After living in Annapolis for 2 years, we finally made the journey to Vin 909. We constantly heard rave reviews about the place, but never made the journey because we’re not “wine bar people.” The walk is also a little too long to make in extreme hot and cold weather, and Eastport transforms into a dangerous hellscape at night…at least, that’s what the people in Annapolis say. As you know from our previous post about Old Stein Inn, a place has to be really good to make the driving list.
After the first bite of delicious Spotted Pig pizza, we instantly regretted our laziness. Vin 909 has made a name for themselves with their great, seasonal menu so I won’t bore you by talking about their delicious brick oven pizzas…except to say I haven’t even had a pizza that good in Italy.
The wine list also speaks for itself; After all, the place labels itself as a wine bar! What often gets overlooked at Vin 909 is the beer list! It’s not the biggest or the best list in Annapolis (for that, see Lures), but their small selection is packed with quality. Any place that always serves Houblon Chouffe IPA Trippel is #1 in my book!
Vin 909 keeps 5 beers on tap, and the selection varies with the season. For this trip they served Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils, B. W. Beer Works The Raven Lager, Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse, Allagash White, and Troegs Perpetual IPA. All solid and delicious choices. I also applaud the variety; so many places nowadays stack their tap list with 10% ABV IPAs and other crazy big beers. The only thing this list was really lacking is something dark and malty, especially in these cold winter months.
Having had all the draft selections at one time or another, we decided to check out the bottle list, which has roughly 11 different bottled beers at any given time. We first thought Vin 909 was playing it safe when we saw all the pale ales, lagers, and IPAs on the list. Then we saw the St. Bernardus Christmas, Houblon Chouffe, and The Sixth Glass Quad. These are big and difficult to find beers that I never expect to see on a list made up of mostly session pale ales and lagers.
We both settled on The Sixth Glass by Boulevard. Like Vin 909, we’ve seen this beer countless times but never tried it. That was also a mistake. Sixth Glass is a deliciously complex Quad with dark fruit flavors. It is also surprisingly not boozy considering it is 10.5% ABV. If you haven’t tasted it, check it out soon!
The bottle list also contains other selections from across the US with Flying Dog, Flying Fish, and Tröegs representing the East Coast. Overall the selection is pretty good, but it’s also lacking darker and roastier beers. At first Vin 909 seems to play it safe with lagers, pales, and IPAs, but then suddenly springs these semi-difficult to find Belgian and Belgian style beers on you. I’m not complaining about the selection, but I am a little confused by it.
In a nutshell, this place has some of the most delicious food in Annapolis, and the beer selection is often overlooked and underrated! It’s obvious that the owners give as much thought to the beer list as they do the wine list. I think what they’re going for is a craft beer selection that is accessible to the newcomer, but then offers some incredible treats for the experienced beer enthusiast. It’s not the biggest beer selection in Annapolis, but it won’t disappoint the true craft beer lover!
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