On Tap and Table
Beer comrades, if, like me, you sometimes have an irrepressible craving for jalapeno poppers, then you probably know about D. Willy’s, Moscow’s downtown blues, brews and barbecue haven since 2012. If you don’t know about it, then lemme tell ya — you are in for a treat.
D. Willy’s sits along on Main Street, next to the Monarch Motel. Besides serving some of the best burgers and fries in town, their happy hour — 3 to 5:30 p.m. every day — includes two-for-one microbrews. When you buy a beer during happy hour, you get a token, which you can cash in immediately or save for later. You can almost always count on some Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio. And did I mention the jalapeno poppers?
Edward and I got there on the first blue-golden evening in May and sat down underneath one of the many electric guitars hanging on the walls. After we secured enough jalapeno poppers to feed a small army, I went to the bar to find a proper brew to accompany them. My first choice would have been an amber, but they didn’t have any on tap. When I asked for something darker, the waitress suggested Irish Death, which isn’t my favorite. The waitress then suggested 90 Shilling, which was a little too light, so we compromised on something called Cold Smoke from KettleHouse Brewing Company in Missoula, Mont.
The nose? Fruity and mild. Something of apples about it. The body? Smooth and smoky, with a hit of those apples in the middle that, just when you think it’s too sweet, resolves into a dry, coffee-infused finish.
I thought that perhaps I’d stumbled on a particularly nuanced brown ale, or maybe something Dutch. Imagine my surprise when a quick Google search revealed this beer to be a Scotch ale. I would not have pegged this brew as a Scotch ale if I’d had 100 guesses. It had none of the cloying sweetness I’ve come to associate with most Scotch ales (an exception being Moscow Brewing Company’s version), and the crisp finish belied its dark, smoky character. If you’re in the market for a beer to pair with a burger and some fried, spicy treats, look no further.
D. Willy’s rotates its taps fairly often, but Cold Smoke has proven popular. The waitress I spoke to expects it to stick around at least for a couple more weeks. If a Scotch ale isn’t your jam, there are other options, but even if you aren’t a beer fan, you should at least have a go at the jalapeno poppers.
Flathers is a Moscow resident and University of Idaho alum. She does a killer impression of a corkscrew. She’s a Ravenclaw with Hufflepuff leanings and is usually reading two or three books at a time. Questions or glad tidings can be sent to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.