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Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Boont Amber Ale

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 29, 2007 4:00PM

2007_08_botw35.jpgA month ago a friend of ours landed a job tending bar at Skylark. He's opening the place a couple days a week, and while it isn't the most ideal shift, it is a job. Since Skylark isn't far from our stomping grounds, we decided to pay him a visit, the possibility of maybe one free beer in the offing in the back of our mind.

He saw us enter, took stock of the draft selections, and sized us up again. "What up there haven't you had?" were the first words from his mouth. We pondered the taps for a moment, spotted the beer that drew our interest the last time we were in Skylark, and ordered a Boont Amber Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Mendocino County, California. Skylark regulars will remember that once upon a time the place — like many around the city — was a Bell's bar. Specifically, Skylark did some pretty good business with Bell's Amber. Boont Amber is sticky sweet, with lots of malt and citrus, and some good bitterness from the hops. It poured a dark orange in color, with a rocky head that brought out a warm caramel to the nose. The finish was slightly sour and lingered. As with most beers at Skylark, it was a perfect pair with their tater tots. In the end, this was a beer worth paying for, which was exactly what we did (and the following beer after that).

Should you not want to trek all the way down to Skylark to try this beer, Sam's Wine and Spirits lists Boont Amber for around $9.50 a six-pack on their website. Pricey? Hell, yeah. We also find it to be worth every penny and a good introduction to the full line of Anderson Valley products. However, we'd rather enjoy this beer while a dear old friend holds court, spinning old country and vintage R&B while he tries to develop a customer base two nights a week. Friends and acquaintances alike will find Boont Amber ale, Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week," to be an ideal social lubricant.