe Atzbi launched the now-legendary Hailey's Beer Senate Program, the parallels between it and the one in Washington, DC are many.

Both august bodies conduct their important business in a back room. Both bodies incorporate copious amounts of food and alcoholic beverages--except the Senators at Hailey's pay from their own pockets--not the taxpayers'. And both involve a lot of laughing, shouting, back-slapping and general mayhem, as the pictures here will attest. Oh, and both bodies take the summer off, though the DC crew gets paid for going away--once again, by you-know-who.

Sweetheart deal?
Last night's session, the 21st of the monthly series and the first of the new season, was an Oktoberfest-themed one in both food and beer. Think about that. Where else would you find an Irish pub, with an Irish owner, a Jewish Beer Nut/Cook, and that same Jewish Beer Nut/Cook making pork dishes and selecting German-style beers?

The solid list of  30-plus loyal Senators were treated to four very good Oktoberfest beers: Blue Point, Blue Mountain Barrel House, DuClaw and Brooklyn. The Senators are asked to evaluate the beers in a blind tasting to determine which beer goes on tap at the regular bar, and on this night, Blue Point earned the honor, but not before owner Chris Von Flynn had to break a tie between it and Garrett Oliver's Brooklyn.

Definitely better-looking than the DC ones...
Personally, I thought the DuClaw was the best, but that may have been because of the way it complemented Moshe's Pumpkin Ravioli Dish, prepared with  Butterscotch schnapps. And the first course of Wild Boar in a savory sauce accompanied by the Blue Point product was also an exceptional pairing. Moshe also debuted his Sweet Thai Garlic Chili Wings (there's always a wing dish during a Senate session), and I never thought I'd say this, but they pose a very serious challenge to my favorites from Patriot's Crossing.

The PubScout suggests that all three food items be made permanent on the Hailey's menu, especially that ravioli dish. "Your brains will fall out," if I may quote a famous TV show from back in the Paleozoic Era. Which, come to think of it, accurately describes most of the senators from Washington, DC.

Real men in this Senate...
The Hailey's Senate meets on the second Tuesday of every month, and also decides what the next theme should be at the current session. Next month will feature "Four From One," which is four beers from one brewery. And Beer Nut/Cook Moshe will prepare dishes to complement them. The PubScout has an inkling of what that brewery will be, but I am sworn to secrecy. Just as I am sworn to secrecy about the fact that an additional Senate venue may be in play after January.

But I digress.

There is one major difference between the Metuchen Senate and the one inside the Beltway, however.

No pictures!

Hailey's Beer Senate actually gets the really important stuff done.

The PubScout

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