Monthly Archives: June 2014

NJ 350th Birthday Party

NJ 350 Birthday Party at Blend Bar & Bistro

Blend Bar & Bistro recently hosted a party to celebrate New Jersey’s 350th Birthday. It was quite the celebration showcasing New Jersey Brews and some classic Jersey food, think  pork roll. Around 12 to 14 New Jersey Brewers participated and several of the breweries had reps at the event as well. With both indoor and out door seating there was plenty of space for the large crowd which the staff did a great job handling. There were door prizes too but in the 3 1/2 hours this Gal was at the event I never heard ticket numbers being called out so not sure how that worked but the prizes were pretty cool looking. Mostly swag from the Brewers.

The evening started off with a beer from a company I hadn’t had the pleasure of trying before – NJ Beer Company.

LBIPA - Was enjoying it so much forgot to take a pic of it until it was almost gone!
LBIPA

LBIPA – NJ Beer Company 7%
By now most know this Gal is not much for IPAs, although, they are growing on me. I do believe it’s always good to try new things so went for a full pint and was glad to have a pint worth’s of this beer. This beer is perfect for kicking back and enjoying the summer with. It’s has nice crisp citrus tones with hints of floral and just the right amount of hops. It’s a very refreshing and a pleasing drinking beer that would be a great addition to any picnic menu. I look forward to trying more selections from this brewery in the near future especially their stout. (Was enjoying the LBIPA so much forgot to take a pic of it until it was almost gone, whoops.)

 

IMG_1246Next up was a taster round…

Trinity Smoked Scottish – Rinn Duin Brewing Company 4.%
I was really looking forward to trying this beer. It’s been a while since I’ve had a smoked brew. Unfortunately, this one really didn’t hit the mark for me. I don’t want the smokiness to overwhelm the beer or knock my taste buds over but I do want to at least enjoy some smokiness and there really wasn’t much to this beer. This beer is on the light end of medium body with some malty sweetness and just a faint hint of smoke.

Boaks Abbey Brown Ale – Boak Beverage 7%
This Gal was really excited about this ale. I love me a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and this didn’t disappoint. Nice rich brown color with nice roasted malts, dark cherries and just a hint of chocolate that finishes nicely. Well done!

Happy Buck’n Anniversary – Bolero Snort Brewery 7.7%
Between this being a porter and the brewery having a fun name I had to get this beer. I loved how dark this beer pours such a deep rich black color with a nice cocoa taste accompanied by roasted coffee. This is a good medium body porter that can be enjoyed year round.

Morning Bell – Kane Brewing Company 9.2%
Oh mother love this beer is tasty. It’s got the wake me up in the morning coffee punch that I love in porters and stouts. One can smell, as well as taste, the coffee in this little black beauty. Along with the chicory it has a nice amount of dark chocolate bitterness, roasted malts and slight hints of vanilla. Finishes solid and is a very well balanced porter that I look forward to having again and again.

I finished the night with a firkin offering from Pinelands Brewing Company.

Pinelands Saison
Pinelands Saison

Pinelands Farmhouse Ale – Pinelands Brewing Company 6%
What’s better than a Saison? Well, a firkin of Saison. This beer has the true hazy golden color associated with the Saison style. One can immediately smell the yeast, lemons and wheat and this beer offers a good balance of both citrus and spice.

This was only this Gal’s 2nd visit to Blend Bar & Bistro but each time I’ve been impressed. #blendnj350

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Garden State Brewers Festival

Battleship New JerseyGarden State Brewers Festival 6/28/14
Aboard the Battleship New Jersey

This event was a ton of fun. It’s been several years since I’ve attended this festival and have never been since it started being held on the Battleship which let’s face it is a really cool setting for a beer festival.

This year I decided to volunteer and help out which was a great way to meet fellow beer folks. After my shift was done I had the pleasure of enjoying the festival itself. I have to say this particular festival is run nice and smooth and there is plenty of room for everyone with both seating on the open deck as well as coverage under tents and there is always a nice breeze on the deck even on real hot days. Bonus, the live band was really good as well! Great beer accompanied by Grateful Dead tunes is a win win for this Gal!

Too many beers to review but will highlight a few.

Most interested in trying – Village Idiot Brewing
I have to say their Tripel didn’t disappoint

IMG_1262Best Selection – Triumph Brewing
They were pouring 4 beers and had something for everyone. Pleasantly surprised by their Saison and their Porter was nice too.

Most Surprised by NJ Beer Company
I didn’t think I would see an Abbey on tap and was surprised they offered one – delish by the way. Keeping my eye on this brewery – this was only the 2nd time I’ve tried one of their beers and both times really enjoyed them.

Second Favorite Beer of the Day Cricket Hill Nocturne Chocolate Ale
I found myself at this tap a few times and directed others there as well

IMG_1261Favorite Beer of the Day – Kane Brewing Morning Bell
Just had this beer for the first time 2 days prior but it’s quickly becoming a favorite of this Gal’s!

 

Southern Tier Mokah

IMG_1157Southern Tier Mokah – Southern Tier Brewing Company 11.20%
A stout brewed with chocolate & coffee

To quote George Takei, “Oh my”. This little beauty pours a thick rich opaque black with a wonderful creamy toffee color head. With strong roasted chicory, mocha flavors and a subtle underlying taste of rich creamy chocolate with dark fruits and just a hint of vanilla and molasses. It’s a bit on the sweet side but not overly so and has that nice boozy quality to it. It’s full bodied without being too heavy, very smooth and overall a delight to drink. I plan on enjoying this little black beauty again.

Hulmeville Inn

IMG_1089Hulmeville Inn

Philly Beer Week June 1, 2014

As some of you may have heard this Gal was pretty excited about Philly Beer Week 2014 and was looking forward to enjoying several events. There were so many events to choose from but one particular one caught my eye; the Weyerbacher Tap Takeover at the Hulmeville Inn. I had never been to the Inn but was looking forward to trying it out and no better time than a tap takeover.

I’ve been hearing for some time how great the Hulmeville Inn is but truth be told the smoking kept me from seeing for myself. Luckily it’s smoke free now! As soon as I walked in I knew this was going to become a Geeky Beer Gal hangout. Upon arrival I loved the little garden area outside that lead you to a wonderfully cozy (think lots of nice dark wood and brick) bar area with table options and a descent size horseshoe shaped bar and a closed in porch area off the front of the building. Another words plenty of seating options for those who want to be in the heart of things and those who want to be off on their own in a more quiet setting. What really got this Gal’s attention the room with POOL TABLES – hello! Great beer + pool tables = fun.

IMG_1100The pool tables were going to have to wait for another visit for this visit it was all about the beer. My companion and I took seats at the bar and were presented with the tap list. The tap list consist of 20 beers 16 of them excellent and 4 of them that need not be discussed any further. My favorite way to experience a tap takeover is with a tasting rounds so I can try as many beers as possible. I was a wee bit disappointed that the Inn doesn’t offer tasting rounds. Oh well, no biggie just meant I would have to choose wisely since all the Weyerbacher beers came in at 9% and above.

First up…

Rhumpshaka  American Strong Ale
Rhumpshaka

Rhumpshaka American Strong Ale – Weyerbacher Brewing 11%
Nice oaky color with a small eggshell white head. With just the first sip one can immediately tell this ale had been aged in rum barrels. Not only can you taste the rum but you can smell it as well. Along with the rum there’s flavors of citrus, vanilla, caramelized sugar and some spices. Even though this beer has an ABV of 11% it’s a very easy drinking beer. Another words be careful it can seek up on you have too much. I decided to move on after the one.

Before ordering my next beer my companion and I decided it was time for some food. The menu is very much bar food that is made right in front of you at the grill “kitchen” area. I’m happy to report the Inn is both meat and vegetarian friendly and they over some great deals.

Once the food was ordered it was time for Round Two:

Quad
Quad

Quad 2010 – Weyerbacher Brewing 11.8%
Smooth, smooth and smooth very little carbonation on this honey color beer. A nice quad with banana, cloves with hints of honey, toffee and very faint notes of tobacco.

Tango Belgian Dark Ale – Weyerbacher Brewing 10.6% (taste)
I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to a full glass of the Tango so the bartender was kind enough to pour me a sample taste. Right off the bat you can taste the cherries and what tasted like rye to me. It was interesting but I just wasn’t in the mood for a cherry beer. The taste was plenty for me this time around.

Last up…

Sunday Morning Stout & Lambic
Sunday Morning Stout & Lambic

Sunday Morning Stout – Weyebacher Brewing 11.8%
For my last beer I decided to treat myself and request the Stout be mixed with the Framboise Lambic. Folks I highly recommend experimenting with mixing your beers. Stouts and lambics go wonderfully together and it’s so rare to have both on tap I had to go for it. The bartender was very accommodating and was happy to oblige. This combo was outstanding the richness of the stout complimented the Lambic wonderfully. I could still taste the chicory, bourbon and cocoa of the stout with the sweetness of the raspberries from the lambic. Ahhh, heaven.

I’m looking forward to a return visit to the Inn. The atmosphere at the Hulmeville Inn really lends itself to enjoying the day hanging for a while with some friends. Very pleased I finally got to try it out.

IMG_1094Side Note: Weyerbacher donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every drop of Last Chance IPA to small, regional animal rescue operations.  These shelters offer dogs, cats and other pets their last chance to find a new home.