Date : June 5, 2010
Since today Jake and I are going to the Sharp Edge European Beer Festival, I thought it would be a good idea to finally post about the Penn Microbrewers Fest that took place earlier this month. As you might be able to tell, there was a lot of rain during the first session and a good portion of the area flooded but we still managed to have a great time. The attendance was still very good with beer lovers near and far flocking to the North Side’s Penn Brewery to sample some delicious beer. Most brewers featured a special release beer in the last 45 minutes of the session such as East End’s Black Strap Stout on cask, Smuttynose Wheat Wine, Green Flash Palete Wrecker and Victory’s Wild Devil. Jake and I were surprised to be handed tasting glasses made out of actual glass (a lot of brewfests tend to get rowdy and lead to breakage….). Overall I was very pleased with the variety available. It was just so hard to get to them all in 3 hours!
Scott’s getting the Black Strap Stout ready on cask. I just happened to be first in line! I was very excited to see some of my favorite breweries (in addition to East End), in attendance. Ommegang 3 Philosophers was available which is still one of my top 10 favorite beers of all time. Green Flash brought some great brews including a special IPA, the Palate Wrecker, which was a wonderfully complex imperial IPA. Brooklyn Brewery also brought their Local 1 and Local 2 beers which are liquid testaments to what good American brewers can accomplish. We had lots of good conversations with Pittsburgh brewers and beer lovers which only confirmed our belief that Yinzers are ready for better beer! For $40, the TDY guys got a glass, lunch, live music, and 3 hours of great beer: a pretty good value in my book.
An Intrepid Beer Drinker Braves the Flood to get to Sly Fox
Since 2/3 of TDY was at the early session, we grabbed an Allegheny Pale at the Penn Brewery then made the trip downtown to the Three Rivers Arts Festival. We arrived just in time to catch Guster live on stage. What a weekend!
Jake is just happy to be at Penn
My favorite is probably still Ommegang’s 3 Philosophers. I think the nice surprises here were East End Black Strap on cask, Smuttynose Wheat Wine, Green Flash’s Palate Wrecker IPA and the beers from Southern Tier. The rest are listed in order of tasting with a few comments about the flavor.
- Brooklyn Local 1 – nice Belgian Ale some interesting flowery notes that you won’t find in a lot of belgians.
- Boulder Flashback India Brown Ale – Hoppy with a lot of Cascade hop flavor but not much maltiness as per a normal brown.
- Ommegang 3 Philosophers – Simply amazing. Always in my top 10 favorite beers.
- Green Flash Hop Head Red – lots of cascade aroma. nicely balanced.
- East End Big Hop – Always good! Got to see Scott and talk to some East End employees.
- Main St. Brewing Black Watch Ale – a wonderful sweetness. aroma similar to Magic Hat #9.
- Philadelphia Fleur de Lehigh – very similar to a Kolsch beer with a touch of honey. interesting palette…
- Rust Belt Old Man Hopper IPA – not too hoppy. good hop and malt balance.
- Appalachian Brewing Espresso Stout – all about the coffee here. Very strong taste but nicely balanced by the malts. Lacks some body…
- Appalachian Scothish Ale – very very malty taste, red in color with little to no hop presence
- August Schell Firebrick – tastes much like a traditional lager/ lighter beer with just a tad more flavor.
- August Schell Hopfenmalz – a lightly hopped German style lager
- Smuttynose IPA – lot of cascade aroma with a nice bitter aftertaste. All about the cascade!
- Victory Helios – A belgian farmhouse ale. A nice flowery smell and a nice blend of spice. Really quite good.
- North Country Stout – nice roastiness to the aroma and taste. Smooth and Silky! very drinkable…
- Main St. Porter – Roasted and creamy tastes with a slight touch of caramel. Well balanced but with a kind of interestingly sweet aftertaste.
- Lancaster Rumspringa – A golden bock. Has a spicy aroma similar to a real pilsner but is actually a semi-sweet and very drinkable, thirst quenching beer.
- Sly Fox Pale Ale – lots of cascade aroma. Light and crisp, skips any real malty character.
- East End Black Strap Stout (on Cask) – very smooth with some nice roasted character. the cask really brings out some oak tones. I got the first glass (except for Scott!)
- Green Flash Palate Wrecker IPA – this is a really wonderful IPA. Lots of cascade with a crisp taste and that wonderful aftertaste in the back of your jaw.
- Green Flash IPA – a great summer IPA, crisp, clean, perfect about of hop/bitterness
- Southern Tier Unearthly Imperial IPA – nice hop balance that’s not overwhelming. Crisp and clean.
- Southern Tier Iniquity Black Ale – very drinkable for a black ale.
- Flying Dog Garde Dog
- Smuttynose Wheat Wine – sweet with a touch of that traditional wheat flavor. Complex flavor profile that is reminiscent of a Trippel but not quite as sweet.
- Victory Wild Devil – beautiful flowery smell, strong with a slightly acidic aftertaste.
- Troegs Hopback Amber – dryhopped. Smooth and well balanced between the hops and malt.
- Rust Belt Furnace Blast – solid, smooth beer with a light malty taste
- Full Pint Chinookie IPA – it’s a gateway IPA
Cheers to Black Strap Stout on Cask!
Church Brew Works is opening their patio for the summer season. Show up for an island menu including crocodile pierogies and drink some Cherry Quadzilla or Pious Monk Dunkel. You just might see a few Drunk Yinzers there…. http://www.churchbrew.com/
The Thunderbird Cafe in Lawrenceville is hosting local blues group, The Pawnbrokers at 10:00 PM with a $5 cover. The Thunderbird is a cozy place to see live music and enjoy an impressive tap list usually including a few selections from East End and Victory. TDY will also be in attendance! http://www.thunderbirdcafe.net
The Pennsylvania Microbrewers Fest 2010 hosted by the Penn Brewery is the main event on Saturday. I know Jake and I here at TDY have been excited about this one for a long time. There are going to be some great craft brewers there. I’m especially looking forward to Ommegang which is slated to bring Three Philosophers, definitely in my top 10 favorite brews. Local favorites such as Troegs, Victory, and Southern Tier will be in attendance as well as some bigger names like Magic Hat. $40 will get you in with beer, food, and a free tasting glass.
Point State Park (cour. Jim Orsini)
Saturday is just packed full of events this week. You can grab a paddle or just head down to The Point to watch the more than a thousand boaters break the Guinness World’s Record for the largest kayak and canoe flotilla. The record attempt is at 12:30 PM and should be interesting to see more than 1000 canoes and kayaks on the river. http://www.paddleatthepoint.com/
The Three Rivers Arts Festival starts on Friday and runs through June 13. In addition to all of the arts and exhibition tents, there are several musical acts throughout the weekend. Local band Good Brother Earl opens for Guster (6:45 PM and 7:30 PM) at the main stage. Guster is a pretty good live show and it’s a free concert. As long as the rain holds off, it should be a good time complete with the Drunk Yinzers.
***Weekend Previews are posted every Friday to showcase what’s going on around the ‘Burgh. Where’ s the beer? Where are you going to find TDY?