The other day we stopped by the Dash-In. I'm a relatively new Dasher, but easily allured by brick walls and interesting artwork. Our waiter (Hi Neil!) was one of the best, full of facts and tips. With over 23 varieties of craft beer available on tap (even these are constantly changing), the Dash-In is the largest of its kind in Fort Wayne. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner since about 1994, the Dash-In has perfected the art of people pleasing. With quality food, and an evolving array of beverages to hold interest, there is one final clincher. Neil closed us with this golden nugget: carry out cold bottles, with a 10% discount to boot. You're welcome. After recommending a few brews to try, we settled on three (it was lunchtime, after all): Permanent Funeral, Scotty Karate, and my personal favorite, Time Traveler Shandy. Bewitched by their flavor descriptions (strawberry!) and fancy labels, there was no other option than to have a photo shoot with the bottles once home.
If you search for #BeerPorn on Instagram, you'll find a cache of over 650,000 posts. Here's a few more for your arsenal.
Permanent Funeral is actually a heavy metal tune from the band called Pig Destroyer, whose name also appears on the label. Along the edge can also be seen the commercial description: The wolf inside this pale ale is trying to walk upright. This bright and aromatic beer was brewed with our friends in the band Pig Destroyer.
Fierce label aside, it also packs a fierce flavor. In the glass it glowed dark golden with average frothy off-white head. Aroma smelled of fruity citrus and an earthy hop; very zesty. Slight carbonation, with a cocktail of orange peel, tangerine, apricot and mango hints that mix together with a twist of grapefruit, or so the reviews say. Personally I found this one more bitter than sweet. Dry, and with a hoppy bitterness that lingers, this beer ranks excellently online with a Beeradvocate score of 100.
As the colorful label suggests, this beer also bears some affiliation with music. The commercial description reads thus:
For those of you who don’t know who "Scotty Karate" is ... He is a local one man band who plays an amazing slurry of honky tonk influenced, punk country songs. His voice is amazing as well as his high energy shows. (Check him out @ www.scottykaratetime.com) So, we decided to make a beer and name it in his honor. This beer is a big, full bodied Scottish ale. It is 9.75% alc. but it is very smooth and balanced. Since Scotty is also very passionate about beer I asked him to write a description for you, so from the man himself... Aroma: Smells like A fresh caramel apple with a hint of cinnamon inside of cranberry shortbread. Or maybe fresh home made hard candy (from home economics class-7th grade). Flavor: Tastes like a smokey chocolate chip cookie, wild roadside cherry-asparagus, woody, crispy leaf on a fall day.
Fantastic artwork, kick butt name, impressive description, alas, this one was even more bitter than the last. RateBeer gave it a score of 96, but a few of the top rated reviews made me smile in agreement. "Aroma is moderate malty, roasted, smoke - rubber. Flavor is moderate to heavy sweet and bitter with a long duration, rubber rubber and rubber, roasted malt, chocolate. Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is soft."
"There’s a slight, perfumy edge and a weak, burned touch. The mouthfeel is a little tired."
The name grabbed my attention, the mention of strawberry sold me. Already a fan of lemon shandy, I was not disappointed. This was my favorite of the three, crisp, light and truly refreshing, perfect for the upcoming summer months.
Brought to you by The Traveler Beer Co., they carry four different flavors of shandy including the Time Traveller. Dating back to the 17th century, shandy has been a common fixture in Europe for generations, and is typically made by mixing beer with either carbonated lemonade, or a fruit flavored soda.
Traveler pushes the boundaries a bit more, expanding the definition of craft beer. They describe the Time Traveller as a beer truly ahead of its time. A vibrant wheat beer brewed with real strawberry for a subtle yet complex flavor. Open one up for “A Taste of the Future!”
The Time Traveler received mixed reviews online, but I don't mind. I definitely haven't seen the last of this sweet strawberry brew.
What better way to balance out a few beers than with a little something healthy? The Black 'N' Blue salad is divine; blue cheese crumbles and spicy chicken offsetting each other nicely amongst a bed of fresh crisp veg. In the past, a chocolate peanut butter creme brûlée altered my outlook on brûlées forever. If you read the rave reviews on Urbanspoon or Yelp, you'll start salivating for the pesto grilled cheese. I haven't enjoyed one yet, but there's always next time.
Need more? Try Asian Persuasion, the Thai Spot: Spice & Herb
Photos by Tony Frantz