Everything this brewery touches is fun from their beer to their festivals. Fun, fun and fun! Naturally, this Gal had a ton of fun hanging out at the Hoppy Halloween Beer Fest and, sit down for this one, I don’t even like Halloween. That’s right folks this Geeky Gal isn’t and never has been a fan of the “spooky” holiday. Please do not ask me to dress up in costume for any sort of party or you’ll just get the death stare followed by “why?”. However, I do understand many of you enjoy the costume parties and other festivities that are a part of the Ghoulish Holiday and I have to say attending a beer fest where so many dressed up in costume was pretty cool.
Having been too Broken Goblet many times I wasn’t sure how they would pull off a beer festival onsite but they did it. The festival was set up utilizing the Goblet parking lot and beings they are located in an industrial park there was plenty of parking for guests. There were at least 20+ breweries, bars and meaderies pouring samples along with a few food trucks, and several vendors such as Beer for Babes, Philly Tap Finder and more. Plus, live music! I couldn’t believe they only charged $25 for this event ($30 at the door). Designated drivers only paid $10 and that included free water, ice tea and soda. It’s nice that thought was given to DD’s. This really ranks up there as one of the best buys in the NJ/PA area for beer festivals.
The festival itself was well organized and laid out. There were plenty of tables and chairs for folks to kick back and relax at. The stage was as the far end so you could enjoy the music but still converse with your friends. Also, there was plenty of space in front of the stage to set up your own chairs and enjoy the show or , should you desire, you could hang out in the hooka lounge near the stage. Favorite thing I saw was kegs of water throughout the parking lot for rinsing glasses and/or drinking. THANK YOU! It’s the little things that mean the most. Oh and yes real glasses. I understand why festival now a days hand out plastic tasting cups but it was so nice that at the Hoppy Halloween Beer Fest you were given a real glass and a pretty one at that.
Unfortunately, there was a down side to the evening and that was the bathroom situation. Many, many, many more port a potties were needed as there was always a long line at the ones provided. However, the Goblet is aware and has assured festival goers they are working on a solution.
The time of the festival was a bit unusual running 4 to 8pm instead of the normal 1 to 5pm. I for one loved the timing. It allowed you time during the day to get things done and provided for a fun relaxing evening. Of course, the evening hours added to the overall Halloween atmosphere and it was cool to see so many in attendance dress up for the occasion. I was also excited to try many beers I had never had before from breweries I’d never heard of. That alone is a great reason to pick a couple of beer festivals each year to attend. You’ll have the opportunity to try new beers from new breweries. After all with so many new breweries opening up it’s hard to visit them all. A festival is one stop sipping.
I can’t say I had a particular favorite beer so many were good (I think I only disposed of 2) but I was excited I had the opportunity to sample The Shape of Hops to Come Imperial IPA from Neshaminy Creek Brewing and Broken Goblet’s All Goblets Have Spirits a Scotch Ale (love Scotch Ales) with Maple Syrup and Gala Apples. I had heard good things about both and was glad to finally sample them. They did not disappoint. I was also supper happy that Saint Benjamin Brewing brought their Koffee Kolsch a favorite of this Gal’s. FYI – tried mixing it with their Little Peat stout and it was wonderful. Remember don’t be afraid to experiment with your beer.
Overall a ghoulishly good time was had and if they host Hoppy Halloween 3 next year I recommend going and suggest getting your tickets early since space is limited and tickets sell out.
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.
The 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.
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.
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!
1500 Grundy Lane, Bristol, PA 19007
Keystone Industrial Park
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!
Taster 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.
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!