Category Archives: Beer Tastings

Strangelove’s

IMG_4088-2Strangelove’s
Twitter  @Strangelovesbar

Finally this Gal made it to Strangelove’s. This place has long been on my list of beer establishments to try in Philadelphia and it’s the sister establishment to Local 44 and one of my top 3 Philly Favs – Memphis Taproom.

Strangelove’s is located in center city Philly which means either garage or street parking. I purposely chose a Sunday to visit with hopes center city wouldn’t be over crowded meaning traffic would be minimal and parking a bit easier. Nailed it! Found a parking spot right across the street from Strangelove’s. Yes, this Gal can parallel park thanks to numerous visits to the City of Brotherly Beer.

IMG_4091From the street nothing particular stands out about Strangelove’s but I was excited just the same. Strangelove’s definitely has a more upscale center city feel to it than it’s sister establishments but still very welcoming. The place is small with a long full service bar to  the right with a beautiful marble surface and tables along the wall to the left. Overall it has a slight industrial feel to it while offering up a warm atmosphere. I would suspect when crowded it could be a bit loud but on this particular afternoon there were just a handful of patrons enjoying a bite to eat while sipping on some fabulous beer.

IMG_4090This Gal was meeting a friend who had already taken up residence at the bar and enjoying his first beer. I happily perused the tap list that offers a variety of styles on tap and was delighted to see out of the 19 beers offered 2 were engines and 5 were beers brewed especially for Strangelove’s by various breweries. One particular brewery leaped off the list at me – The Brewer’s Art – this brewery has been a long time fav of this Gal and it’s been forever since I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying one of their beers.

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Strangelove’s Brewer’s Art Porch

First up:
Strangelove’s Brewer’s Art Porch – Belgian-Style Pale Ale 4.5%
I was very pleased with this beer which had a yeasty floral quality to it that was balanced out by the malts and fruits.

ShawneeCraft Session IPA 4.5%
A bit more malts than hops overall a good session ale that’s refreshing and easy to drink.

2SP Baby Bob – Stout 6.5%
Indeed a wonderful beer. Rich roasted coffee and toffee accented by a bit of vanilla and rich creamy chocolate.

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2SP Baby Bob

Roy Pitz Sour Hound – Sour Brown Ale 5%
This Gal was intrigued by the fact that it’s a sour brown. I love a good brown ale and wish I would see more of this style on tap list. The fact that it was a sour too was a bonus. It did indeed make for a unusual but enjoyable ale. Earthy bread quality with hints of sour from the tart citrus fruits.

Free Will + Strangelove’s Eden – Saison 4%
This was not your typical saison, in fact it was so different I questioned whether or not the correct beer had been served – it had. The citrus was there as were some white pepper notes but something was odd and not in a bad way but in a way that I can’t wrap my taste buds around it.

Tastes of:
Nodding Head Monkey Knife Fight – Lemongrass Spiced Lager 5%
Surprisingly wonderful. You can really taste the lemongrass but it doesn’t over power. This would compliment Thai food perfectly.

Stranglove’s Manayunk Minor Brett – All Brett Belgian- Style Pale Ale 5%
Tart! The edge is taken off the tartness by a hint of citrus.

Conshohocken Brewery Puddlers Row – ESB 5.4%
Had a young taste to it with a mix of grass, malts and citrus. Not a favorite but very drinkable.

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Muffaletta

To accompany the beer we ordered some much needed food. The food menu at Strangelove’s  is eclectic and certainly offers something for everyone. This Gal went for the Smoked Tempeh Muffaletta which was out of this world good. My friend had the Oyster Po’Boy and said it’s one of the best he ever had. Now we have both visited New Orleans’s a couple of times so we know what a good Po ‘Boy and Muffaletta should taste like and these ranked up their with the best NOLA has to offer.

Po 'Boy
Po ‘Boy

The same owners recently opened two other establishments in Philly, that this Gal needs to check out, Clarkville and Coeur. In the mean time I’m happy I finally got to spend a fun afternoon at Strangelove’s.

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2nd Street Brew House

IMG_38702nd Street Brew House
Facebook    Twitter @2ndstbrewhouse

Don’t you just love when you discover a gem of place by accident? That’s exactly what happened to this Gal – I was looking up 2nd Story Brewing when I came across the website for 2nd Street Brew House. I had never heard of 2nd Street Brew House but what I saw online I now had a new place to check out. So I recently made plans to meet up with an old friend to see whats what at 2nd Street. 2nd Street Brew House is located, well on 2nd Street in a South Philly neighborhood which means street parking but no worries there seemed to be plenty around. The Brew House is located on a corner and looks like it was once a row home. Inside it’s very much a bar in fact just about all bar. When you enter the bar is to your left and goes into the back room area which also hold a few tables plus Ms. Pac Man and a pinball machine. The establishment is dark and has a friendly warm atmosphere to it with lots of dark wood, old tin ceiling and fairly lights that add some twinkle. Of course, I was completely  won over when I saw a metal Star Wars lunch box sitting on a shelf. Any place that displays Star Wars memorabilia scores major points with this Gal.

IMG_38722nd Street Brew House is very much a neighborhood bar with a top notch beer selection that consists of 14 beers on tap and a generous listing of bottles and cans. They also serve wine and liquor and offer a food menu that is small but has something for meat lovers and vegetarians a like. I was happy that their full menu was still available during brunch. Sometimes this Gal just wants lunch not brunch on a Saturday.

The bartender, Chris, provided great service, conversation, good music and was very accommodating with pouring tasters. My taster selection between taster pours for myself and trying my companion beers were as follows:

Veggie Panini
Veggie Panini

Exit 15 Coffee IPA – Flying Fish 7.5%
I’ve been hearing a lot good buzz about this beer and happy to say it’s worthy of the buzz. The coffee and hops help to balance each other with hints of pine and fruit. This Gal loves that breweries are brewing different styles with coffee.

Cubano
Cubano

United Ale – Do Good Brewery 5.8%  Never thought I see the day that this Gal would enjoy cream ales so much. Citrus and hops add a floral quality to the beer that is smoothed out by the malts.

Boulder Shake Chocolate Porter – Boulder 5.9% Holy molly this beer is smooth and chocolaty. Reminded me of chocolate milk but the adult version with alcohol. It was delish but reminded me more of a dessert beer so the taste was enough this time around.

Full Pours:

25P Patina Saison
25P Patina Saison

Patina Saison – 2SP Brewing Company 7.5%
This Gal is super stoked that saisons are rising in popularity. It used to be rare to find one on tap and now it’s rare not to. Yippy! Good yeastiness with strong fruit qualities in the taste and nose. Very refreshing and pleasing to the palate.

Chocolate Sombrero – Clown Shoes 9%
Imperial stouts oh how I love you.  The bittersweet chocolate is counterbalanced by the vanilla, chilies and cinnamon which all contribute to making this a black beauty.

Almanca Ginger Gose 5.0%
I understand the gose style isn’t for everyone but it is for this Gal. The coriander and ginger are alive and well in this gose. This beer has a nice wheat/malt earthiness to it and was great way to cap off my visit to 2nd Street Brew House.

Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero
Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero

Tap turn around is quick  at 2nd Street Brew House so what’s there today may not be tomorrow which also means there’s  always something new to try. I was also informed that the owners make sure to keep a stout and porter on during  the summer for us stout lovers. THANK YOU!

Almanac Ginger Gose
Almanac Ginger Gose

 

2nd Street Brew House was a great accidental find and is the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening hanging out with friends playing scrabble or just conversing while enjoying some fine beers. For this Gal it’s everything I look for in a bar a welcoming warm and cozy atmosphere that begs for you to sit back and relax. I’m placing 2nd Street Brew House in my top 5 beer bars to visit in the city of Brotherly Beer. That’s how much this Gal enjoyed  2nd Street Brew House.

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Newportville Inn

005Newportville Inn
Facebook     Twitter @newportvilleinn

This Gal has been to the Newportville Inn numerous times over the years but it had been a while since my last visit and thought it time to see what’s what. Glad to say nothing much has changed. It’s still a German place through and through. With an outside beer garden, German food and excellent selection of German beers on tap along with a few craft beers too. Oh and let’s not forget the German music playing or the complimentary pretzel nuggets accompanied by the house made mustard on each table. The mustard is wonderful and was a perfect accompaniment to the Paulaner Weiss I enjoyed.

The Inn sits in a large old stone building that seems like it was once someone’s homestead and has that wonderful old world feel to it. You first step into an enclosed porch area that now serves as the waiting area on crowded nights and I believe it’s safe to say they utilize this spot quiet often. From the porch you walk into the bar area. The bar itself is a good size and sits in the middle of the room with fireplaces and tables on either side. The room is very dark and cozy to begin with add in lit fireplaces in the winter time and you have a perfect spot to sit back, relax and stay warm. There’s a long porch/dining area on the other side of the bar and another dining room across from the bar as well. The Inn can hold a lot of folks but because of the lay out is able to maintain a warm personable feel. The one drawback is parking. Even on not so crowded nights parking can be a bit of a challenge but don’t let this sway you from visiting Newportville Inn. The German beer selection alone is worth a visit with 17 German beers on tap plus a hard cider if that’s your thing and the beer is dispensed via ceramic German beer towers.

Potato Pancakes
Potato Pancakes
Schweine Braten

 

Keeping in mind this is a German establishment the menu is heavy on German selections but does offer a few vegetarian options as well. My companion and I decided to go full German on this particular evening with both beer and food. Food: Turtle soup, pierogies, potato pancakes and Schweine Braten.

 

Weiss
Weiss

Paulaner Weiss 5.5% – crisp and refreshing with hints of orange to accent the wheat.

Paulaner Salvator Doppel Bock 7.9% – Yes, yes, yes! There’s a reason this Gal named one of her cats after this beer – Salvator – because it’s an amazing! Truly a favorite that I rarely see on tap. I love the combo of caramel roasted malts with hints of chocolate and hops. This beer has been brewed for over 375 years so you know their doing something right.

Next time you’re in need of some time away but your wallet says otherwise spend and evening visiting Germany at the Newportville Inn.

Salvator
Salvator

If you’re looking to make a day of it two of this Gal’s favorite breweries are just down the street from Newportville Inn –  Neshaminy Creek Brewing and Broken Goblet Brewery.

 

2nd Story Brewing Company

0022nd Story Brewing Company
Facebook  Twitter @2ndStoryBrewing

2nd Story Brewing Company is a welcome addition to the Philadelphia beer scene and with so many great beer options in the city of Brotherly Beer to choose from you might skip over one of the newer kids but I recommend you stop and check them out.

2nd Story has a rustic industrial feel to it with a long bar that takes up most of the wall to the right and multiple sitting areas throughout the downstairs. Something I absolutely loved (besides the beer) is the space between tables. Yes, the owners could  have fit in several more tables but instead chose to leave lots of breathing room between tables which gives each group/table a sense of privacy. Such a welcomed retreat from overcrowded dining areas.

There’s also an upstairs which is where the brewing takes place hence the name 2nd

Tilted Barn Farmhouse Burger
Tilted Barn Farmhouse Burger

Story. ; ) There’s also a smaller bar and some dining table upstairs which makes for a perfect spot for a private party.  On this particular night the area was empty and all the action was taking place on the main floor including a birthday celebration for a special someone – my awesome nephew! So happy my brother chose 2nd Story to celebrate his son’s 23rd birthday at.

Falafel
Falafel

2nd Story is a full service restaurant/bar with a diverse and tasty food menu and excellent service provided by Kelly. The beer selections are diverse as well and really offer something for everyone’s beer taste. During this Gal’s visit there were 10 beers on tap and one can do a flight of 4 5 oz pours for $8.50 (pints and growlers are also available) Naturally, this Gal chose to go with a taster round.

005Who Dunnit American Pale Ale 4.5% Hops, with odd after taste, sort of a dank funkiness mixed with herbs.

Pickers Pride Wet Hopped Ale 5%
One can taste the cascade hops in this nicely brewed ale. More and more this Gal is enjoying wet hopped beers.

Berliner Weisse 3.8%
Sour German wheat beer with a good amount of tartness that is counterbalanced by a saltiness.  You have a choice of it being served with raspberry or pomegranate syrup.

Fest Beer Oktoberfest 6.4%
A true classic Oktoberfest beer with earthy and sweet malts, hints of toffee and hops.

After the taster round was drained and the dinner consumed the group chose their dessert choices. Dessert for this Gal was a full goblet of Great Pumpkin Porter.

Great Pumpkin Porter 7.3%
This is a great combo of pumpkin spices, malt, vanilla and hints of a rum flavoring. Very clean, smooth and subtle pumpkin.  The house-made doughnut dessert is served with a small taster of the this porter and compliments the dessert nicely.

Small taste of Adsultium IIPA American Double IPA 8%
Yup, lots of hops and rightly so. Although, the honey helps to balance the hops.

Great Pumpking Porter
Great Pumpkin Porter

Overall 2nd Story Brewing Company is a great addition to the Philly Beer Scene. Located in Old City one could easily make it a stop on a beer crawl since it’s located across the street from Eulogy and around the corner from Khyber Pass.

Prism Brewing Company

FullSizeRenderqPrism Brewing Company
Facebook  Twitter @prismbeer

Go around to the back. No, really go to the back of the abandon looking building where you think nothing will be and you’ll have arrived at Prism Brewing Company. You’ll also feel as if you  entered something from a 70’s campy scream flick. Yea, Prism Brewing Company can be confusing to find and looks a bit sketchy from out the outside which makes it all that much more appealing.

Inside has a somewhat throwback biker/dive bar feel to it with several tables and a long wooden bar, dark atmosphere and arcade games. The bar overlooks the brewing floor but  when we towards the end of our stay and that added a nice touch to the atmosphere and livened things up a bit. Although, I have to say the glass overlooking the brewing floor was in dyer need of a good cleaning.

A limited bar menu is available from the “kitchen” behind bar and there are various weeknight specials too. FREE Bacon (take note House of Skip) on Wednesdays.

I was astonished to find out they have been in business for 5 years since I really just starting hearing about them in the last 6 or 7 months. It was at a recent beer festival that I had the pleasure of trying their Felony . It’s a Double IPA that was so smooth and coming in at 10% also a bit scary. This beer alone is the main reason I sought out Prism Brewing Company.

Since I had already had the pleasure of trying the Felony I decided on this visit  to try a few others from the 8 beers on tap. One can do a full taster of all 8 beers or half, plus pints are available as well. I went for the half taster since I had to drive – safety first.

FullSizeRender3ParTea Pale Ale 5.5%
This is an English pale ale brewed with black tea which you can really taste. An unique flavor with the tea overshadowing the malts and hops a bit but over all an enjoyable beer.

Funkzlia 6.6%
Light sour with spices and a maple syrup finish.

Mason’s Porter 4.8%
FullSizeRender6Hazelnut Coffee Porter – delish. My fellow beer taster for this trip tends to shy away from porters but loved this beer. The hazelnut is upfront and wonderfully rounded out by chicory, roasted malts and a ever so slight hint of vanilla.

Red Zone 6.6%
Fall Spiced Irish Red Ale with Spiced Sugar Rim – Yes a Spiced Sugar Rim! I wasn’t sure if I would like that but it was so tasty.  This is fall in a glass with all the spices you associate with the season, maple syrup and brown sugar. Make sure to get it with the sugar rim!

FullSizeRender2Prism Brewing Company is not far from Round Guys Brewing and this Gal highly recommends making an afternoon of it and visiting both breweries.

Round Guys Brewing

FullSizeRenderRound Guys Brewing
Facebook  Twitter @RoundGuysBrewer

Finally the day had arrived to go beer sampling at Round Guys Brewing and Prism Brewing Company. I picked up my companions for this latest beer excursion, plugged in the address for Round Guys in the GPS and we were on our way. It was a bit of drive but finally we were close so close the GPS announced we had arrived yet we were at a pizza shop not a brewery. We drove a bit more and decided to turn around thinking maybe we missed something. Indeed we did. The brewery is really around the corner in back of the pizza joint. In other words it can be a bit hard to find as is parking but we managed to do both.

The outside looks a bit upscale but upon entry you realize it’s a laid back bar. The décor is nondescript and the seating area is self is small but they make the most of the space with several tables and a large bar (with hooks underneath) that overlooks the brewing floor. The place was jumping when we arrived but fortunately we were able to snag the last available table.

Two of us had online coupons that were an amazing deal. For $15 each you received 2 pints, a take home pint glass and any food item from the menu. The food is mostly apps and sandwiches but offers something for everyone. I opted for the grilled cheese with jalapeños peppers. This Gal loves her hot peppers.

Even better was the beer menu with 15 beers on tap! The selection was varied and made choosing difficult. I decided to start with a pint of Take the Power Bock.

Take the Power Bock
Take the Power Bock

Take the Power Bock Dopplebock 7.6%
This Gal loves a well-brewed bock and this one is just that with loads of malty goodness with just a hint of hops to round it out.

Hipster Frogger Sour 6.6%
Don’t let the fact that it’s a sour scare you. Sours are wonderful and the degree of sourness varies with beers so be brave and sample sours whenever you get the chance. This Hipster is mildly sour and has that great sour funkiness to it that I just love. It was the perfect accompaniment to the jalapeños grilled cheese.

Round Guys Brewing is worth checking out. I’ve tried

Hipster Frogger
Hipster Frogger

several of their beers on the festival circuit and have always found them enjoyable. If you’re looking to make a day of it Prism Brewing Company is just a few minutes away and where my companions and I were headed next…

 

 

RG

Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor

FullSizeRenderaArts & Crafts Beer Parlor
Facebook
Twitter @ACBeerparlor 
Untapped

I hadn’t heard of Arts & Crafts Beer Parlor prior to my visit but I can easily say it has made this Gal’s list of top beer bars in NYC. Yup, I loved it that much.

It’s located in the West Village downstairs in the basement of a building that one could easily walk by – almost did – so glad we didn’t. It’s on the smaller side with a decent size bar to the right and several tables to the left and in the back of the establishment. When you first walk in there’s an electric looking fireplace to the right that adds to the atmosphere of the joint which is rustic, cozy and hip but not in the hipster sort of way.  The ceilings are low and there’s lots of wood including a beautiful wood bar.

For the sports lovers there’s a large TV at the one end of the bar and if you’re in need of food a limited snack menu is available. The “kitchen” is located behind the bar. The real star of this place is the tap list – 24 beers and all of them wonderful. The selection rotates on a regular basis and everyday there’s happy hour specials with 4 select beers for $5 each.  Looks like they carefully choose which four so there’s a style no matter your taste.

That’s what’s great about the tap list – the diversity of it. There’s truly something for everyone and if you’re having trouble deciding they offer taster rounds in various sizes. 1/4 Flight 6  6.8oz, 1/2 Flight 12  6.8oz, 3/4 Flight 12  6.8oz and “Run the Board” all 24 beers in 6.8oz pours. Granted the full taster will cost $75 but you’d have a lot of fun for the money. You’re welcome to choose the beers for your flight or if you rather you can leave the decision up to the bartenders. I was fortunate enough to witness a couple ask for the bartender’s choosing for their taster round. They only stipulation was no IPAs on the round. Boy, the bartender gave them a great selection Porter, Black Lager, White Ale, Amber, missed the 5th one and finally AVENTINUS (YES! love that he put Aventinus in the round – love the beer and feel it’s highly underrated).

Breaking Bud
Breaking Bud

By now you know this Gal loves her taster rounds but on this particular day I was in the mood for a full glass of something special so I went for a 12oz pour of Knee Deep Breaking Bud.

Breaking Bud – Knee Deep, CA 6.7%
Very pleasing beer, coriander with light accents of hops, fruit, pine, wheat and malt. Perfect combination.

Piper Down – Ballast Point, CA 5.2%
Toasted caramel & malts with a subtle hop finish.

Mud Puppy
Mud Puppy

Mud Puppy Nitro Porter – Central Waters, WI 5.5%
Indeed! You know this Gal had to go for the Nitro porter and this one is robust with chocolate and hops. Although, I would have preferred it served closer to room temperature. It was a bit to cold for my liking, I had to let it sit for a bit but it was worth the wait.

Cracker White Ale – Cigar City, FL 5%
Orange peels, coriander and saison yeast combined to make a wonderfully refreshing  white ale. This beer is giving Allagash White stiff competition as this Gal’s favorite white ale.

 

FullSizeRendercSide note – the 2 gentlemen working the day this Gal was there were awesome! Very attentive, know their beer and were happy to pour tasters.

Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing

IMG_3494Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing
Facebook  Twitter @ForgottenBoards

Allow me to make things clear right from the start. Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing is Fun, Fun, and Fun! As soon as you walk in you’re transported back in time to Atlantic City’s hey day. What makes this place works is the details, they nailed it, with themes it can go cheesey over the top but instead the concept was thought out and perfectly executed.

The bar area is a throw back to speakeasy days with wood shelving, a fun spin wheel in the middle and whimsical cat tail tap handles. There’s historic photos displayed through out the tasting room, fun house mirrors, perfect mood lighting that resemble street lights from yesteryear, skeeball machines (one of this Gal’s favorite boardwalk games) and the topping on the cake was the music. The music really sealed the deal for this Gal – classic vaudeville carnival type jazz music.

In no way is this place gimmicky just relaxing and fun. You tend to forget you’re in a warehouse until you look through the glass doors at the brewery then you’re brought back to the reality of present day. It’s hard to believe this is the same brewery that used to house Flying Fish Brewery.

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Taster right r to l.

The brewery may be a throwback to a bygone era but  the beer isn’t. David is brewing great innovative beers that stand out in today’s brewing world.

Title Deed Imperial Oatmeal Espresso Coffee Stout 7.5% – I love everything about this beer from the name, style to roasted chicory flavor. Yup, this Gal’s favorite. Unfortunately, no growler fills of this beer allowed. : (

The Tourist Plum Berliner Weisse  – surprised by the color sort of reminded me of coconut milk/water but the taste is very much a sour. Nice job.

Round Trip Hoppy Saison 7% Great balance of spices, bitter hops and refreshing citrus all balanced out by yummy malts.

1916 Shore Shiver IPA 6.9% Wow, the hops are balanced by a interesting combo of fruits (think nectarines ). I brought home a growler of this little delight.

IMG_3498Even the beer names are fun and be sure to read up on the story behind each name.
If you get hungry you’re welcome to bring in your own food from the outside. You’re welcome to either enjoy it inside why visiting another time period or outside in the fun beachy seating area.

IMG_3492I have to give high props to Jamie Queli, the owner,  she really captured the look and feel of a bygone era. IMG_3501

Liberty Craft Brewing

IMG_3075Liberty Craft Brewing – Liberty, ME
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This Gal just loves when little out of the way gems are discovered and Liberty Craft Brewing is just that a hidden gem.

This tiny brewpub is located on the brewer’s proberty above the garage which serves as the brewery. They brew 100-150 gallon batches, 1 batch per week.

IMG_3131The brewpub itself is small with lots of wood, a bar that seats 5 and  2 tables inside with a total capacity of 15. There’s seating outback on the deck too and it just happens to offer an amazing Maine view.  Occasionally, they have live music although, I have no clue where they fit a band and for a few of the regulars there’s an exclusive mug club.

This is truly a brewpub in that it serves both beer and food. Like the rest of Liberty Craft Brewing the food menu is small but but there’s something for everyone including a couple of vegetarian options.

Veggie Burger
Veggie Burger

This Gal opted for the homemade malted grain veggie burger which happens to be made using grains from brewing. It was fantastic and if your wondering yes, you can taste the grains which are delicious. My bro had the bratwurst which comes from Morse’s European Market down the street. Another must stop if your up that way. Other food items the group enjoyed included a roasted veggie salad with a stuffed mushroom and lamb/veal gyro. All served with a side of house made salsa which is awesome and offers a nice little kick.IMG_3139

Now on to the BEER! Prices are very good and range from $4 to $5.50 for a glass. The taster round is 4 for $10 which, of course, this Gal had to go for. Since there were  6 beers on tap my brother and I shared 2 taster rounds and then each picked our favorite beer as the 3 & 4 beers on the second round.  To date Liberty Craft Brewing wins for best taster round glass ware. The proper glass for each style really enhances the overall enjoyment of the tasting experience.
IMG_3100Hay Stack Extra Pale Ale  Neither my brother nor I knew what to make of this one. Didn’t really stand out as a Pale Ale.
Night Cap Imperial Porter – AWESOME! Of course, it was his Gal’s favorite of the visit. This is a coffee porter so it has that wonderful roasted chicory quality I just love.
Blueberry Beah This is an American ale brewed using 15 gallons of fresh local blueberries however, the blueberry taste is very subtle.
St George Gold Pilsner A true pilsner, light with just a hint of hops.
Tunk Spruce Double IPA – Bro’s favorite! Spruce + Double IPA were adding up to something I didn’t think I would enjoy but I was wrong. That’s why it’s important to go outside your comfort zone. You never know what you may discover and I discovered that I really liked this beer. It has the slightest hint of spruce that compliments the hops, over all a very good refreshing beer and a wonderful surprise.
Queen Bee Honey Lager – If you like lagers and you like honey this is for you. That being said I’m not a lager fan nor am I big on honey notes in my beer so wasn’t for me. IMG_3087
Some of the beer has the young brew taste to it but I think their beer is going to grow in sophistication, after all, they had only been opened 10 months when we visited. I look forward to visiting again and seeing what sort of growth has taken place at Liberty Craft Brewing.IMG_3137
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Andrew’s Brewing

IMG_3015Andrew’s BrewingLincolnville, ME
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Upon my arrival in Maine my brother informed me he found two more breweries for us to visit Andrew’s Brewing and Liberty Craft Brewing. I hadn’t heard of either but was certainly up for trying them. First up was Andy’s. This brewery has been around since 1992 and was one of the early pioneers in the Maine Craft Beer industry. The brewery recently moved into a small building attached to The Lobster Pound Restaurant. It’s an interesting arrangement,  the brewpub is in the restaurant and they are the same but different. Sort of two in one thing.  You can also view the brewery from a glass window in the bar area of The Lobster Pound.

Upon arrival we took a look at the small, but mighty, brewery set up and introduced ourselves to Ben, one of the brewers, who was friendly and welcoming. I say mighty because they had 11 beers on tap which is a hefty number considering the small size of the brewing area.

The brewpub/restaurant wasn’t as exciting. The decor, well it’s lacking something. The wood work is very rustic and beautiful (as in mulled tree truck bar) but the feel of the place is missing something. More color on the walls perhaps. It just doesn’t have that “I want to kick back for a while and hang out” feel that this Gal looks for. It was more of eat, drink and go sort of feel. However, the view is breathtaking and does beg for attention.

The brewpub sits right on the water’s edge of Licolnville. I recommend sitting outside and taking in the view – that’ll help with the kicking back part. Plus, the staff and locals are very friendly and it’s easy to strike up a conversation.

Although, the atmosphere wasn’t necessarily for me the beer was with 11 house beers on tap plus 2 guest taps. The beers are brewed English style and a tasting round consist of 4 4oz pours(pints & growlers are also available). At first I was concerned when I saw pint glasses being pulled from a refrigerator – frosted pints NO! – but upon inquiry I was relieved to hear none refrigerated pints glasses were also available. The breweries preference for serving their english style ales but some locals prefer refrigerated glasses and they’re happy to accommodate everyone – very understandable.

 Of course, this Gal and her hop head brother had to go for taster rounds. We decided to do 3 rounds so we could try all the beer and the guest tap of mead.
Here we go:
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IPA 5.6% The standard citrus & hops combo taken down a notch. Enjoyable but not outstanding.

English Pale Ale 5.5% Very enjoyable with the usual combo of malt, hops and caramel toasted to EPA goodness.
Shandy 4.5% Shandies are one of my least favorite styles but this was a nice balance of lemon and good summer beverage.

Gold 4.1% Really good! Normally neither my bro or I are a fan of this style but this ended up being one of the favorites for both of us. Excellent!

Red 6.5%  Yay a red! Malts, toffee and a slight bitter finish made this another winner. At first my brother was so so about it but tried it with a piece of toffee which complimented the beer nicely and brought the toffee goodness out of the beer. Remember food can really alter your perception of a beer. If in doubt pair it up.

IMG_2933Stout 7.8% This was a lighter body stout but, than again, they’re brewing English style beer. Overall the flavor was good it’s just that this Gal’s prefers a bit more chewiness to her stouts.

Porter 6.1% A lighter body porter but still tasty with bitter after notes that this Gal enjoys.

Brown 4.4% – Woohoo a brown! By now you know how this Gal’s feels about browns – always happy to see them represented and this one represented in a good way with baked bread earthiness, toasted malts and accents of fruit.

Scottish 5.8% If I see a Scottish Ale on a menu I will pretty always add it to my taster round. I just love trying out this style. This particular one was very well done and ended up being one of this Gal’s favorites for the day! Just the right amount of malt, herbs and subtle smokiness to it.

Blueberry– This was blueberry beginning to end from the time it hits your nose and has the follow threw. I’m not a fruit beer Gal (Lambic exceptions) but for those looking for a fruit beer look no further this is everything you hope for and more.

Black & Tan 6%
So happy to see a black & tan on the menu and this one was a good combo of their porter and pale ale. I later mixed this with some blueberry which helped balanced out the fruit for me. Yup, it’s ok to exterminate with your beers. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

IMG_2985

Mead the mead was from Michigan on the guest tap and ummm, nope still not a mead Gal.

Favorites – Golden, Red, Brown & Scottish

This Gal is certainly interested to see how Andrew’s continues to grow in the brewing world. I look forward to a return visit and taking in the view while enjoying a beer.

Yup, that's the view!
Yup, that’s the view!