Monthly Archives: March 2015

Memphis Taproom

IMG_2346Memphis Taproom
2331 E Cumberland St, Philadelphia, PA 19125
215.425.4460    Twitter – @MemphisTaproom1

I have often mentioned my top 3 beer places in Philly are Kraftwork (previously reviewed), Memphis Taproom and The Belgium Cafe. Well, I’m finally sharing with you why Memphis Taproom ranks in my top 3. I’ve been a fan of Memphis Taproom since they first opened. It’s has the wonderful feel and look of a neighborhood hangout that is most definitely a destination spot as well. There’s nothing pretentious about Memphis Taproom yet it has every right to be with a top notch  tap and bottle beer menu that is amazing, list some rare finds and is constantly rotating (changed in the middle of this visit) and a wonderfully diverse food menu that ranks up there with the best in tasty offerings. So much so that this place was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives food show.

Memphis is located in a neighborhood with off street parking but this Gal has never had a problem finding a spot. The staff is always welcoming and very knowledgeable about both the beer, wine and food menu offerings. For you none beer people their wine list is pretty kick butt as well.

On this particular visit I was meeting a friend to celebrate this Gal’s 7th year of being cancer free. Woohoo! That’s right this place is special enough to celebrate such a fabulous occasion at. (fyi – if you ever have an appt you’re dreading just plan a fun outing for right afterwards…it makes the day one to look forward to instead of dreading.)

Upon entering Memphis, which is located in what appears to be an old house, you walk into the bar area with a couple of high top tables to the left and a long classic wooden bar to the right. When you walk towards the far end of the bar you step up into the dining area which has a cozy yet roomy feel to it.

Since I arrived right at noon on a workday it was pretty empty with the exception of Brendan Hartranft (one of the owners) and the bartender. Truth be told I love having a bar to myself. Brendan is a delight to talk to and so very knowledgeable about beer without being overwhelming about it. He also owns several other establishments worth visiting in the city Local 44 (previously reviewed) and Stranglove’s and is in the works of opening two more Clarkville & Coeur. What a great influence/addition he has been to the beer scene in the City of Brotherly Beer.

IMG_2349After perusing the on tap beer menu which is split up into 3 sections International & Rare, The Domestic Situation, Local & Regional I requested a beer that unfortunately, was no longer on top. However, Brendan recommended and so glad he did, the Ridgeway Lump of Coal from the Rare Section.

Lump of Coal
Lump of Coal

Lump of Coal – Export Stout, Ridgeway Brewing UK 8%
Holy pooh this beer is smooth and strong with a sweet malty scotch essence to it.
My friend arrived while I was in the middle of enjoying the Lump of Coal and I insisted a taste be tried – yup enjoyed by the IPA/Pale Ale lover as well.

My friend started with the:
Zinnebir X-Mas – Belgian Pale Ale, Brasserie de la Senne 6.5% which was a nice yeasty Belgium ale full of dark fruit and toasted nut flavors accented by hints of bitterness.

Jackfruit Sandwich
Jackfruit Sandwich

By this point in the visit it was time to accompany our beer with some grub. A Jack Fruit Cake Po’ Boy for this gal – an amazing vegetarian delight with a kick that complements just about any beer style. My friend enjoyed the Slow Roast Pork sandwich which I’m told is always a winner.

Pulled Pork
Roast Pork

Next up off the Domestic Section of the beer menu:

Maracaibo Especiale Wild Brown Ale – Jolly Pumpkin, 7.5%
Oh how I love me a brown ale and this didn’t disappoint. The nuttiness one associates with a brown ale plus touches of caramel, fruits and roasted cocoa with a hint of cinnamon.

IMG_2358Tast of Bluebird Bitter (On Cask) – English Bitter, Coniston Brewing Co. UK 4.2%
A style I rarely order but love to taste and can appreciate. This particular bitter offers a well  rounded balance of malts, hops and a earthiness consisting of pine and floral with just the right ending of bitterness.

De Dolle Oerbier – Belgium Strong Ale, Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers 9.5%
I so enjoy De Dolle Oerbier and so rarely get to partake in its deliciousiness. An  incredible combination of rustic flavors including roasted nuts, wood ambers and yeast with hints of tart fruits and cocoa accompaninied by warm spices.

Taste of Santa’s Little Helper – Quad, Mikkeller 10.5%
I’ll miss these killer beers come warmer weather. Holiday spice combo accompanying flavors of  figs, plums, caramel, roasted coffee and chocolate that ends with a kick of aged bourbon. Warms you from the inside out.

Victory Gose
Victory Gose

My friend and I ended the visit with split pint from the Local & Regional Section of the beer menu.

Gose – Victory Brewing Company 5%
Not to take away from this beer but after such a rich selection of hearty beers this was probably to light a note to end on. Not the most solid Gose I’ve had but still enjoyable.

In nicer weather Memphis Taproom has an outside beer garden to kick back and enjoy a beer in. I have yet to visit the beer garden so, of course, I’ll need to go back for that. In the meantime I hope you add Memphis Taproom as a must on your places to visit in the City of Brotherly Beer.

 

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Neshaminy Creek Brewing

IMG_2373Neshaminy Creek Brewing
909 Ray Avenue, Croydon, PA 19021
215.458.7081   Twitter – @NCBCBeer

Neshaminy Creek Brewing was the 2nd stop on the snowy day brewery tour. This gal was pretty excited to finally visit this brewery since from day one they have been hitting it out of the ball park with styles and quality of beer they’ve been brewing.

IMG_2374The Brewery is located in an industrial park and once you enter their is a small gift shop to the left (former tasting room) and large tasting area with brewery to the right that includes foosball, pool, air hockey and multiple arcade games (if only they had centipedes…sigh) for all to enjoy. On this particular day several families were there and the kids were happily entertained with the game tables while the parents got to sit back and relax with a beer.  There’s also a large projector that plays off the wall, picnic tables and a long bar to enjoy your beer at. (a.ka. this is a cool place to hang out)

There were plenty of open picnic tables spots on this fine wintery day but my companions and I decided to take up residence at the bar. The bartender was very friendly, helpful and knowledgable about the beer – a win win in this Gal’s book. As I was trying to make my beer selection I noticed just how extremely reasonably priced the beers are ranging from $4 to $6 and they offer a large variety of styles as well.

Of course, this Gal decided to go for a taster round. I knew I wanted the Tripel and both stouts but wasn’t sure about the 4th selection so I asked the bartender to choose for me.

L to R: JAWN, Triple, Coconut Mud Stout, Mud Stout
L to R: JAWN, Triple, Coconut Mud Stout, Mud Stout

My flight…

J.A.W.N. Juicy Ale With Nugget – American Pale Ale 5.2%
Not a style I would typically choose for myself but so glad the bartender chose this as my 4th. This a very fresh beer oozing with hop aromas and flavors accented by tropical fruit, citrus and malts.  Truly a thirst quencher. I have to say the Pale Ales and IPA’s are growing on me.

Tribute Tripel – Belgian Tripel 9.3% – A tasteful blend of citrus, coriander and subtle malt undertones that is wonderfully smooth without the punch of drinking a high alcohol beer.

Coconut Mudbank Milk Stout 7.2% – This is a wonderful concoction of chocolate, coffee and coconut that resembles a chocolate coconut Easter egg without the surgery sweetness overload.

Mudbank Milk Stout 6.5% – YUM! Same wonderful chocolate, coffee & malty goodness of the Coconut Mudbank minus the coconut. Yes, this Gal loved it.

Tasted the Churchville Lager 4.9% This is a GABF Gold Medal winner and I understand why. It’s a flavorful lager that instantly transports one to the heart of Germany.

Also had a small taste of that days Hand Pump Offering – County Line IPA 6.6% – Wow, has that fresh crisp grapefruit punch that I’m really starting to appreciate and enjoy. Plus, I love trying what’s offered on a hand pump.

Concrete Pillow
Concrete Pillow

After the taster round I decided to indulge with a glass of their Concrete Pillow Barleywine 12.7% – Truly a sipping beer that I would have preferred to be served more on the room temperature side of things – a bit too chilled for me. Temperature aside this is a wonderful beer that has the bourbon undertones that I just love with hints of herbal earthiness, dark fruits and hints of hops.

I find this brewery to be an exciting one to watch. They were established in 2010 and have come so far so quickly. I have enjoyed every offering I’ve tried by Neshaminy Creek Brewing whether at the brewery or off site at a bar. This Gal looks forward to seeing what’s next for this crew!

 

Broken Goblet Brewery

IMG_2369Broken Goblet
1500 Grundy Lane, Bristol, PA 19007
Keystone Industrial Park
Twitter @BrokenGobletPA

Snowy day be damed it wasn’t keeping this Gal and her crew from enjoying the local beer scene. Stop one on our mini brewery tour was Broken Goblet. The snow didn’t seem to stop anyone else either the place filled up quickly!

This brewery is small but mighty offering up 7 interesting beers on tap. My companions and I split a full tasting round that was served on a nifty goblet tray. The taster had something for everyone and even the none beer drinker found two beers to her enjoyment!

Broken Goblet has warm welcoming feeling to it that resembles hanging out in your friend’s cool basement bar turned up a notch with fairly lights, small stage for bands/movie night, a few high top tables, a small but inviting bar and towards the back of the building the brewery. They offer a small food menu as well, when a food truck isn’t out front of the establishment. The staff is friendly, knowledge and accommodating and yeah the geek in me LOVED the bartender’s Star Wars shoes! Star Wars themes shoes – seriously it doesn’t get any better!

IMG_2371Taster Round consisted of:
Bubba’s Tea Bag 5.9% – This is an interesting beer with some earthy hints to it but too sweet for this Gal’s taste. However, my sis enjoyed it and, well, I really never see her enjoy a beer. Score one for B.G.

Cream Ale – extremely light body with a mix of citrus and yeast that finished clean. Again, Sis, finished it off. Score two for B.G.

Angry Troll Amber 7.1%
I’ve always been one to enjoy a good amber and this was no exception – well done with a good balance of roasted malts and subtle hops.

The Fall of Ryesengard Black Rye 6.6%
Right off the bat – love the name. Me and rye beers have a tricky relationship. I appreciate them but rarely want to drink them. However, this rye was tasty. You certainly taste the rye but it doesn’t overpower the roasted malts, hints of pine or the hops.

Old Toby Belgium Pale Ale with Basil 5.5% – I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this one but it works. The basil helps to balance and compliment the hops without being overpowering.

Russian Imperial Stout – Of course this was my favorite Broken Goblet selection but not only did I enjoy it but my none stout buddy enjoyed it as well. It has everything I love about a stout – roasted malts, cocoa, caramel and dark fruit but with a bit lighter mouth feel to it.

Deep Impact IPA 9.6%
I enjoyed this Imperial IPA but that’s because there wasn’t the usual abudance of hops one associates with an IPA. I’d be curious for a true Hop Head’s opinion of this beer.

IMG_2370Next up – stop two on the mini local brewery tour – Neshaminy Creek Brewing.

Side note: As a strong believer in giving back/lending a helping hand to our fellow humans and fur friends  I strongly appreciate when breweries do the same. I found these guys to do just that which adds to the whole beer experience. Thanks guys!