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Sweet and Bitter: Fruit IPAs

Thursday, May 26, 2016 | Evolution, Magic Hat, New Belgium, Old Dominion, Starr Hill Brewery, Uinta

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You’ve probably noticed it. A definite trend in the India Pale Ale scene that is only gaining speed as summer comes around the bend. Fruit has entered the playing field in a huge way in the last few years–though the concept of brewing the style with fruit is certainly older than that–and it seems like every brewery is coming out with their own rendition of the Fruit IPA. Old favorites are getting a new twist and new brews are being born with fruitiness as their sole intention. The trend isn’t exactly surprising. American hop varieties have been moving to more juicy citrus and pithy flavors and many breweries have been recreating fruit flavors with a blend of hops and malt, so the craft beer drinker’s palate has been ready for this move for awhile. It was only a matter of time before the idea of adding real fruit really took off, and it’s likely a style that will be around for awhile.

New Belgium Citradelic – Bright citra hops and tangerine peel work as a power duo in this brew for an overall flavor that is both smooth and packs a juicy aroma. 6% ABV

Magic Hat Electric Peel – The zest and flesh of grapefruit dominate the palate in this crisp ale. It’s almost easy to mistake it for a glass of juice. 6% ABV

Evolution Pine’Hop’le – A complex hop aroma carries hints of mango, citrus and melon, but the taste is unmistakably pineapple and well-balanced between sweet and bitter. 6.8% ABV

Starr Hill The Hook – A crisp and refreshing grapefruit ale that is sessionable, so you don’t have to worry about going back for another. 4.9% ABV

Dominion GPA – This one sets itself apart by including zest in its brewing process, creating a more subtle grapefruit flavor amidst hoppiness. 6% ABV

Uinta Hop Nosh Tangerine – A fresh splash of tangerine flavor in every mouthful, this is a brilliant twist on what is already a classic brew. 7.3% ABV

Go for a Gose

Thursday, May 26, 2016 | Long Trail, Uinta, Victory

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Originating in Goslar, Germany in the 16th century, this wheat beer combines fruity sourness, herbal qualities, subtle spiciness and slight salinity for a complex flavor profile. The low hop character sets it apart from many big styles on the market today, but classifying it simply as another sour beer does a disservice to its other characteristics. It also doesn’t usually carry the high ABV associated with other sours. This is a style that wasn’t huge in the American market until recently, but it’s been gaining steam in the last few years as craft brewers expand their repertoire. It’s found a foothold in several breweries and will likely be expanding more before too long.

If you’d like to try this newly re-emerging style, we have a few recommendations for where to start.

Victory Kirsch Gose – A rich, bubbly texture and sweet, bright fresh cherry flavor cover this beer. A soft tartness and slight salinity create a clean taste that goes well over the wheat-y malt base. Plus, it’s sessionable at 4.7% ABV.

Long Trail Cranberry Gose – Cranberries, coriander and a dash of salt are all added to this unique brew to come out with a distinct tartness that only the fruit can deliver. However, the effervescence, like said tartness, is not overdone, and this remains and easy drinker. 5.2% ABV

Uinta Ready Set Gose – This one is on the straight and narrow, a good example of the style that allows the wheat malt and yeast combo to show its lemony zing and zesty coriander character. Clean, dry and light. 4% ABV

Victory Cage Radler

Thursday, May 26, 2016 | Victory

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Brighten up your taste buds and get ready for summer with Victory’s Cage Radler, a refreshing treat for warm weather. The lemon flavor pops in this German-inspired brew, with fresh-cut citrus on the nose and sweet lemonade on the tongue. A bit of graininess reminds you that you’re still drinking beer, but doesn’t take away from the bright nature of this brew. Perfect as you’re go-to after some intense biking, or just some intense lawn work. 2.75% ABV

Montella’s Pub

Thursday, May 26, 2016 | Bars

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If you’re looking for someplace to catch the next game, this may be your spot. Tons of TVs line the bar, ensuring you a great seat, and quick service ensures you have a drink and bar fare at the ready. With a 16 tap lineup, they keep the best in stock and you can enjoy a craft beer from such breweries as Victory, New Belgium or Evolution while rooting on your team. And if you’re close by, they’ve got lunch specials Monday through Saturday. So go catch a MLB game and quench your thirst.

Montella’s Pub
25 S Broad St
Lansdale, PA 19446
215-855-3900

Starr Hill King of Hop Series

Monday, April 18, 2016 | Starr Hill Brewery

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If you’re an IPA lover, you’ve got to try these. This hoppy series starts with a base brew and expands from there with three additional varieties. King of Hop is numero uno, a imperial IPA that’s dry-hopped to showcase the citrus notes of Pacific Northwest hops. After that, you’ve got the same brew, but with a hint of Grapefruit added to fully accentuate the bitterness. Next up is the Lemon-Lime, packed full of real zest flavor that further highlights citric flavors. And last, Habanero is added to the fourth brew, giving it a pleasant heat and pulling out flavors in the pepper than go unnoticed in other foods.

Look forward to these 10 special draft events in the coming weeks:

Thursday, April 7

Capone’s
East Norriton
6 PM

Thursday, April 28

CJ’s Dog House
Kulpsville
6 PM

The Barley Mow
West Reading
5 PM

Saturday, May 7

Union Jack’s
Glenside
12 Noon

Wednesday, May 11

Garret Hill Ale House
Bryn Mawr
6-8 PM

Thursday, May 12

Ganley’s Pub
Sinking Spring
5 PM

Friday, May 13

Craft Beer Store
Springfield
4 PM

Wednesday, May 25

Dog and Bull
Bensalem
5 PM

Art of Troegs

Monday, April 18, 2016 | Contest, Fun, Troegs

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Do you have the drive to create art? Well, here’s a way to be rewarded for it and get rid of some of those Troegs caps you’ve got hanging around.

Troegs is having a contest wherein you create a piece of art from a piece of Troegs–bottle caps, cans, labels, etc. A winner chosen by the brewery will win $500 and will have their name in shining lights when they open their art gallery in Hershey this summer. Take a look at their blog for inspiration. Submissions due by May 14th. For further details, click here.

Want to pursue your art in a casual fashion? Troegs will be having a few tap takeovers that double as an outlet for your vision. Color on your own or join the community canvas to create something wonderful. Don’t miss out, because they will be giving away Troegs adult coloring books and colored pencils as well.

Events:

Railroad St. Bar & Grill
4/20
7:30 pm

Butcher & Barkeep
4/21
6-8pm

Aging Beers

Friday, March 25, 2016 | Fun, Goose Island, Troegs, Uinta, Victory, Widmer

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Most beers are best drunk fresh, particularly those on the hop-forward side of things. But as with every rule, there are exceptions. Like fine wines, some beers dig deeper into their flavors with age, blooming into something truly extraordinary. Today, we’ll go over the best methods for choosing a beer to age, and what conditions are best for bringing out the most in your bottle.

Will It Age Well?

The flavors that hold true over time are breadiness, earthiness, blackcurrant, straw, woodiness, wine and sweetness. If you choose a beer that is strong in these flavors already, chances are they will only grow. However, do consider that metallic and cardboard flavors can develop in some beers. Also, beers with higher ABV (7% and up) tend to age better than those with less alcohol.

Don’t be afraid to experiment! Just as taste in beer style is relative, the styles that you may like aged are probably different than your neighbors’ or friends’ preferred aged styles.

So, here’s a quick rundown of the styles that might be good for aging.

Barleywines
Saisons
Winter Warmers
Sours
Lambics
Krieks
Gueuzes
Stouts
Porters
Oak-Aged Beers

Where and How to Store

There’s a reason that this process is often referred to as ‘cellaring.’ Beer of any variety hates heat and light. This is the cause of ‘skunkiness,’ or that stale, horrible flavor that one equates with a bottle that’s been found sitting on a porch after several weeks. This is why craft beers are stored in dark bottles or cans. So you’ll want a cool, dark environment to let your beer sleep. Temperatures in the low 50s are thought to be best, thought consistency in temperature is also key. If you have a corner of your basement that keeps cool year-round, that might be the places to set up your little aging center.

It’s best to keep your beer upright for several reasons. Although wine cellars have a tendency to store their bottles horizontally, vertical orientation helps to keep the beer from over-oxidizing and ruining the flavor. Also, if you are choosing the age a corked beer, that same cork can impart some not-so-pleasant flavors into the brew. Sommeliers refer to this as a wine being ‘corked.’

Deciding to age a beer can be fraught with impatience. The time that you store a beer is ultimately up to you. However, we so humbly suggest buying several of your chosen beer, and tasting it as it progresses, starting with a fresh sample, then aging one year, two years and so on to see how the flavor changes. Keeping note of the changes can be a fun project, as well as allow you to know what the best aging time is for your next go ’round. Plus, if you don’t wait as long as planned (there is that impatience again), you will still have a back up so you can taste what you otherwise would have missed.

Our Suggestions

Of course we have a few suggestions for as to what you might like to age. If there is something on this list you’ve liked fresh, maybe put a bottle or two away to see how your favorite flavors develop with age. There’s a few of these that will be off shelf for the season, so try and grab them while you still can.

Goose Island – Sofie

Troegs – Mad Elf

Uinta – Anniversary Barleywine

Widmer Bros. – Old Embalmer

Victory – Storm King Stout

Evolution – Bourbon Migration

Hoppy Easter

Friday, March 25, 2016 | Rogue, Spring

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Spring has officially sprung, and that means that the humulus lupulus (otherwise known to beer-lovers as hops) are beginning to surface. While the harvest for hops is much, much later (think early fall), there is a lot of important work being done at this point in the growth cycle. As the shoots come up, they must be pruned to improve growth of the strongest, trained to string or cords so that they grow efficiently and weeded to ensure they aren’t choked out. This is all a lot of hard work, but the end result is worth it.

A brewery that knows this best is Rogue, who grows their own aromatic hops on their farm. And to showcase this blend of art and science, they’ve come out with a series of four IPAs.

4 Hop IPA – A blend of Rebel, Freedom, Yaquina and Alluvial hops. Served best with poultry and veggies. 55 IBU and 4.44% ABV

6 Hop IPA – Liberty, Revolution, Independent, Freedom, Yaquina and Alluvial hops make up this one, best paired with red meat or cheeses. 87 IBU and 6.66% ABV

7 Hop IPA – This number includes Liberty, Newport, Revolution, Independent, Freedom, Yaquina and Alluvial hops. Pairs well with spicy foods or red meat. 76 IBU and 7.77% ABV

8 Hop IPA – In this final brew, there’s Liberty, Newport, Revolution, Independent, Freedom, Rebel, Yaquina and Alluvial hops. This goes well with poultry and spicy dishes. 80 IBU and 8.88% ABV

So as flowers bloom, the Easter Bunny hop-hop-hops and the northern hemisphere turns green again, enjoy these brews to celebrate this beautiful time of year.

Evolution – Pine’Hop’le

Friday, March 25, 2016 | Evolution

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Take an IPA and add a load of pineapple juice, and you get this little golden beauty. The citrus and piney hops in this brew balance the sweetness of juicy pineapple rather well, creating a refreshing and very drinkable IPA. 6.8% ABV

Craft Beer Store in Springfield

Friday, March 25, 2016 | Distributors, Retailers

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Brand new, with 30 craft beers on tap at the bar and 20 refrigerated doors of bottled craft beer, you’re sure to find a few brews that will pique your interest. You can have a pint at the bar, or grab some to go if you’ve got a destination. Perhaps you’d like a little more to take with you? They’re happy to fill growlers and crowlers. Can’t decide what you want? A flight sampler will help with that. Plus, they’ve got a 23-ft humidified cigar displays to choose a little something special from.

35 Baltimore Pike
Springfield,PA 19064
610-990-3013

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