The Siege of the Barbarian Horde
The PubScout and his OIB crew pay a visit to Leland Brewing Company — and like what they find.
There was potential for calamity as the Barbarian Horde — otherwise known as the Crew from Tap Time in OIB — made plans to visit (some might say lay siege to) the brand-new facility at Leland Brewing.
Known for their hearty, partying ways, love of good beer and raft of inappropriate jokes and commentary, this particular band of beer nuts arrived en masse to see what all the hubbub surrounding Chris LaCoe and Co.’s new venture was all about. None of the principals — Mark Said, Nick Floyd, La Coe or Ethan Hall — were on hand, or they would have been absorbed into the pictures, thereby cementing their legacies forever.
Some patrons may have felt a bit skittish as group leader Keith Berciunas (who was first to arrive) began moving big furniture to accommodate the advance of his faithful cerevisaphiles that would be following.
But, thankfully, that was all the mayhem the Tap Time group would create, much to the relief of the many patrons who have already made Leland Brewing a destination ever since its June 16 opening. Mothers of small children and nervous dog owners could be seen gradually relinquishing their tight grips on their charges, sensing that no pillage was pending.
With beers in front of them, the Barbarians’ behavior was relatively muted, content as they were to enjoy each other’s company and some outstanding brews created by the magic of brewer/partner Ethan Hall. There was Donna, Suzette, Brittany, Andy, Alicia, Ed, Kris, Keith, Christa, Sue, Neal, Karlie, Steve, Samantha, Matt — and even baby Hudson made a cameo appearance. Of course, yours truly was also on hand to document the goings-on for posterity.
Flights were ordered, poured and brought to the table for the crucial palate testing for which Tap Time’s “cicerones” are renowned. Good beers, good people and great surroundings all contributed to a wonderful beer session and an atmosphere electric with good vibes.
While many beers were consumed (with designated drivers keeping a careful eye on the revelers), a short, non-scientific poll discovered that Leland’s Seneca Guns IPA and Hazy Dayz IPA garnered the lion’s share of approval.
Maco Light Stout was also favorably rated by a few, and the Brunswick Brown Ale that bordered on a porter also received accolades.
Leland Brewing does not offer food, but it does offer a wide array of food trucks that visit regularly, and the crew was showing signs of getting rumbly in the tumbly. Keith tried to quell this by providing some nacho-flavored popcorn. And that helped for a while.
But what solved the problem in a unique way were dishes brought to the table from a food truck called “Beyond the Bayou,” which specializes in Cajun food. Hence, the revelers chowed down on gator, frog legs and a distinctly Cajun dish called boudin (pronounced boo-dan). Usually served as sausage links, it’s a melange of ingredients that includes pork roast, Cajun seasoning, green onions, cayenne pepper, salt, long grain rice, chopped liver and even sausage casings. Sounds less than appetizing, right? Until you taste it. But this iteration came in the form of balls, prompting some (well-lubricated) wags to ask if a boudin was an animal that had had special surgery. Hey, that’s the Tap Time sense of humor at work.
In sum, it was a wonderful afternoon at a wonderful brewery with wonderful people. And don’t be surprised if you see some of those Leland Brewing beers on tap at Tap Time sooner rather than later. Don’t be afraid to come down to the OIB beer bar to try them. Members of the Barbarian Horde will warmly welcome you into the fold.
Drink a Beer at Leland Brewing Company
2115 Ale Avenue, Leland