NEW LONDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Featuring a startlingly large 18 home brews December ’05, ranch-styled FLYING GOOSE BREWPUB & GRILLE lies deep within New England’s pine-lined mountainous splendor. Its rural countryside setting and wintry outdoorsman atmosphere are enhanced by enclosed back porch view of Mount Kearsage.
Deer and boar’s heads, stuffed pheasants, snowshoes, and beer trays decorate cross-beamed walls. Above the central bar were wood-barreled kegs serving humble libations to early evening crowd filled with Highway 89 ski chalet guests. A moose head marks cozy low-ceilinged bar where duck-billed keg taps serve customers mostly ‘small session beers’ to go along with varied Americana menu.
Widescreen TV’s near side door booths had college bowl games on while I sipped buttery raspberry-rasped prickly-hopped Weetamoo Raspberry Wheat, mild orange-peeled grapefruit-embittered alcohol-burnt Long Brothers Strong Ale, (richer-than-Hedgehog Brown-styled) chestnut-mocha-sketched citric-tanged Robert’s Strong Brown Ale, and passive diacetyl-soured Wiegelman’s Wildflower Honey Ale.
Better were black chocolate-y hazelnut-bottomed maple-sapped Potter Place Porter, earthy mocha-coffee pungency Crockett’s Corner Oatmeal Stout, and especially, prescient honeydew-sweet orange-bruised wintry-spiced brandy-like warmer Isle Of Pines Barleywine.
Revisited New Year’s Day 2010 during afternoon snowstorm, finding tapped beer selection leaning on lightly malted, thinly hopped side. Casual moderate-bodied dried fruit tartness anchored soft-watered fig-rigged anise-dabbed grape-skinned Alexandria Alt. Metallic wood-hopped orange-singed fig-date-soured Ragged Mountain Red and mild lemon-wedged Seltzer-like tea-backed orange-tangerine-fruited Harvest Wheat were OK.
Soapy peanut-shelled macadamia-bound crystal-malted black tea-like Hedgehog Brown bettered indistinct lemon-seeded yellow-fruited green-hopped vegetal-finishing Split Rock Golden Ale and acidic dry-hopped lemon-peeled apple-skinned Perley Town IPA.
Two specialty beers were short on character but eager to please lighter thirsts. Grout-y German-styled cask-conditioned Roggenbier placed pumpernickel-rye breading above soapy fig-sugared cocoa malting. Much better was ’09 version of Isle Of Pines Barleywine, with its rich cane-sugared chocolate malts penetrating cherry-pureed orange-bruised banana-peach-pineapple tropicalia, subtle sherry-bourbon-burgundy illusions, and tertiary chestnut-pecan-almond cluster.