Friday, February 09, 2007
THE UNSUNG & RARELY-PRAISED BEERS OF GORDON BIERSCH
I was in the Los Angeles airport last week with some time to kill, and found a small GORDON BIERSCH restaurant in the Southwest terminal. The more I enjoy this chain restaurant/pub’s beers, the more I reckon that they don’t get half the respect they deserve. They happen to make one of the only pilsners worth gulping (as reviewed by me here last year), and at LAX they served me a GORDON BIERSCH HEFEWEIZEN that really got the job done. I’m convinced if this beer was served up to a given beer snob dressed in a Dogfish Head or Russian River label, you’d be hearing about it a lot more. It was significantly less carbonated than many hefes, and had a very understated, mild quality to it but yet tons of delicious wheat/hops flavor. I really dug it. I wouldn’t have given it an 8/10 if I hadn’t. I then tried the GORDON BIERSCH BLONDE BOCK, which they also say on their menu is not really a bock but is instead a “Helles Lager”. I found it to be a crisp, amber/gold beer with more complexity and flavor than, say, the HACKER PSHORR MUNICH EDELHELL I reviewed last week, and as surprising as that is, I guess I’m not really that surprised. Even Gordon Biersch’s MARZEN beer, the one you can buy at all the local ballparks, is damn good. I’ll go with 6.5/10. These guys have got the formula down – lighter, lower-alcohol beers that allow the non-beer snob crowd to enjoy a walk on the wild side, and yet beers great enough to please discerning dorks like me. And the Garlic Chicken pizza was great too. Count me in as a big fan of their “model”.
Posted by Jay H. at 8:09 AM