February 20, 2011
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Last night my friend dropped by and Kristy and I took him out on a brief tour of some of Hudson’s finest drinking establishments. It was by no means a complete tour, but one can only drink so much responsibly in one evening. I like to joke about my boring life living in the outer suburbs of Cleveland, but honestly Hudson does have a pretty decent beer representation.
The first stop of the night was at my favorite (and closest) spot, North End. We managed to catch it on a rare non-busy Saturday night and get 3 seats at the bar (the actual restaurant was pretty packed though). I started the night off big with a Great Divide Grand Cru, which was really good and didn’t overwhelm me despite the 11% ABV. Then, per the bartender’s recommendation, we split up a bottle of Weyerbacher Heresy, a barrel-aged imperial stout that was a very solid brew, but a little lacking compared to some of the higher profile barrel-aged beers I’ve had in the past year. North End may only have 8 beers on tap, but they’re all craft beers and are usually pretty varied and not-too-common, which is great for me as I am always looking to try new things. And if nothing on tap fits your fancy, there is a great bottle selection as well.
Next, we drove a little further south into downtown Hudson and made our second visit to Flipside (I reviewed my first visit over on Cleveland Hops last month). There was a bit of a wait, as we expected, but we grabbed a few drinks from the bar and the wait seemed to go by pretty fast. I had a Southern Tier Old Man Winter, and my companions both got the Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout. Everyone enjoyed their selection. The Old Man Winter I have had several times before and it’s nothing special, but a good session beer that pairs nicely with food by not overwhelming anything. After we grabbed a table, we all got burgers and an order of the sweet potato fries. I went with the Shawn’s Burger, named after the owner, which Michael Symon recently called out for being a copy of his famous Lola Burger. This was a great burger, and further proof that I think I am addicted to fried eggs being added to food, as I also recently made this discovery at Melt by adding one to a Chorizo & Potato grilled cheese. Not exactly a healthy habit to pick up. This also was my first taste of the sweet potato fries, which were great, and much more generous in serving size than the frites I had on my last visit.
The third and final stop of the night was local favorite Kepner’s Tavern on the old main street in downtown Hudson. I had honestly only been there once before, as it’s craft beer selection is almost non-existent, but it made for a nice cap to the evening. I went with a Dogfish Head Chicory Stout and sat back and enjoyed some crowd watching. This place seems to be the young person hangout, though there are people of all ages crowded around the small bar or hanging out in the booths in the back, enjoying some cheap beers and greasy bar food. We were right next to the jukebox (since when do songs cost $1?!) that seemed to be a crowd favorite with everything being played from Journey to Justin Bieber.