Thursday, September 13, 2012

Heretics in Martinez

Earlier this week I had a great first date at the Creek Monkey Tap House in Martinez.  The menu consisted of basic bar foods (like wings), salads, and sandwiches/burgers.   Meghan had the Pulled Pork sandwich which was quite tasty and I had a bacon mushroom burger. It wasn't the best of burgers, but I've been spoiled lately by Lincoln Park's Wagyu Slider and M&G's 1/2lb organic burger in Fairfax.  The patty didn't live up to my expectations, but the mushrooms and bacon on the burger were fabulous.  Ugh, I'm becoming a food snob in addition to a wine snob.  I miss the days when everything tasted great.  I went from super picky as a kid to eating everything in my 20s and now edging back towards picky again.  I guess the difference is now I'm trying things before I decide that I don't care for it.

While the food was ok, the beer selection was phenomenal with 19 craft beers on tap and one cider.  Most of the brews are from Nor Cal.  There is a wide variety of beer styles from light to dark, but I didn't see any sours.  Meghan recommended the Heretic Gramarye (4.4%) which is a spicy yet smooth rye beer.  I loved it.  I really should have started with a pale ale and then gone to the Gramarye later as the spiciness of the rye overpowered the Grand Tetons Sweetgrass (6%) that I tried to have for my second beer.  I have enjoyed Grand Tetons beer before, but I'm never had the Pale Ale.  Luckily they will give you a sip of the beer before you buy it.  So after trying several lighter beers I tried another Heretic beer, the Evil Twin (6.8%) which is a hoppy red ale.  I liked it, but it still wasn't quite what I was looking for so I made my own blend with the bit of Gramarye still in my glass and it was awesome.  So I asked the very nice waitress if I could have it half and half.  (I wonder how brewers feel about people blending their beer.  Any brewers feel free to leave a comment.)  It was awesome.  So not only is the beer selection great, but the waitress was super patient, friendly, and happy to help me find the right beer.  (Tasting notes are limited because I wasn't planning on writing it up.)

I'm sure we will be back there soonish to take pictures and review more things like the stout float which is reminiscent of Doc's beer milkshake from Steinbeck's Cannery Row.  I tried making a beer milkshake many years ago and it was kind of foul, but I probably used IPA and vanilla ice cream.  So hopefully the CMTH can do it better.

So in conclusion if you love craft beers and/or you could use a bite to eat then check out Creek Monkey Tap House.  Also if you find Heretic pick up a bottle.  I've never seen it before so good luck!

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