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Acting on a secret tip found on BeerAdvocate.com (and sent out to the bar’s entire mailing list), Lois and I finally made the time to check out the newly opened Memphis Taproom. They had just tapped a keg of Deranger, an Imperial Red ale from the Laurelwood Public House in Portland, OR.

The bar itself is lovely, classy and set up well, if perhaps a bit small (intimate, rather). I’d been following their progress for the past several months, and I was glad to hear of their opening. I had been meaning to check it out, but hadn’t been able to make the time to get over there. It really lives up to the hype, in my mind. A little neighborhood beer bar, just far enough away for a bike ride (about a mile from me), a good menu (that we didn’t get to dive into), and great prices! Pints of the Deranger were only $4! I think that all drafts are $4 actually. I’ll definitely be back there.

I didn’t know about Deranger before yesterday; its hard to keep up with all the obscure and delicious beers out there. Talk on the internet suggested that this beer was worth seeking out for its scarcity and deliciousness. I found it to be true. I’m not nuts about hop bombs, but this beer was wonderfully balanced, as hoppy as it was. The front and after taste are mega bitter, but in the middle there was a delicious creamy malt body. And a whipped cream head that kept frosting my mustache. In the end, I decided on having a second one, rather than try something else.

The neighborhood is a funny one. We lived there several years ago, and I’m well acquainted with some of the interesting nuances. Such as the dude chanting, loudly, “this is going to become yuppy central!” as we rode by. I hope he wasn’t referring to the bar, though I suspect there will be some conflict between the “locals” and the “patrons.” Beer is supposed to be a social lubricant, I certainly hope that the neighborhood sees this bar as an asset, not a gateway to yuppification.

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