For the longest time I felt two styles were missing from tap lists – sours & browns. Well, as we all know, sours are everywhere now but where are the browns? Why is this style overlooked again and again? I’m perplexed as to why folks don’t appreciate this style more. I get so excited when I see a brown ale on a tap list and there are some really good ones out there. Brooklyn Brown and Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale helped me fall in love with craft beer. Right now I have Weyerbacher Easton Brown & Down and Cigar City Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale in my beer frig.
Perhaps browns aren’t complex enough for folks but isn’t it nice to sometimes just enjoy straightforward drinking beer with a solid taste? I love the nuttiness to browns, the malt and subtle hops all combine to make a really smooth easy beer. Whenever I see a brown ale on a tap list you can count on this Gal ordering it. I once wished for more sours and my wish came true. Fingers crossed my wish for more browns comes true.
Brewers PLEASE brew some browns.
Drinkers PLEASE give the browns a chance.
This Gal is all about exploring and trying out something new. I’m not one to order the same thing at the same restaurant, I prefer trying whats local to the area over what I know and I definitely appreciate good service. As much as I like trying out new places there are times I want to go to “my place”. You know what I mean – the place close to home that has good beer, friendly service and they greet you by name when you arrive. There are two such places for me. Ok, three but Mama Rosa’s is BYOB and I’m talking about “my beer places”.
What I love about the area I live in, Mercer County, is the location. In just 40 short minutes I can be in Center City Philly, 1.25 hours to NYC and the nearest beach is only 45 minutes away – location, location, location. Which also, means I have some of the best beer places available at all times. This Gal feels very lucky to have all this at her finger tips but there are those days when I want to go out without really leaving the area. That’s when I head to “my place” – UNO’s Hamilton. Yup, UNO’s. Yes, UNO’s. Really, UNO’s.
I’m asked a lot what my go to beer place is and when I say UNO’s Hamilton I always get the same response – Really? The one near the movie theater? – YES! They have an amazing tap list that is right up there with some of the best lists both Philly and NYC have to offer. Bonus – it’s mere minutes from my house and right around the corner from where I work.
I too was surprised when I first heard about the beer being served at UNO’s. Fortunately, my brother and his co-workers clued me in pretty quickly. They have been enjoying UNO’s beer and lunch special offerings for a while now and were kind enough to let me in on the “secret” soon after the great beer started flowing. One of my favorite things in life is meeting my Hop Head Brother there for a beer. (It’s the little things)
They offer 30 beers on tap with all but a few being craft and the beer is FRESH with fast tap rotation. If you hear of a beer on tap you want you best get there sooner rather than later. They offer growler fills, taster rounds and now have a Crowler machine. By the way all which can be enjoyed on the new outside beer patio that is dog friendly!
Besides the great beer they have a lot of fun beer related events and I strongly encourage you to follow them on Facebook so you’re kept in the loop and don’t miss out on the tap takeovers, beer dinners, beer breakfast and even a super fun Beer for Pups charity event during Philly Beer Week. You know how this Gal feels about beer places giving back to the community – awesomeness at it’s best and the UNO’s team and Weyerbacher rocked the event for It’s A Ruff Life Rescue.
Speaking of Philly Beer Week they were one of the first places in the burbs to start participating in PBW and their events are pretty amazing. So much so that the past two years I’ve participated in more PBW events at UNO’s than Philly. (no worries I still always make a few events in Philly as well). This past year they rotated through 157 different beers during Philly Beer Week. That’s a lot of great beer in a very short time. Told you it’s fresh and goes quick.
Besides kicking it during PBW they also participate in this Gal’s favorite holiday – Black Out Friday and have even made football enjoyable for this Gal. Now if you been following my blog for a while then you might remember my first post was about Football Sunday at UNO’s. It’s a win win for me and my football loving partner. I get to enjoy great beer and beer specials while he can watch all the games and enjoy his favorite food in life – pizza. Bonus, your movie ticket stub from the theater next door acts as a coupon – 10% off your food purchase. UNO’s also offers discounted movie tickets for the theater. I always like to see businesses working together in the area it’s a win for everyone.
As some of you may have heard this Gal was pretty excited about Philly Beer Week 2014 and was looking forward to enjoying several events. There were so many events to choose from but one particular one caught my eye; the Weyerbacher Tap Takeover at the Hulmeville Inn. I had never been to the Inn but was looking forward to trying it out and no better time than a tap takeover.
I’ve been hearing for some time how great the Hulmeville Inn is but truth be told the smoking kept me from seeing for myself. Luckily it’s smoke free now! As soon as I walked in I knew this was going to become a Geeky Beer Gal hangout. Upon arrival I loved the little garden area outside that lead you to a wonderfully cozy (think lots of nice dark wood and brick) bar area with table options and a descent size horseshoe shaped bar and a closed in porch area off the front of the building. Another words plenty of seating options for those who want to be in the heart of things and those who want to be off on their own in a more quiet setting. What really got this Gal’s attention the room with POOL TABLES – hello! Great beer + pool tables = fun.
The pool tables were going to have to wait for another visit for this visit it was all about the beer. My companion and I took seats at the bar and were presented with the tap list. The tap list consist of 20 beers 16 of them excellent and 4 of them that need not be discussed any further. My favorite way to experience a tap takeover is with a tasting rounds so I can try as many beers as possible. I was a wee bit disappointed that the Inn doesn’t offer tasting rounds. Oh well, no biggie just meant I would have to choose wisely since all the Weyerbacher beers came in at 9% and above.
Rhumpshaka American Strong Ale – Weyerbacher Brewing 11%
Nice oaky color with a small eggshell white head. With just the first sip one can immediately tell this ale had been aged in rum barrels. Not only can you taste the rum but you can smell it as well. Along with the rum there’s flavors of citrus, vanilla, caramelized sugar and some spices. Even though this beer has an ABV of 11% it’s a very easy drinking beer. Another words be careful it can seek up on you have too much. I decided to move on after the one.
Before ordering my next beer my companion and I decided it was time for some food. The menu is very much bar food that is made right in front of you at the grill “kitchen” area. I’m happy to report the Inn is both meat and vegetarian friendly and they over some great deals.
Once the food was ordered it was time for Round Two:
Quad 2010 – Weyerbacher Brewing 11.8%
Smooth, smooth and smooth very little carbonation on this honey color beer. A nice quad with banana, cloves with hints of honey, toffee and very faint notes of tobacco.
Tango Belgian Dark Ale – Weyerbacher Brewing 10.6% (taste)
I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to a full glass of the Tango so the bartender was kind enough to pour me a sample taste. Right off the bat you can taste the cherries and what tasted like rye to me. It was interesting but I just wasn’t in the mood for a cherry beer. The taste was plenty for me this time around.
Sunday Morning Stout – Weyebacher Brewing 11.8%
For my last beer I decided to treat myself and request the Stout be mixed with the Framboise Lambic. Folks I highly recommend experimenting with mixing your beers. Stouts and lambics go wonderfully together and it’s so rare to have both on tap I had to go for it. The bartender was very accommodating and was happy to oblige. This combo was outstanding the richness of the stout complimented the Lambic wonderfully. I could still taste the chicory, bourbon and cocoa of the stout with the sweetness of the raspberries from the lambic. Ahhh, heaven.
I’m looking forward to a return visit to the Inn. The atmosphere at the Hulmeville Inn really lends itself to enjoying the day hanging for a while with some friends. Very pleased I finally got to try it out.
Side Note: Weyerbacher donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every drop of Last Chance IPA to small, regional animal rescue operations. These shelters offer dogs, cats and other pets their last chance to find a new home.