Monthly Archives: May 2015

Black Beauties

FullSizeRenderThere for a while it seemed the “in” thing with craft beer was to make sure when you drank a beer the hops exploded in your mouth and took over every taste bud. Thank goodness that trend is fading some and a beautiful beauty is rising up as the next big thing. I like to refer to it as Black Beauty in other words Black Beers. No not stouts or porter but Black Beers as in Black Lagers, Black IPAs and Black Ryes. I for one am loving this growing trend and hope it trandscends into a main stay brewing style. It’s a wonderful thing that brewers are playing around with some standard styles and brewing them with a twist.

These Black Beauties help put to rest the age old myth about beer – if it’s dark it’s heavy; if it’s light in color it’s light in flavor and body….W R O N G ! ! ! There are many full flavor full bodied light color beers, heck I once had a Blonde that weighed in at 10%,  and plenty of dark beers that would be considered on the light side of the spectrum. So lets just put that misconception to pasture.

1_114565126_3A great way to do just that is the Black beers. These beers are a perfect way to introduce one to a style they may not normally like or enjoy and to those scary “heavy” aka dark beers. I for one can appreciate a well done rye beer but you would be hard pressed to find this gal ordering a pint of one…until now. Welcome the Black Rye, oh my!

The black beers are combining the best of both worlds. These ales tend to be medium bodied beers with a dark hue complimented by just a nice but not overwhelming accent flavor whether it be hops, rye or something else. With the black you have the subtle flavors of roasted malt with cocoa and chicory balanced out by hops or rye. Suddenly this Gal is loving the rye beers, Black ryes that is, Ottercreek Black IPA has become one of my main go to beers and I find Black Lagers to be so delightful. Three styles I previously shied away from and am completely and totally drawn to now.

Black_rye_bottle_webA few favorites:

Founders Black Rye (very happy to see Founders promoting this on the festival circuit)

Broken Goblet Black Rye – my first intro to black ryes

Ottercreek Black IPA – a true delight

Terrapin Brewing  in collaboration with New Belgium Brewing – Black is the New Wit

So next time you find yourself presented with the opportunity to try a Black Beer PLEASE do so. You may just expose yourself to a whole new world of beer.

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Washington Crossing Brewfest

11170346_862296180503737_7407487984248921207_nWashington Crossing Brewfest
May 2, 2015 – Washington Crossing, PA

2015 marked the 5th year for the Washington Crossing Brewfest but this Gal’s first year to attend. Truth be told I just always figured it was rinky dink little festival. However, I stand corrected and admit I was very wrong.

With 64 breweries on hand serving at least 2 beers each plus, Isaac Newton’s had a booth pouring several different beers it’s no wonder this Brewfest sells out in advance each year.  The list of breweries was impressive – to name just a few: Avery, Allagash, Ballast, Bullfrog, Clown Shoes, Firestone, Flying Dog, Founders, Heavy Seas, Ommegang, Southern Tier, Stone and Weyerbacher. Truly just the tip of the ice burg.

11205012_862297230503632_1943157952283000694_nNot only is the list of breweries impressive but the setting for the festival is beautiful. It’s held outside under a canopy of trees along the banks of the Delaware of River. This particular year the weather was gorgeous and the trees provided not only a nice breeze but plenty of shade as well. It’s a spacious setting with ample room for the 2600 folks in attendance. Three things that stood out to me about the planning of this festival: 1. A brochure was provided to each person clearly marking which breweries were located where along with a full festival grounds map. 2. Each and every brewery tent was clearly marked. 3. (and this is a big one) Each and every brewery either had a brewery rep or distributor rep pouring their beer.

As with past festival reviews I’ll just give a quick recap of the standouts…

Put a Smile on this Gal’s Face: Bullfrog (love this brewery and glad to see distribution of their beers) the Sunny Disposition IPA was very refreshing

Most Excited to Try: Ballast Sculpin on tap – it lived up to it’s reputationbeer3

Surprise of the Day (is a tie):
The Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale Saison (this beer made me do a double take – wonderful)
Capt. Lawrence Kolsch (nice to see a Kolsch represented)

beerHighlights – Dark Horse End of the Spectrum Belgian Strong Pale Ale & Sapient Trip Ale Tripel (Whoohoo a Belgian Strong and a tripel on tap at a festival)

Shout Out to Long Trail for their Long Trail Imperial Stout. Say what, an imperial stout at a spring festival? Thank you Long Trail for remembering stouts can be enjoyed year round and aren’t just a winter beer. Oh and it was might tasty.

New to this Gal:
Rivertowne Brewing Grateful White
Roy Pitz  Greatful Red Scottish Style Red Ale  (Roy Ritz is brewing German beers with a twist – be sure to check them out)

Best Selection: Brooklyn Brewery with 1/2 Ale (a session saison!) and Wild Horse Porter

Favorite Beer of the Day: Boulder Beer Shake Chocolate Porter (decadent)

beer4Very Happy to see representation of Saisons
Great Divide Saison
Colorado Saison
The Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale Saison
Brooklyn Session Saison

Bonus: Proceeds from the brewfest benefit the non-profit Friends of Washington Crossing Park.

The Washington Crossing Brewfest is certainly one to add to your festival calendar for next year!