Saturday, October 16, 2010
Based on the recommendation from the guys at Spaz Beverage in West Chester, I picked up a case of Philadelphia Brewing Company Pennsylvania Pale Ale. The beer pours an amber color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of caramel with a nice helping of fresh pine hops. The taste starts out with smooth and sweet caramel before the fresh pine hops come into play, providing a great accent and a slightly bitter after taste. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. The Pennsylvania Pale Ale is a top notch pale ale. The hops provide the right amount accent without bittering too much on the finish. I highly recommend checking this beer out if you can.
My coworker Greg brought me a bottle Blue Point Oktoberfest straight from Long Island. The beer pours a copper color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of sweet malts, light sour hops, hints of caramel, and faint butterscotch. The taste is smooth and sweet as expected with this style with a large helping of malts and caramel and lots of carbonation. The beer actually has a little bit of a hop bite before the hops transition into a sour accent. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. Blue Point has provided a solid performer in the Oktoberfest category. I might say that it is a little too sweet, despite the hop kick that it does have.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I picked up a bottle of Middle Ages 10th Anniversary Double India Pale Ale from Al's of Hampden. The beer pours a a reddish-orange-amber color with a frothy off-white colored head that sticks to the glass nicely. The aroma consists of caramel, toffee, and pine. The taste is sweet with caramel at first but quickly transitions to a bitter pine hop taste with pepper, earthy, and grassy flavors. On the finish, toasted caramel, dry wood, alcohol, and even more bitter hops come through. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. If you are looking for a beer that can do a complete 180 in your mouth, this Double IPA is the one for you. What tantalizes your tongue with sweet caramel at first quickly evaporates and kicks the flavor into another gear of bitterness and toasted caramel. I really enjoyed the beer, but this is not for the faint tongued.
On my most recent visit to Iron Hill in West Chester I was excited to see they still had some Chuck Norris' Beard left on tap, a Belgian IPA. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma is yeasty with Belgian spices and some light banana accents. The taste has a good bit of banana with lots of yeast, biscuits, and a large helping of spices including pepper and thyme. The finish is drying and the after taste is bitter and dry. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. I really enjoyed this Belgian IPA, and the name makes it all the better.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I ordered an Oktoberfest at Iron Hill in West Chester on my last visit there. The beer pours an amber color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of malts and caramel with light hops. The taste is big on caramel and malts with a perfect sour hop balance. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV, which I thought was high for an Oktoberfest. Iron Hill has provided a top notch Oktoberfest offering with a perfect balance of sweetness and sour hops. I recommend grabbing this one while it lasts.
Another visit to West Chester and another stop in to Iron Hill Brewery for dinner and drinks. I ordered a Quad as part of my visit this time. The beer pours a dark brown color with a thin filmy off-white head. The aroma consists of raisin, malts, and alcohol. The taste is powerful and malty with a fig and raisin taste. There is a bit of an alcohol bite but not much and then the beer has a smooth sweet finish. Left in the mouth is a creamy and really sweet after taste. The alcohol content is 12.5% ABV. I thought that this Quad was a bit too sweet, as there were no balancing hops or alcohol.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I stopped into Al's of Hampden to order a glass of Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary- Jack and Ken's Ale, a barleywine. The beer pours a dark brown color with a thin filmy head. The aroma consists of toasted malts, raisins, alcohol, and chocolate. The taste is sweet and smooth with lots of toasted malts, raisin, and chocolate. The beer then transitions into a big alcohol bite with a pine hop kick. There is a dry and bitter finish and after taste. The alcohol content is 10.2% ABV. This offering is a top notch barleywine and I wish this beer would be available full time. The amount of flavor that comes through is excellent, and it is not masked by the alcohol content, which can be dangerous.
I picked up a bottle of Cigar City Jai Alai Cedar Aged IPA, as part of the Humidor Series, from Al's of Hampden (hooray for bottles of Cigar City making it to Central Pennsylvania!). The beer pours an opaque golden-orange color with a lofty and frothy white head that really sticks to the glass. As the head settles, it looks a bit like hot tub foam. The aroma consists of caramel, pine hops, orange, lemon, tangerine, and cedar. The taste is smooth and first with a big helping of caramel before triggering a pine hop transition. Then the fruit accents come out to play; lots of lemon, orange and tangerine. The finish dries out a little bit with hints of cedar. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. The Jai Alai shot right up near the top of my favorite IPAs, with such a diverse amount of citrus accents, great caramel base, and the wonderful cedar twist thrown in at the end of the experience.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I stopped in to Troegs to pick up a case of Scratch 35- Fresh Hop Ale. The main flavor in Scratch 35 is 100 pounds of fresh Citra hops. The beer was brewed only a day after the hops were picked, and they were not dried. The beer pours a golden color with a foamy white head that really sticks to the glass as it dissipates. The aroma consists of lots of citrus, namely grapefruit and orange. The taste is smooth and full with a good caramel base before big hit of grapefruit comes forward. What strikes me as different with this beer is that the grapefruit has a kick and is a little more bitey, where most are somewhat mellow. The alcohol content is 7.2% ABV. Anyone that knows me knows that I love citra hop, and the addition of fresh hops to this beer was completely enjoyable. I liked how much bite came with it, but the number one thing that makes this beer amazing is its freshness.
My girlfriend was near The Brew Works and called to ask if she could bring home a growler. I naturally said of course and she brought home the Bigpiper's Brew. The beer pours a brown color with a foamy off-white head. The aroma consists of sweet caramel and toasted malts. The taste is smooth and sweet with a hefty helping of caramel, which transitions into toasted malts. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. The balance in this beer was perfect, as the caramel was not too overpowering or sweet, and the toasted malts really round out the flavor.
Monday, October 11, 2010
I ordered a Bear Republic Late Harvest Lager from Brewhouse in Camp Hill. The beer pours an amber color with a thin white head. The aroma is malty and sweet with caramel. The taste is filled with sweet caramel malts and a good hop bite. The alcohol kicks a little as well despite being only 6.3% ABV. I thought the Late Harvest Lager was a pretty hoppy lager but was very enjoyable and was very fresh tasting.
I ordered a glass of Cricket Hill Fall Festivus from Brewhouse in Camp Hill. The beer pours an orange amber color with a foamy white head. The aroma is sweet and malty with caramel and faint sour hops. The taste is big and malty and takes up the whole mouth with a big presence. It is creamy with a faint lemon hint, a good sour hop finish, and a lightly dry and bitter after taste. The alcohol content is not posted online, but I would assume it to be around 5.0% ABV. The Fall Festivus is a really good Oktoberfest beer with a tasty malt profile.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I picked up a bottle of Clipper City Heavy Seas Classic Lager from Brass Rail in Campbelltown. The beer pours a pale gold color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of of sweet malts with hints of chocolate, caramel, and alcohol. The taste is big a malty with a good sweetness and a sour hop balance. Underneath is some hints at caramel and chocolate, which was a little surprising for a lager. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. I really enjoyed the Classic Lager in the Heavy Seas fleet, but I could see it being lumped in the somewhat too sweet category.
My coworker Jack picked me up a bottle of Lost Coast Tangerine, a tangerine wheat beer, to try. The beer pours a translucent golden color with orange hues and a lofty foamy white head. The aroma is big on tangerine, very similar to the freshly peeled fruit. Only a faint hint of wheat is detectable behind the tangerine aroma, as it is very powerful. The taste is sweet and refreshing with lots of tangerine, some wheat, and lemon. The finish is a little sour and the after taste is bitter and is like sour fruit. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. The Tangerine was a refreshing and light beer with a crisp citrus profile. The finish wasn't completely satisfying for a wheat beer being a little sour and bitter, but overall the beer was enjoyable.