Food & Drink » Food Review

Bier:Thirty is a Hops Hamlet

Bangin' and mash


Brewforia Bown, an austerely decorated, sunlit cafe stocked with enough hooch to survive the apocalypse, was one of Boise's best new culinary respites.

But change can be turbulent. And when this hops hamlet announced it would split with Brewforia in Meridian so co-owner Chris Oates could go it alone as Bier:Thirty, the panic set in.

But so far, it appears to be a change for the better, in as much as things have changed at all. The clean interior design remains the same, as does the massive beer selection. The only real evolution is on the food menu. The weekend waffle sandwiches didn't make the cut, but the half-heavenly Carolina pulled pork sandwich, basted in a mustard sauce and topped with bleu cheese slaw, did.

The biggest change was the addition of several Wurstchen plates, which pair fancy sausages with sides like pan-fried red potatoes and house frijoles. Bier:Thirty also added a roast veggie sandwich and salad for the non-meat set, as well as an impressive-sounding creole beef stew ($10.99).

On a recent trip, I opted for the Northwest bangers and mash ($10.99), a sage-and-brown-sugar sausage served on a bed of mashed sweet potatoes and dressed up in a chipotle sauce.

It was a good sausage--sweet and moist but still firm--and the mashers it sat on were also tasty. The lumps and stringy texture so common in mashed sweet potatoes were worked out, and they were lightly spiced with pepper.

But the standout was the chipotle honey drizzle. The sauce more than complemented the rest of the dish--it dominated it. And the dominance was all in the heat of the peppers.

The rich smoked flavor of chipotle peppers has worked its way into everyday cuisine through the magic of dilution, pleasing even heat-sensitive palates. This is not the case with the chipotle drizzle at Bier:Thirty. While it's not on the level of the ghost pepper sauce at Superb Sushi, for a dish billed as Northwest, it brought a level of heat straight out of Texas. And while heat ain't a bad thing, casual chipotle and banger enthusiasts should be aware of what they're getting themselves into.

However, nothing sooths an inflamed gullet like beer. And Bier:Thirty has approximately all of them ever made to choose from. So order away. Whether you choose solid or liquid bread, your tongue will be well cared for.