Sunday, December 29, 2013

Another country heard from: Barbot in Uruguay

   30-some miles across the River Plate estuary from Buenos Aires, about an hour by fast ferry, lies the picturesque town of Colonia, Uruguay.  Right in the middle of Colonia you will find an excellent brewpub called Barbot.  It is a true brewpub with the brewing equipment located upstairs.  When I stopped in, these were the beers on tap:  a golden ale (Marilyn), a pale ale (Thames), a bitter (Burton)., a porter (de Lobo), a stout (Dubliner), an IPA (Mumbai), a honey ale (no name), and a Belgian Blonde (Monsastere).  Of course, I had to work through a sampler tray and check them all.
   Barbot does not post IBUs or Amargors of its brews, so what follows is my subjective tongue.  Marilyn was rather more slender than the popular image, a very light golden, while the honey was very sweet and the alcohol cleverly hidden.   The pale was not bitter the way we know the style here on the west coast.  The bitter, on the other hand, was quite hoppy.  I double-checked to be sure I had not switched the glasses.  The porter was all malt and chocolate-y;  The stout was like the porter only more so and its aftertaste lingered longer.  The IPA was properly hoppy and had a citrus tang.  Finally, the Begian Blonde, balanced, fruity at the beginning, peaches or apricots was what I got.
   The dining space is several spaces:  a few tables out in front on the sidewalk, most of the tables inside, a bar area with barstools, and in the back, an open patio with a pretty tree and the back of the brick pizza oven to fill a corner.
I dined in this patio area, ordering the Uruguayan take on a Mexican burrito with a full pint of the very satisfactory Belgian Blonde.  The burrito was prepared well enough but I should have ordered steak again--the beef in Uruguay is even more tender than in Argentina, just sensational/
   Conversation with my server was all in my less-than-fluent Spanish, but I think she said Barbot opened less than a year ago, and has plans to expand brewing capacity to be able to bottle some product.  The most prevalent beer in the small country is called Patricia, made in the capital, Montevideo.  It seemed like an adequate lager but a craft brewer like Barbot, willing to try a nice variety of styles, is sure to be a hit here.
(Visited 12/13/13)

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