Monday, June 13, 2011

Cumberland's Wonderland

by J.S. Holland

My newest favorite restaurant in L-ville is one of my oldest favorites all over again. When I first transferred to this burg back in 2004, Cumberland Brews in the heart of Highlands hipsterdom was one of the first places I regularly made the scene. But with all the eatin' and drankin' that's come and gone down the pike since then, my old buddy Cumberland kinda got lost in the shuffle play; soon I became obsessively enamored of O'Shea's Irish Pub, then Spinelli's, then The Patron, then Mojito Tapas, then Seviche, then Havana Rumba, and Ernesto's and The Blind Pig, and well, a man can only support so many fine eat-houses on the salary of an artist/writer/ne'er-do-well.

Now all things old are new again, and I'm back in the saddle again at Cumberland Brews, picking up on some nice things I've missed. One of my recent fixations this year has been on fermentation, though you haven't heard me speak much of it - a project to home-ferment my own Mead, medieval-style, in a mason jar in my kitchen resulted in a rather foul-tasting substance. So, I may just content myself to sup the miraculous Mead offered here at CB's - it's 4.50 for a dinky half pint as opposed to a pint, and Happy Hour does not apply to it. So why get it? Because it's 670% awesome, and fermented from local honey. (Also, it's 7.0 ABV, as opposed to most CB offerings which are 5-ish.)

Oh yeah, I hear they serve food here too. My bison burger was good.

Now back to the booze: then I switched to their Belgian style Moonbow Wit, which had an extremely powerfully hoppy yet non-bitter whang to it. How did they do that? It's amazing. To say that it's like drinking Jasmine tea or flower-oil will put you off and give you the wrong impression, but remember, hops are flowers, and I found this to be the first super-hoppy brew I've ever quaffed that matches perfectly the delicate and mysterious Austrian nose-feel of Stammheimer Hopfenschnupf, that sniffy delight that's defined my decade even though I only discovered it four years ago.

(And permit me to strike a caddish tone for just a sentence, but it must be said, gentlemen, that the ladies serving the burgers and brewskis are each more beautiful than the other.)

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