Having LagerHeads ‘Bed Head Red’ at Brew at the Zoo (and loving it!), in the spirit of research, I had to go there myself. LagerHeads is in Abbeyville. Ohio – on the far west side of Medina so it was a little bit of a drive. It was well worth it. Just be careful, there are no reservations so if you go on the weekends, parking can be problematic around dinner time…it’s that busy.
Having to wait about 15 minutes, I went to the bar to get their ‘White Water Witte’ beer. You could tell this was a freshly-made beer as it was real turbid. I just made a Whit and it settled out nearly clear with no fining agents in about five days of being chilled. Anyways, this whit (or witte), had a nice, tropical, flavor profile. Though, as you can see from the picture, there is very little head retention. Even though it had carbonation, the texture was a little flat. So taste-wise, a great beer, but it just needs some presentation be it more carapils for head or a different pour – or both. Wheats are just supposed to have a lot of head.
We sat down at the table and I immediately ordered a flight:
Barn Burner Lager – this was a nice, malty lager. I have nothing bad to say about it. This was my preferred beer when eating.
Bed Head Red – this amber was just as good as I had before. This beer has a nice smokey, complex flavor. This has to be my favorite amber of all time.
Tyranny American Pale Ale and High Five IPA – with 44 and 100 IBU respectively, you would think with this much difference in IBU’s, that I would be able to tell the difference. I couldn’t…it was subtle. To me they were essentially the same beer. Having a variety of smoked and BBQ’ed meats for dinner that had a lot of flavor, I preferred the lighter beers – either the Lager or the Red. The pale ale and IPA wasn’t a good food pairing with the excellent smokey ribs – this could just be me and my personal tastes. Truthfully I would have liked a less malty, more crisp beer to enjoy with dinner. A dryer lager or a good pilsner would have been perfect for this meal.
The food was dynamite. I have never really had smokehouse-style ribs, but I love ribs and these were the best ribs I have ever had. I ordered ‘The Sampler’ with about four ribs, three brisket slices, two large chicken wings and a giant pile of pulled pork. The chicken wings were the best I ever had – juicy and full of smokey flavor…and it just got better from there. Even the coleslaw was awesome. The baked beans were equally good with little bits of smokey pulled pork in them.
The brewery was a little underwhelming though you can tell it was an ‘add-on’. And by ‘underwhelming’, I mean that it’s not really integrated with the restaurant – it may be impressive (I think that it is), but it’s hard to see. This place is primarily a restaurant (and and excellent one at that) with a brewery for some house beers. My dad and I were able to walk down a narrow corridor to look in, but the doors were locked and nobody was there. It was hard to see anything except the giant fermentor in front. If you didn’t happen to need to go to the restrooms, you would have never seen the door to the brewery.
All-in-all, I would highly recommend going here for dinner. The food was superb, the beers were good and the service was great.