March 30, 2008

Two Brews at Bare Bones

Bare Bones is located in Ellicott City in the 'Burbs of Baltimore. It's a BBQ/ribs joint with a full dining area and a sizable bar. They also offer a handful of in-house beers.

Since "light" and "gold" beers don't excite my taste buds, I had a pint of the McClune's Irish Stout and later a pint of the Tiber River Red. Both were solid if unspectacular efforts.

Before we go any further, I should explain a particular bias. I'm really into flavorful brews. I like it when beer "pops" in my mouth. Usually, that favors hoppy beers like IPA's, but I can just as easily enjoy flavorful beers in other styles. Not every beer is designed to "pop" nor should every beer be that way. The subtleties and nuance of flavors can easily be hidden behind hop flavor and other elements to certain beers.

I appreciate those beers as well, and when I've got the time and energy to work through what's going on with more subtle beers, they often prove remarkable. But I also don't like having to strenuously dig for a beer's taste combinations either.

That was sort of the experience I had at Bare Bones. The two beers weren't bad, I truly did enjoy them, but they didn't excite me or make me all that excited to order up another pint. The Stout capably met its style, and the more roasty elements started to get coaxed out of the pour after a few bites of food seemed to change the tastes in my mouth. The red proved a bit more frustrating and perhaps I needed a second pour to reasonably assess it.

Lack of excitement aside, I'll be back as I live nearby. If you can get out of work early enough and beat the freebie loving crowd that settles in around 5, there's a free buffet of various food items in Bare Bones' bar area from 4-7 nightly. They've got a decent variety of beers on tap (including a hefeweizen, a brown ale and an IPA) and the pulled pork sandwich off the menu is above average.

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