Scoping Out the Beer List at Foundry on Elm

There's whiskey in my beer! I'm betting The Captain's behind this ...

Foundry on Elm has been around for a little while now, but it’s still new by Davis Square standards. It’s got a hip, upscale vibe that makes it a bit of an oddity in Davis. But it’s still comfortable enough and the prices reasonable enough that it won’t break the bank. It’s also got on-street, open-air seating, which is tough to come by in the square unless you feel like grabbing some Indian food, or, like Fredo, you like hanging at The Joshua Tree.

But what really sets Foundry apart is its beer list. When I stopped in, they had 21 beers on draft, plus 11 more rotating specialties. That’s right: 32 beers on tap. Not too shabby. And while there are a couple of the more familiar brews like Sam and Harpoon Summer, most of those 32 are a bit more exotic.

I tried two beers when I was there. First up was Lexington Brewing Co.’s Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. It was 8.2 percent alcohol, and it tasted pretty much like you’d expect — like someone took a beer and dropped a shot of bourbon in it. It was interesting, but a little too boozy for my taste.

Next up was Avery Brewing Co.’s Maharaja Imperial IPA, which had 10.3 percent alcohol. This one was pretty damn good and much more my style.

Foundry also had a beer you could order with Raspberry sorbet in it, but I wasn’t touching that with a 10-foot pole. Why ruin a perfectly good beer by dropping a scoop of ice cream in it?

I wanted to try more, but I also wanted to be able to stand under my own power the next day, so I stopped there. Among those I wanted to sample were Geary’s London Porter (Portland!), Clown Shoes Brown Angel, and Wolaver’s Brown Ale.

What I’m Drinking

I’m actually without any beer in my beer fridge right now — which makes me very sad — but I did just polish off a 12-pack of Harpoon Summer cans. As I’ve mentioned before, I love drinking craft beer out of a can. In fact, I’m in the process of planning a trip to a canned brewery right now. Well, Harpoon makes some of my favorite canned beer. Both their IPA and their Summer tastes fantastic in an ice-cold can.

Mr. X is a contributor to the Beer Drinking Report. He likes drinking beer in cans, in bottles, in a funnel he’s not picky. Just don’t feed him shots, or it’ll get like that scene in “Gremlins” where they let the critters eat after midnight.

  • 2am

    Speaking of Clown Shoes… There was a funny blog post the other day on how people thought their labels were offensive. I find them quite amusing but almost anything these days can be found offensive (so sad). In any case it made me google “most offensive beer label” and there are some hilarious one’s e.g. (Rahr’s Pecker Wrecker Imperial Pilsner, Raging Bitch) Hilarious!


  • Mr. B

    I’m not entirely convinced that the title of your blog post accurately reflects your efforts at Foundry on Elm, Mr. X. While I do believe you actually went to Foundry, I’m not sure that what you actually did was “scope” out the beer list. In fact, I’m not sure you did much of anything that taught me about Foundry on Elm or its beer list. I think a better title to your post might have been, “I Counted Stuff at Foundry on Elm”:

    “21 beers on draft plus 11 more rotating specials. That’s right: 32 beers on tap.”

    That’s some solid addition there, Mr. X—and it’s important information to know about an establishment’s beer list if your reason for going there is the sheer quantity of available beers. There are just two tiny problems with your math, sir: The Bottle List and The Cannery. In addition to the 32 beers on tap, Foundry on Elm boasts 20 bottled beers and 11 canned beers, ranging from imports like Panil’s sour Italian “Barriquee” to the more familiar domestics like Coors Light. So if my math is correct (32 taps + 20 bottles + 11 cans), that’s 63 beers–almost double the amount you mentioned in your review. No big deal, it’s just half the beer list.

    Another thing I liked about your description of the beer list was how specific you were about what was actually on the list:

    “And while there are a couple of the more familiar brews like Sam and Harpoon Summer, most of those 32 are a bit more exotic.”

    Nice. Real specific. I suppose I shouldn’t be so hard on you, though. You do mention five other beers and likely have limited space with which to work. I have to admit I found it a bit comical that you tried Lexington’s Bourbon Ale (8.2% AVB), declared it “too boozy for [your] taste,” and then went on to drink the Maharaja which is 10.3% ABV but “much more [your] style.” What’s more, you later lament that you “…wanted to try more, but [you] also wanted to be able to stand under [your] own power the next day, so [you] stopped there.” Come on now, Mr. X. You started the night with two beers above 8% ABV. A bit of forethought might have gone a long way towards solving this problem. Also, it would have been nice if you told us why the Maharaja was “pretty damn good” and “more [your] style.” Was it the crisp, grapefruit acidity and deep malt backbone, or did you just like the name? These are things that are important to mention when you review beer for well-known online publication.

    I also want you to take a look at this sentence:

    “Foundry also had a beer you could order with Raspberry sorbet in it, but I wasn’t touching that with a 10-foot pole. Why ruin a perfectly good beer by dropping a scoop of ice cream in it?”

    Okay, fair enough. It doesn’t sound too appealing to me, either. Sorbet/ice cream confusion aside, your job is to review stuff, right? Beerstuff? Sorbet dropped in beer is, at the very least, unique and worth a sentence or two of elaboration. It would be nice if you did us the courtesy of telling us which beer the raspberry sorbet was being scooped into. For example, it would be one thing if Foundry were serving Coors Light with raspberry sorbet; I wouldn’t go near that with a ten-foot pole, either (it would also be ruining a perfectly good sorbet). On the other hand, if Foundry were serving Lindeman’s Framboise, a relatively famous lambic from Belgium fermented using fresh raspberry puree, with homemade raspberry sorbet, I would have tried it. And it would have been amazing.

    Let’s take a quick detour from beer to mention the boozy caption accompanying your photo of the Lexigton Bourbon Ale:

    “There’s whiskey in my beer! I’m betting The Captain’s behind this …”

    Not a bad caption. You’re clearly talking about the Lexington Bourbon Ale you sampled and poorly photographed with your phone, but Mr. X, let’s think about this for a second. Maybe I’m missing some inside joke here, but you do realize that “The Captain,” whom you blame for putting whisky in your beer, and whom I can only assume is an incorrect reference to the boozy mascot of the same name, is actually responsible for making things taste like rum. You know, Captain Morgan’s rum. The Captain doesn’t make whiskey, he doesn’t make things taste like whiskey, and he certainly isn’t responsible for the whiskey in your beer.

    On a final and more practical note, I’m really confused about what, exactly, I’m supposed to take away from this review. What is your final verdict on Foundry on Elm and its beer list? Yes, you mention that it’s a hip, upscale, reasonably priced restaurant in Davis with a lot of beers and outdoor, open-air seating, but what do you think about it? Was the beer list impressive or just extensive? Should I go there? Why should I go there instead of Red Bones to drink craft beer? If I do go, what would you recommend trying? It seems to me that you never actually reviewed anything. You just tried two beers, told us one was “too boozy for [your] taste,” told us the other was “more [your] style,” and then perplexingly informed us that you have a fridge with no beer in it. Who the fuck cares about your empty fridge? How does that in any way contribute to your review in a way that helps me understand Foundry On Elm?

    I’m coming for your job.