Monthly Archives: January 2015

Isaac Newton’s

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Isaac Newton’s
18 S State St. Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IsaacNewtonsBarandRestaurant
Twitter @isaacnewtons

It’s been at least 8 years since this Gal last visited Isaac Newton’s so figured it was time to check them out again. Isaac’s was one of the first places I know of that offered craft beers and an extensive selection of Belgium Ales long before the craft beer explosion took place. Happy report the tap and bottle lists are still impressive and very reasonably priced.

Isaac’s has always has a large food menu, as well, that offers something for everyone – vegetarians and meatatrians a like. Although, I have to say I’ve never been overly impressed with the food. Portions tend to be on the smaller size and range from OK to tasty. On this particular visit I decided to go for the Kale Caesar Salad. I love me some kale! However, it was underwhelming as it came out in a take-out box. Ummm, what?! Over all it was tasty but obviously loss points on presentation and it was a bit pricey for the quantity.

IMG_2162When visiting Isaac’s I’ve always preferred sitting at the bar or in the bar area which offers a cozy rustic feel to it  and a nice sun porch off to the one end. On this particular visit it was decorated beautifully for Christmas. The list of taps, also, celebrated the holiday season with several winter/holiday beer offerings including one of my favorites Delirium Noel.

Big Lushious – Founders Brewing Company 7.8%
Very good dessert beer that would compliment brie cheese nicely. Lots of dark chocolate and hints of tart raspberries. Glad I tried it but just not in the mood for a full pint on this visit.

Delirium Noël
Delirium Noël

Delirium Noel – Brouwerij Huyghe 10%
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to me! Full of the holiday spices one associates with the season without being overwhelming. Candied fruit with Belgium yeast and roasted malts add up to a mellow/smooth full body beer.

Velvet Merlin – Firestone Walker Brewing Company 5.5%
Oh so good – smooth with full body flavor and medium body texture. Chock full of chicory, cocoa and hints of hops.

Velvet Merlin
Velvet Merlin

Taste of Chouffe N’ice – Brasserie d’Achouffe 10%
Wish I could have had a full glass but needed to drive so kept it smart. Love this beer – liquid gingerbread cookie without being overly sweet.

With so many beers to choose from it nice that the bartenders are so accommodating with taste samples if you’re unsure about committing to a pint of something. I’ve always have found the bartenders at Isaac’s to provide excellent service and are very knowledgable about the beer they serve.

I’m very happy to have finally returned to Isaac’s Newtons and don’t plan on letting so much time lapse between visits again.

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The Challenge: A Night Out in Philly for $20


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The Challenge Beer + Food + Tip all for $20 in Philly! Challenge Met and Accomplished at the Interstate Drafthouse.

Right away I knew the place to accomplish the $20 challenge would be the Interstate Drafthouse. (See previous review of Instate Drafthouse) Every Tuesday they offer a wide selection of $4 Craft Beer Draft Specials and it also just happens to be Taco Tuesday! Taco Tuesday has become a regular weekly deal around bars in the city of Brotherly Beer that features  Tacos and taco related specials. That fact that Interstate Drafthouse offers $4 beers the same day as $1 tacos made this a no brainer.

This Gal was able to enjoy 3 pints of beer, 2 seitan tacos & 2 veggie tacos plus leave a tip of 20%+ all for $20!  Interstate Drafthouse offers the choice of 4 different tacos that you can mix and match beef, chicken, veggie and seitan for $1 each. The $4 draft beer selections are indicated by a star next to the beer name and at least half of the draft list (which is all good) had stars next to it so there is a beer style for everyone’s liking.

The tacos were tasty and the beer delish.tacos

I started and finished with a pint of Sly Fox O’Reilly’s Stout and in the middle enjoyed a Shiner Bock with my tacos.

Sly Fox O'Reilly's Stout
Sly Fox O’Reilly’s Stout

O’Reilly’s Stout – Sly Fox 3.6%
A true Irish Stout in that it’s a light body stout with a creamy/frothy head that makes for easy drinking. The hops are accented  by the roasted barley that provides just the right amount of bitterness to the beer.

Shiner Bock  – Spotzi Brewery 4.41%
When I saw a Bock was on the tap list I knew at some point during the course of the evening I’d be enjoying a pint. This bock is very smooth with a good balance of malts, caramel & yeast that finishes clean.

Shiner Bock
Shiner Bock

A friend was enjoying the Duclaw Anti Venom Pale Ale which I had the pleasure of trying and enjoying – A very refreshing Pale Ale! The hops help to bring out the other flavors, such as mango and orange, instead of overpowering them.

So folks indeed one can go out and enjoy craft beers & a tasty dinner for just $20!

 

Lolita for Toasting

LolitaLolita – American Wild Ale – Goose Island Beer Company 9%

Belgium style ale aged in French Oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.

For New Year Eve’s, naturally, I wanted something special for toasting the end of 2014 and ringing in 2015. I perused my beer cellar stock and decided this was the perfect evening for the bottle of Lolita I had been saving.

As the first drop poured into the glass I knew this was the perfect ale for the Eve. It pours a beautiful hue of pink with an aroma of fruit and yeast/muskiness one associates with Belgium ales, as well as, the wonderful Belgium carbonation bubbles.

Overall it’s light in body but big in taste. The tart/sour berry flavor is fresh and  bold combining perfectly with the oakiness of the barrels that provide this ale with a  wine richness that finishes dry.

Wonderfully done and perfect for the Eve!

 

Spellbound Brewing

IMG_2045Spellbound Brewing, Mt. Holly, NJ
http://www.spellboundbrewing.com
https://www.facebook.co
/spellboundbrew
Twitter – @Spellboundbrew

 

Right away I knew I was going to like this place. The entrance, even though in a warehouse facility, is inviting and makes you feel like you are entering someplace special that has an ethereal/mystical feel to it. Once inside you notice all the fabulous wood including bottle shaped flight trays carved from wood, fairy lights and very cool  tap handles.IMG_2039

The tasting room is a nice size with a long bar, several high top tables and railings along the wall for gathering at. Only down side is the lack of seating. Two stools at the bar for the entire tasting room? If there had been seating I feel confident in saying people would stay longer.

 

IMG_2041Of course this Gal went for a Taster Round. Now I love porters but even I was a bit surprised that 4 out of the six beers on tap were porters. My companion and I were hoping to have a bit more variation in styles to try.

Session Porter 4.5%
Lighter body but still full of flavor. Makes for a nice easy drinking porter.

Porter 6.9%
Full body with just the right balance bitter chocolate with roasted coffee..

Palo Santo Wood Aged Porter 6.9%
Good mix of chocolate, vanilla and anise with hints of a few other herbs.

IMG_2044Coconut Palo Santo Porter  6.9%
Coconut + chocolate = liquid mounds bar without being overly sweet. Very well done and quite yummy.

Also, had a sip of my friends:
Peach 2X IPA 7.5%
Well, I have a thing about peach flavored beverages so this didn’t go over well with me. It’s all I tasted so that was that.

IPA 6.5%
Piney hops mixed with malts make for a pleasant drinking experience.

I look forward to revisiting Spellbound Brewing and watching them grow into their full potential. After all they are off to a great start.

Note they are located just 2 miles from Village Idiot Brewing which makes for a fun little beer tasting excursion.