Big Boss Brewing, Raleigh NC

The Big Boss taproom looked like the kind of place where I shared pitchers of light beer in college: Dark, lots of black wood, TV over the non-nonsense bar, old sofas and armchairs in adjoining rooms. If the TV had been showing “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” I would have been completely transported back to the end of finals – except that the draft offerings were much, much better.

The brewery and taproom is located at the end of an industrial street, but don’t let that throw you. Food trucks often park outside to feed thirsty patrons. When we went, it was American Meltdown, which offered creative grilled cheese sandwiches (unfortunately for the dairy-allergic Hub) and flavored iced teas.

I’ve sampled Big Boss’ bottled beers many times, so I went for the specials, Saucey Pants, Monkey Bizz-Ness and V for Victory, with Blanco Diablo, which is available in bottles but I’ve found sometimes difficult to locate. For me, V for Victory, described as a Vienna-style beer, had a medicinal flavor. Not my favorite. Monkey Bizz-Ness, a Belgian-style ale, grew on me more and more as the beer got a little warmer. I would like to see Saucey Pants, a saison, paired with food because of its intricate flavors. That would be interesting.  I always love a witbier, so Blanco Diablo was a no-brainer.

The genial tap-master knew how to lay out a flight in the retro metal holders, and wrote the names of the beer on them with an orange Sharpie. It was a pleasant trip back in time, with much improved beverages.