Latitude 42 (plus some UEFA Super Cup thoughts)

On Thursday night, I finally got around to trying Latitude 42 for the first time. This brewery opened up fairly recently in Portage and is one of several slated to open in the Kalamazoo metro area in the next few years. The taproom itself has a lodge-like look, with wood carvings featured throughout. The brew house sits directly adjacent to the main dining area, and a nice view of all the tanks can be had from any seat in the bar.

The first beer I tried was called Red’s Beard, a double red ale with India Pale Ale qualities. This one certainly was a hop bomb, and although it isn’t listed as a rye beer, it certainly drank like some of the red ryes I’ve had. I then had to try the Portage 50th Anniversary Ale, obviously named because this year is the 50th anniversary of Portage’s incorporation as a city. And as an amber ale, its flavor truly is worthy of celebrating such a civic event.

For dinner I decided to try the steak tacos. These were pieces of steak and some other fixings placed in a blue corn tortilla, which was then wrapped in a flour tortilla. They were pretty good, although I would have preferred a little less gristle. In a future visit, I want to try the pizza even though Foursquare tips say that it still needs work. Of course, it goes without saying that I want to try more of their beer.

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These tacos were a satisfying companion to the Portage 50th Anniversary Ale (shown on the left).

For anyone that’s followed me over the last year, they know that I’ve become an avid follower of European football and an avid Chelsea FC supporter in particular. This came about because I watched the 2012 UEFA Champions League final, where the aforementioned side defeated FC Bayern Munich on penalties. On Bayern’s home pitch. Such an outcome was practically unexpected. But with the NHL entering a lockout the following season, I decided following the Blues would fill the void of canceled Red Wings games. It turned out to be an interesting year for Chelsea, as even though they would shift to Europa League after the CL’s group stage, they would go on to win that competition, while Bayern Munich would become champions of Europe. That would set up a rematch of the 2012 CL final in Friday’s UEFA Super Cup.

I must give credit to Bayern. The last 10 minutes of extra time were an onslaught, as Bayern finally stepped up and took advantage of Chelsea being down a man. The equalizer came with the final kick, and penalties were perfect until Chelsea’s last attempt (although Ashley Cole’s kick which hit the post but went in gave me pause). I have a feeling we’ll see Bayern again, as both sides should win their respective groups in this season’s Champions League campaign.

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