It’s always nice when your friends invite you for a drink at a place you’ve been meaning to get to but just have not carved the time out for. As usual, time is the number one constraint that prevents me from getting to more places more often. Well, that’s not entirely true, money is a big factor in that endeavor as well. But for arguments sake we’ll just blame it on time.
On this night, I couldn’t have been happier to have made the time to go and check out Clem’s Tap Room. It’s conveniently located right behind Clem’s Bottle Shop, almost like they planned that on purpose, at 4108 Adams avenue in the Kensington neighborhood.
Most people are familiar with the bottle shop due to their reputation for a great selection of beers and wine, as well as their ability to acquire some of the harder to find styles that are out there. Naturally news of them opening a tap room was very exciting and an opportunity full of potential.
Walking through the parking lot I was immediately impressed with what I saw. The first thing you notice is a nice area out front for drinks on warm, sunny day. When you walk in you are immediately struck by a warm cozy feeling. It’s not a huge space by any means but it has a nice atmosphere and a good setting for sampling beers and wine. Yes, thats right, we have a wine mention here on the site. So if you know someone who prefers wine over beer (not sure why you’d like that kind of person very much) you can bring them with you and they will feel just as welcome here.
What they offer at the tap room is a rotating selection of beers that are available as flights. For the time being it’s flight size only, but the good people at Clem’s are hard at work on upgrading that liquor license so full drafts should be available in the near future. I promise to let you know the moment that happens.
On this night, we (the wife and I) had talked about getting a single flight to share. To my good fortune and not so much hers, she was still getting over a little cold and we have a strict ‘no sharing germs’ policy when one of us get sick. So that meant two flights for the night, one of IPA’s and one that was a nice mix of different styles for the lady, which I would get to sample first so as to avoid the icky-ness.
The mixed flight was good. It consisted of Almanac Honey Saison, Figueroa Mountin Paradise Road Pilsner, Latitude 33 Straw Horse Wheat and Societe’s The Debutante. Big surprise that Societe was the star of that flight. Those guys just understand what makes beer good and they just do it well every time.
The IPA flight on this night consisted of four excellent selections. First was Hanger 24’s Columbus IPA,7.0%ABV, it had strong citrus notes and some sweet flavors from the malts. Moylans Hopickle IIPA, 9.2% ABV, made its presence known with strong piny flavor and floral finish with the noticeable presence of orange and grapefruit. Next was my first beer from Black Diamond, Rampage IIPA, 9.5% ABV. This was a good beer with a lot of the same flavors as the Hopsickle, however the pine was more subtle which, is usually an element I like to be more assertive but this is still a good beer. Finally, The Maharaja, 10.5%ABV, from Avery with its dark copper color, big hoppy flavor and some fruit notes in the form of grapefruit citrus. It was too close to call but this was probably my favorite.
Clem’s Tap Room is a great spot, especially if you are trying to avoid the more typical bar scene on Adams avenue. There is a really great ambiance to the place and with its convenient location to the bottle shop you can taste a beer and then go buy it to take home with you. How is that not a win? The people who work there are very friendly and knowledgeable about both the beers on draft and the wine selection as well. Next time you find yourself in the area it’s worth making the time to check it out. I know I will be.