For more than two decades, before we were Grillaz, we often hosted guests who would invariably ask us for a guided tour of historic Salem. Some of Salem and its history is interesting, much of what the city offers is tacky Halloween stuff, but invariably a day of site seeing would leave us all parched. One of our favorite solutions is Salem Beer Works.
We recently decided to stop for lunch at Salem Beer works just for the fun of it – we had no guests in tow. We pulled up to the steel-topped bar and engaged in a good craft beer discussion with the bartender. Understanding our likings and his offerings, he deftly steered us to the Custom House IPA and the Double Pale Ale. As some bluesy Stevie Ray Vaughan played in the background, we started in on the Custom House IPA. This is a good “starter” IPA, with a pleasant bitterness and good balance – nothing unexpected or overwhelming, but with a good dose of hops. At this point our charcuterie plate arrived, offering a fine selection of cured meats and cheeses to make a satisfying lunch and give these tasty beers something to wash down. We moved on to the Double Pale Ale, which is a hoppy concoction that veers in a citrus direction. This drought is a little more adventurous than the Custom House, providing a more complicated palate and a variety of subtly flavors to mull over.
These two beers are very fine, and Grillaz will be back to try them again. And keep in mind that Salem Beer works changes its beer lineup, so there is always something interesting to try.