October 17, 2013
There are some places that seem just too obvious to write about, local haunts that I feel certain everyone has been to a billion times. Then I’ll casually set a meeting with someone and say, “How about Dash?” and they say, “Where?” After I fall over and pick myself up, I realize some people don’t even know it exists. So, the Dash-In.
I’ve been going to the Dash on and off for over a decade, probably closer to two. In its most recent incarnation 23 taps of craft beer have been added, and my proclivity to stop in after 5 p.m. has gone up a few notches.
So what is Dash doing right? Variety!
You have 23 taps to chose from, so if one or two are blown and they haven’t received their new shipment yet, there are plenty more from which to choose. Keep in mind that a lot of micro producers are distributing in five-gallon kegs, so you might see your absolute favorite craft beer come on tap somewhere one week and be off the next. This happened to me this week when I stopped in to try the New Belgium Coconut Curry Hefeweizen. This is one of the special selections off the Lips of Faith series, which I adore. A lot of bars are turning taps frequently because the stuff is popular, so I can’t fault the Dash one bit for being out of a good beer. In addition to the taps, they also keep a stocked fridge full of special beers, so don’t hesitate to go take a look at what is new.
I really love that they will freely give you a small sample if you don’t want to commit to a whole beer. For the purpose of this article, I was ordering multiple beers, possibly over my lunch hour, so I wanted half glasses. I offered to pay full price, but they charged me half price. To me this is just excellent customer service. As far as they knew, I was just another lunch customer who prefers beer to water.
So on to the beers. When I couldn’t get my Curry Coconut Hefeweizen, I decided to try the Hinterland Luna Nitro Stout, a beer from Green Bay, Wisconsin. I found this Stout to be a little on the watery side for my taste. I like really dense Stouts, and this just left me wanting something with some heft. It poured a very pretty, deep dark brown with just a small beige head on top. But sip after sip I was just left with, well, not much of anything.
My next beer was the Founders Rubeaus. I’m not a huge fan of fruit beers, but Founders is one of the most consistent brewers we get in this area and I’m never disappointed in their offerings. The Rubeaus was no exception. It pours a beautiful ruby red and smells exactly like what it’s made of: fresh raspberries. My biggest pet peeve with fruit beers is when the brewer doesn’t use fresh fruit. You can tell the difference. If sweet, smooth raspberry is your thing, this beer is superbly done.
Since they were out of a few key beers I wanted to try and they were slated for beer delivery the next day, I decided to be a good girl, go back to my job and try again the next day.
Day two: New beers on tap . Yes!
I was really excited to see a new beer from New Belgium. Seriously, put down your Fat Tire and pick up anything from the Lips of Faith series. It’s like the Epicurean delight of beers. They had the Yuzu, something I had never had before. Listed as a Berliner Weiss, a style I wasn’t familiar with, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My companion’s initial response was that it was similar to a white wine. I could see his point – a little dry, a little sour and a little fruity. Overall, I really liked it and I think it would be a good “gateway” beer (for those still transitioning from macros to micros or craft). A Berliner Weiss is a sour wheat beer, but balanced with the Yuzu fruit and the magic stylings of the yeasts the brewers use, it comes out crisp. I loved it.
Next up was the Tyranena Painted Ladies, a pumpkin spice ale from Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Again, not a huge fan of fruit beers (but ’tis the season) and I’ve had enough already this year to feel like I had some to compare it to. What I liked best about this beer was that it wasn’t overdone. Some of the brewers throw in so many different spices it gets cloying. This is the one beer style where I feel like less is more. This beer carries a hint of pumpkin and a hint of spice but is in general a smooth, well-balanced and palatable ale. I really don’t want any more than that from this style.
Overall, there are many reasons to recommend Dash-In. There are issues regarding service that I’ve witnessed and experienced, primarily in the evenings, that bother me. If they approached service with the same enthusiasm as they do their menu and their beer selection, I’d never hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Regardless, their variety, pricing and willingness to accommodate my decision-making is what stands out to me and what keeps me going back with an embarrassing frequency.