You hear about a great BBQ joint like the new Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewpub from your food and craft beer loving friends and you vow to try it out soon. Maybe you end up stopping in on a Saturday night after a day out with friends, ready to devour a plate of brisket and a cold glass of the tamarind habanero ale that they raved about a couple weeks ago. You go to the back counter to place your order and you hear the dreaded words, “Sorry, we’re out of brisket.” You think to yourself, “You’ve got to be joking, what kind of BBQ place doesn’t prepare enough brisket for a busy Saturday night?” Thankfully Pitmaster Tex offers up some other delicious looking options to try, and after popping a corn nugget into your mouth you think, “Ok this place might be alright after all.”
The place is crowded but some friendly strangers take pity on you and invite you to join them at one of the several family-style tables scattered throughout the brewpub. You set your food down and head to the bar. At this point you can practically already taste the beer. A friendly bartender asks for your order. “I’ll take a pint of the tamarind habanero ale please.” “Ooh, sorry man we just ran out of that, can I offer you a sample of the double IPA we just tapped instead?” Somewhat reluctantly you agree and you find yourself pleasantly surprised by the intense citrus and pine flavors merged with a high level of hoppiness that’s remarkably drinkable. You may have come into Intrinsic expecting one experience, but with a little open-mindedness and flexibility it turns out even better than imagined.
First, let’s address the brisket issue. Why would a BBQ place run out of it’s most popular meat on a weekend? The answer is simple, quality over quantity. The best brisket is cooked low and slow for hours on end. Intrinsic’s own Pitmaster Tex starts his day at 5:00am to ensure each brisket is properly cooked in his smoker, lovingly named Tara. As Tex puts it, “This isn’t your mass produced chain-restaurant brisket. We don’t have an unending supply and we refuse to serve our customers day-old meat.” Great BBQ is an artform and Tex protects the integrity and quality of all the meats he smokes. Deciding how much meat to smoke each day without running out or creating waste is a game of balance requiring educated guesses matched with instinct. Along with the ever popular brisket, Intrinsic offers pork, chicken, ribs, two types of sausage, and rotating specials such as turkey and pastrami. The menu also expands after three to include nachos, flatbreads, and finger-licking smoked wings. Yes it can be frustrating when a restaurant runs out of a favorite item, however there will always be more tomorrow and in the meantime you can explore a variety of other delicious choices.
Now let’s talk about beer. Why would Intrinsic rotate their beers so often? Don’t you want to give the customers what they want and come to expect? The answer to this is multifaceted. Brewing is as much a labor of love as it is a science. Owner and Head Brewer Cary Hodson is always looking for innovative recipes and experimental brews. His head is constantly spinning with ideas and ways to creatively push the brewing envelope. A great example of this is the award winning Honey Basil Hefeweizen. At the time he first brewed this recipe Cary was pursuing his latest interest, beekeeping. What makes more sense than a beekeeper utilizing local honey in a brew? With this unique take on craft brewing it’s no wonder new beers are constantly popping up on the menu.
Another facet of beer selection involves considering what beers from other local breweries are currently on tap at Intrinsic. With a curated draft menu of seven or more house brews and 15 rotating guest taps, it’s important to offer a balance of styles and flavors to please a variety of palates, encourage experimentation, and pair well with the mostly BBQ menu. For example, offering three-different IPAs might please a select few beer nerds, but that would leave little options left for the beer-drinker just dipping their toe into the water of the craft beer world. And keep in mind, samples are always available, and the bartenders are more than happy to offer suggestions if your first choice has run out or is no longer on tap. If you are still not sure what to order with so many new choices available, try a flight of four 4oz beers. Intrinsic is dedicated to serving their customers and supporting their hometown community with first-rate beer and BBQ in an inviting setting you’ll want to come back to time and time again. Come and take it … Till sold out.
Written by Shanae Graf