Plymouth, lambic tasting

Posted on May 23, 2007 by Chris Lumens in .

Sarah’s been here all week, which is why there haven’t been any updates. That’s also why I haven’t made any progress on the book. Oh well. I’ll try to describe what we’ve been up to starting with the most recent.

Yesterday the plan was to go to Plymouth, MA and then go to a lambic tasting in Brookline. We got going late so we had to move pretty quickly. Plymouth is a good 90 minutes driving time from here including a very boring portion along US 3 towards the end. I also had to stop for gas. We finally got there sometime around noon, parked the car, and checked out the visitors center. They wanted to sell us tickets to see the Mayflower and Plimouth Plantation for $25 a person but we weren’t having any of that. Instead, we took the walking around self-guided free tour. Sure we didn’t go in all the really old houses and museums but we’ve seen those sorts of things before.

It being a weekday, there was almost nobody there. We saw a couple school groups and tour buses but it was not crowded. We also stayed away from the most touristy of places which probably helped. We saw Plymouth rock, which still looks the same as last time I was in Plymouth. We also saw the native American monument nearby commemorating Thanksgiving as a National Day of Mourning. That was definitely picture-worthy. Nearby, there was a winery so we stopped and tasted a bunch of fruity wines. After taking up so much of the guy’s time, I felt compelled to buy a bottle of his cranberry wine. We rounded out the trip with a very old cemetary, a couple churches, some shops, a walk out on the breakwater, and a gigantic granite monument. I then tried to drive us to the beach but our tourist center not-to-scale map was not at all detailed so we just ended up driving back and forth.

Then it was off for more fun elsewhere. The drive from Plymouth to Brookline was fine until we got off the interstate in south Boston. The directions I carefully wrote down ceased being helpful at all as we entered the maze of rotaries and roads curving back in on themselves and disappearing lanes. Somewhere after passing Northeastern University, we ended up on Park Street and needed to keep following it. A few turns later, we had magically gotten back to where we started. I decided to get us out of that mess but that somehow put us into a parking deck instead. We threw the directions out at that point and just took the most simple way.

Our destination was the Publick Houseon Beacon Street where there was a tasting of two Boon Gueze lambics that had never been sold in this country before. Gueze is the base beer that the flavored lambics (kriek, framboise, etc.) are made from. There’s not much between you and the raw lambic flavors. The tasting itself was very informal - we got a small glass of each and a plate of cheese. Each sample was pretty funky as we were expecting. Sarah picked out her favorite but I wasn’t able to decide on which one I liked more. However, we both decided that we didn’t like either enough to drink a whole $8 glass. Instead, she got a glass of Cantillion lambic and I got a glass of Gulden Draak. Eventually, David and then Karen joined us for more drinks, dinner, and socializing. So while the tasting was a little bit disappointing, the fine beer selection and good atmosphere more than made up for it.