Saturday, January 30, 2010

Week 4: WOW

1. Bells Hopslam
2. Weyerbacher Hotel
3. Sierra Nevada 13th Release
Harvest Wet Hop Ale
4. Sly Fox Ichor (Quad)
5. Troegs Nugget Nector
6. Sly Fox Odyssey
7. Sly Fox Rauchbier
8. Sly Fox Oatmeal Stout
9. Arcadia Ales IPA
10. Arcadia Ales Hopmouth
11. Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA

You gotta love the weeks where the average night of going out to dinner results in some great beer tastings. This past week was an almost entire Pennsylvania beer week. It is kind-of hard for that not to happen. These are not by any means "default brews." Weyerbacher, Troeggs and Sly Fox have quite a selection, and Sly Fox is coming up with some mighty tasty big bottles as of late.

The week started off at a great little spot in Philly, Varga Bar, where the food and beer pairings were outstanding. The days then rolled into a a quick snack and drink at Johnny Brenda's in Fishtown, a night at Sly Fox Brewing Company with our comrads at The Slingluff Gallery, and a week ending usual dinner in Manatawny (apparently reservations are now very required).

We are never out this much.

Ok, so how did this week pan out. Well....the Bells are ringing. Yes, Bells Hopslam was superb. If you are a lover of their 2 Hearted (I know you are), then you will be taken aback by this. I was fortunate enough to have this served extremely fresh at Varga Bar and then my distributor threw in a bottle for me the other day.

Poured a beautiful hazy gold and a bubbly head, Bells slammed you with honey, pear, maybe peach and few other citrus flavors that I wasn't ready for. Although this sounds as if the aroma and taste were super sweet, it is well balanced with a killer amount of hops. My palate was in awe. If you didn't read that it had an ABV of 10%, you would never believe it. Super clean finish to boot.

I plan on writing about these Sly Fox brews pretty soon. They are well known as a cannery, but their tapped and big bottle beers have a lot going on. I do recommend their IPA, Odyssey.

Cheers until next week.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Week 3: A Strong Finish

1. Victory Hop Devil Ale
2. Yards ESA
3. Southern Tier Porter Dark
4. Guinness Draught
5. Victory Old Horizontal
6. Lagunitas IPA

This reads like it was an off week, but come on, six different breweries is a great week. Philadelphia makes in incredibly easy to find and drink what you want, crave or happen to stumble upon. I am trying not to repeat any brews from weeks before. So although a few Dogfish Head's and Terripen's made it in to the mix, there was also a fair amount of Merlot.

This was flat out an easy week. I have been craving Victory Old Horizontal for a few weeks now. It's everything that you would expect from an American Barleywine. Standing tall at 11% ABV, this Strong well balanced brew has all the hops, malts and fruits in the right places. Starting off a bit bitter, it finishes with a citrus/caramel that lasts with each sip throughout. Again, it is well balanced, not overwhelming, and more than enjoyable. As promised from its title, it will leave you flat out your back in a deep sleep all night.

Cheers for now and next week I should have an overwhelming list.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Week 2: The Coast to Coast Battle

1. Lancaster Brewing Shoo-Fly Porter
2. Yards Brewing Poor Richard’s Tavern Spruce
3. Troegs Brewing Company Hop Back Amber (on cask)
4. Terripen Hopsecutioner
5. Rogue Juniper Pale Ale
6. Dogfish Head Sahtea
7. Hewbrew Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah 13 Anniversary
8. Issaquah Frog Rye IPA
9. Green Flash West Coast IPA
10. Bells Two Hearted Ale

I wasn't even sure how to start to rate this weeks selection. I tend to want to gravitate towards the more unique brews instead of some of the usual suspects. This week the suspects were outnumbered. Dogfish Head's Sahtea was a bit more than I imagined. The recipe alone is an eye opener. Hebrew Jewbelation...I mean 13 malts, 13 hop varieties, and 13 percent. Yes it was overwhelming, packed with a nose that had you guessing and and nice smack in the face strength that you didn't feel for an hour later.

But I said that this was a coast to coast battle. So I will depart from our east coast brews and move straight to the west. It was really hard to say that Bells Two Hearted wasn't my icing on the cake this week. She is amazing to say the least. But it was a long week and I finished it off with the freshest tapped brews of Rogue Ales: Issaquah Frog Rye IPA and my favorite of the week...Green Flash's West Coast IPA.

Last week Philadelphia was down right ridiculous in terms of temperature (see week 1 post). But the sun god was out and graced us with a partially sunny 45 degree day. It was a night to kick back in the valley of Oley (see a map), with great friends (minus 1) and enjoy a great IPA. I've enjoyed Green Flash many a time, but the last time I can not remember. This American IPA has a beautiful orange color and a flowery-citrus taste to match. Four amazing hops (Simcoe, Columbus, Cascade and Centennial) provided some intense flavor and let me remember that the week was over. So cheers until next week and look for a guest Floridian blogger that I hope will be a regular.

On another note, on this day, January 16th, 1920 Prohibition began. So drink up.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Week 1 Goes to Peg

1. Voodoo Child Wynonna’s Big Brown Ale
2. Lindeman’s Frambroise
3. Terripen Rye Pale Ale
4. Dogfish Head 90 Minute
5 .Philadelphia Brewing Company Kenzinger
6. Terripin Brown IPA
7. Bear Republic Racer 5
8. Sly Fox Phoenix Pale Ale
9. Philadelphia Brewing Company Row House Red
10. Earth, Bread and Brewery Alt Falt
11. Earth, Bread and Brewery Oh, Peg!

Earth, Bread and Brewery is my "Philadelphia Gem." Not only is the atmosphere perfect, and great for sharing and tasting a few different brews, but their selection is usually just what you were looking for.

Last night's temperature was in the high 20's. We started the day off here in Philly with about an inch of snow blanketed over the sidewalks. It was beautiful. So I found no better way or better brew to enjoy my night with than Mt. Airy's own Earth, Bread and Brewery's, Oh, Peg! Peg is a delicious Belgian Porter. A rich dark brown, nutty-berry beer. A beautiful aroma and a great finish not only made this beer the highlight of my week, but also made chilly-Philly wind pretty bearable.

Cheers until next week.