I wanted to start this section off with a new local place that I have been waiting to try for a while, Dubina Brewing Co. (http://dubinabrewing.com/). I watched the Kickstarter and drove by their shop regularly waiting for an open sign. I read they had some trouble with licensing and they were well past their original open date. I had all but forgotten them until my wife saw them on Groupon (http://www.groupon.com/deals/dubina-brewing-co). So we gathered some friends and made our way there on a Friday night.
Dubina is in a part of town that is...let's say...questionable. One side of the road could be well to do middle age families, the other side is rough slightly run down part of town. The strip mall they are in is not exactly nice and they obviously weren't going to pay to have the entire thing overhauled for their one store. I was reserving judgement until I saw the clientele.
Walking, the place is very open. Sacks of ingredients are stacked next to the brewing equipment which is next to the over sized Jenga. This is a place that brews beer, and you can sit there if you want. They had a few booths and a horse shoe table, but mostly it is an open room. This was nice because we were able to pull 3 tables together for our group.
So lets knock a few things out of the way before we jump into the beer. Service was good. I will admit that our table was tough because it was large and we had kids, so she did the best she could. Food was hit or miss. The pretzel is the best pretzel I have ever had. My wife and I got a Deluxe Grilled Cheese and thought it was fantastic. My group got wings that were good, but really hot, and the bratwurst, which neither could choke down more than half of.
Now, on to the beer. We got a flight so we could try all of their available beers. They are:
Bell Rd Session IPA - for an IPA it was drinkable. I think this would be a good summer beer. It had kind of a lemon grass flavor. The hops were not overpowering.
Black Canyon Black IPA - This was a strange beer for me. I had never seen a black IPA before. It had a slight coffee and black licorice flavor start and then finished like a mild IPA.
Pat's Ale American Pale Ale - This was incredibly light after the IPAs. It was thinner with a nice amber color but very light on flavor. A little too light for me.
Candy Cream Ale, Fruit Ale - This smelled like flowers and had a very flowery taste. My group said it reminded them of flowery bath water. I thought it tasted like perfume. This was terrible and most of us were trying to give it away.
Snoatmeal Stout, Otmeal Stout with Snow(?) - By consensus, this was the best beer they served. It was dark and creamy, but not really thick. I don't mind having to chew my stouts. It had coffee and chocolate in the flavor and you could really taste the 8.25% ABV.
Overall, I'm excited to have a local brewery on my side of the valley. I look forward to trying their new beers and I recommend it, even if just for the pretzel.