13 April 2009

Thoughts of Philly, Craft, Beer and Festival (Not Necessarily in that Order) - The Review Part Two

The Third Annual Philly Craft Beer Festival was March 7th at the Navy Yards. This was the first session of 2 occurring from from 12:30-4:30. 4 hours of sampling an assortment of local and non-local craft beers led to a flurry of tastes, discoveries and drinking. To give a sense of the madness that we were able to collect, here is a rundown in fairly chronological order. First the beers.

Breakfast Beer: Franziskaner Weiss- While not suggesting as a daily habit, certain beers do tend to pair well with breakfast food. The wheat beer and similar styles make a safe choice for pairing with the usual breakfast items such as eggs. This Weiss matches perfectly with our breakfast and is great by itself. One of my personal favorites in the category, it is a solid, filling beer taste with that hint of zing found in Weiss beers that makes it interesting.

(New) The Up and Comer: River Horse Honey Weizen Bock- The up and comer status is not necessarily for the beer itself, but the brewery. River Horse is located in Lambertsville, New Jersey. While being around since 1996, it hasn't really been prevalent until recently. Last year is the first time I can remember seeing their products readily available so it is pretty new to us. Either way their new beers are starting to seem to always impress. The oatmeal milk stout which we reviewed previously is very good and this one is as well. A little darker than most Bocks it still fits the style nicely and the taste of honey adds a nice touch. It is quickly becoming one of the go to choices at the Responsible Drunk.

The Fruit Beer That Wasn't: The Breury Black Orchard- Fruit beers seem to be gaining a lot of popularity recently. While before rarely taking up taps at local bars, now seems to often take up one if not two taps in a lot of places. A lot of this popularity seems to be focused on the lambics, which tend to be very fruity in taste and might be trying to draw in new tastes and tasters. The Black Orchard on the other hand is trying to do something different. The fruit like taste in this beer is complimenting the beer instead of overpowering it. The black wheat style's heavy and darker taste and the fruit taste match really well together. The Bruery's website mentions the use of Chamomile, Coriander and Citrus peel which creates a fruit like taste in the beer. At first taste it gives off the taste of black raspberry. It'd be nice to have more fruit beer go in this route of working to compliment and add a nice complexity to the beer instead of just overpowering the beer itself.

Home Brewing is the Best Brewing: Keystone Homebrew Belgian White- Keystone Homebrew is a homebrewing store located in Montgomery County that sells a variety of homebrewing supplies so people can brew their own beer. They just happen to brew a bit of their own too. Make that quite a bit. Keystone had one of the largest selections of beer on hand to try. Trying the Belgian White, it is a great matching of style and the Homebrews seem to have more flavor packed in to them. I'm sure the freshness and small batches help this process.

(New) The Lager of Bocks: Yuengling Bock- While Jim has given most of the description needed for the Yuengling Bock (look at Part 1 for his review) here are a few other things to note. In general we agree about its taste. After a couple of beers it seems like it would be very hard to tell the difference between Yuengling Lager and Yuengling Bock. However, the mild differences in taste does add a complexity unknown to the Lager and does fit Bock in style. The other note is on the availability side. While watching our World Champion (that will never get old) Phillies in Spring Training at Clearwater, Yuengling Bock on tap was available, so maybe it might also be available at Citizen Bank Park during the regular season and be a chance to try it, if you haven't already gone and done so. I will be looking into this as soon as I can make it to a game and keep everyone updated.

Here is Brighthouse Field's place to get beer. An amazing selection for a baseball stadium and there is Yuengling Bock; middle tap on the right hand side.

The beer fest was too large and grand to fit in one entry
so a continuation will soon follow with the rest of the beers and thoughts of beer fest.

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