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Beer at Piece

Rene G | Feb 18, 2002 06:25 PM

This has been discussed here recently, though without much detail. Here’s my take on it.

It was interesting to hear that Piece’s brewer used to be at Sierra Nevada. That explained something. The first time I went, before they were licensed, I brought my own 6 pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. While we sat at the bar drinking our beer and eating our pizza, three different employees made comments about our beer (like "Great beer!" or "Nice choice!"). I thought that was a little strange but assumed the staff had been drilled to be extra friendly during their first days.

On my second visit their own brews weren’t ready yet and they were serving a pretty good assortment of guest beers.

My third visit didn’t really happen because on a recent Saturday night it was so packed it just wasn’t worth braving the crowds.

So now I have finally managed to drink my way through just about all of their tap offerings, both house and guest. There’s some good stuff.

West Side Wheat is a very light American style brew, not related to traditional German weissbiers. Inoffensive but forgettable.

Golden Arm is a Kolsch-style brew. I thought this was pretty good until I tasted it against the real thing (Reissdorf Kolsch, also on tap).

Gentrification Ale is a moderately hoppy unfiltered pale ale. My favorite of their lighter beers.

Worryin’ Ale is described as an English style ale. Not bad at all but it had a very toasty flavor I didn’t love.

The I.P.A. is a decent beer, relatively restrained for the style. Also on tap is Three Floyds Imperial IPA which just blew it away (hardly fair because they are barely the same style beer). This TFIIPA is a great beer in the excessive Three Floyds tradition. It’s a well-disguised 9% with a ton of hops. Killer.

I was very disappointed that I missed the Dolomite, a corn-based malt liquor, brewed in consultation with Nick, one of the Three Floyds.

In its place is 4 Reverends Imperial Stout, a hefty 9.5% brew. Definitely a good one if you’re in the mood for something very substantial.

A lager is in the works.

One minor gripe is the vague descriptions on the menu. It would be nice to know something about hop and malt varieties, or at least the percent alcohol. Another gripe is that two separate glasses had a very strong chlorine odor. These were replaced immediately with apologies but it seems that if a place is putting so much effort into their beers they should take a little more care not to spoil it all with improperly rinsed glassware.

There’s a total of 10 guest drafts including Konig Pilsner, Two Brothers French Country Ale, Guinness, and New Glarus Belgian Red.

There are 9 bottled beers, 8 or which are Belgian or Belgian-style. Interesting selection (but how well do these go with pizza?).

I think Piece is doing a pretty good job with their beers but there is certainly room for improvement. I look forward to trying all their new brews. Piece is already head-and-shoulders above places like Rock Bottom but not yet in the class of the much-missed Hopcats.

Finally, I couldn’t help noticing the pizza oven and the brewer coincidentally have the same name.

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