Tag Archives: Founders

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.

Grey Lodge Pub

Grey Lodge Pub 12/24/13

Grey Lodge Pub Bar
Grey Lodge Pub Bar

I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with a dear friend and fellow beer lover at the Grey Lodge Pub in Northeast Philadelphia. It’s been many moons since I last visited the Lodge and I was looking forward to seeing what was new. The transformation this establishment has gone through over the past 15+ years has been remarkable.

When I first visited it was a neighborhood bar with good beer on tap, a fun quiz night during the week, red vinyl booths, stained drop ceilings and a pretty pathetic food selection – think pizza made in a toaster oven. Now the place is a destination beer spot and made my Geekybeergal Philadelphia Pub Crawl list. The owner took over the second floor and put in a real kitchen and a full veggie and meat lover menu is now available. The drop ceilings have been replaced with wood ceilings, gone are the vinyl booths and now there are nice communal wooden tables.

One of the best things about The Grey Lodge Pub has remained the same – FIRKINS! Besides the beers on tap they always offer at least 1 or 2 Firkin beers. If it’s Friday the 13th than it’s the Firkinteenth! The firkins take over the bar and the beer flows from early morning to late night. Worth trying at least once in your beer life.


On this particular visit the firkins were Evil Genius Naughty or Nice and Iron Hill Winter Warmer. Between the beers I ordered, samples from the bartender and tastes of my friend’s beers I was able to taste many of the beers on tap. The bartender was very nice about providing samples since she didn’t know her beer. Which was the one disappointment this particular visit.

Usually the bartenders know their stuff here, as does the owner, but this particular person didn’t and at least she was honest about it instead of trying to BS her way through things. It would have also been nice if she paid a bit more attention to wiping down the bar after the patrons left.

Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout
Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout

I started with a pint of Sam Adams Gingerbread Stout…
Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout, Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams), MA 9%
What intrigued about this beer was instead of being a winter ale that it was a stout. The color is baked gingerbread with a nice creamy head. The nose of the beer lets you know before it hits your mouth that you’ll being enjoying gingerbread baked with molasses and the traditional holiday spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. All of these flavors pop in your mouth upon tasting the beer, as well as, a bit of bitter chocolate. There’s a lot going on but is not overpowering and the beer is self is a medium bodied stout and not as robust as one might think it will be. Over all very enjoyable holiday beer.

Next up was the…
Founders Oatmeal Stout, Founders Brewing, Michigan 4.5%

Founders Oatmeal Stout
Founders Oatmeal Stout

This stout is nice rich dark brownish/black with not much of a head.  It has, what I lovingly refer to as, that burnt bitter bakers chocolate taste. This might sound off putting to some but I love it. There is a nice balance of oatmeal and creamy nuttiness.  It’s a lighter body stout that goes down smooth and easy. A gentle beer for consumption.


I ended with a 8oz pour of…
Naughty or Nice, Evil Genius Beer Company, PA 5.7%

Evil Genius Naughty or Nice
Evil Genius Naughty or Nice

Deep brown ale with a light tan head. One can definitely taste the dark fruits and winter spices in this beer. It has a nice creamy body that finishes dry and just a hint of bitterness at the end.

I’m glad I had the pleasure of visiting The Grey Lodge Pub and catching up with a dear friend.

Tidbit of Trivia for you – The Grey Lodge is named after the Lodge in the David Lynch TV classic Twin Peaks.