Thursday night was an evening of my favorite things. My favorite DC food truck, TaKorean parked outside one of my favorite coffee shops, Chinatown Coffee Co. for one of Chinatown’s brilliant “Food Truck Happy Hours.” With my delicious Korean-inspired tofu tacos, I enjoyed another of my favorite things: Imbibing a tasty beer.
The beer/wine/absinthe alcohol program at Chinatown Coffee is a bit quirky and easy to forget about if you mostly come in for a morning caffeine burst in the form of their expertly-executed espressos. Stop by in the evening, though, and it is a charming place to have a drink from their seasonally-curated menu of choices, away from the crazy happy hour crush of many other bars in the neighborhood. Also, with several beers usually available for $3 and most options under $6, the prices really cannot be beat. Add delicious tacos and what more do you really want in life?
I initially ordered an Anderson Valley Summer Solstice, but was told that was temporarily out of stock. Helpfully, Josh – primarily a barista but clearly an eager beer seller as well – recommended the Avery IPA instead. Even though I am not usually a drinker of IPAs, his enthusiasm was enough to convince me. Besides, this has seemingly been my season of hoppy beers anyway, and it has been working out ok so far.
This is an earthy, piney, hoppy beer. In this case, the bitterness was not quite overpowering but it is very clearly there. It ended up being a pretty nice combination with the sweet and spicy tacos, standing up to all that flavor and texture with the beer’s own bright flavor and considerable carbonation. The beer is solid and good for the summer.
After finishing the Avery, I did try to drink another beer – a Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale – but realized I could barely taste it. Between food and the IPA, my palate had been a little blown out and it was a glass of water or two later before my second drink tasted normal again. If you are out for a night, then, I would suggest you keep the Avery IPA towards the end, if you want to be able to enjoy much of what comes after. However, it is worth giving it a try at some point in the evening for a blast of that classic, West Coast summer style.