First new beers of November, Part Two

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Let’s continue on with Part Two.

Another offering we have from Ithaca Brewing is their new Box Of Hops, a variety 12pk of hoppy beers.  It contains their year round Flower Power IPA (95 rating), Dark Vine Black IPA, The Creeker Double IPA and Double Zilla Red Double IPA.  The latter 3 you’ll only find in this variety pack, so if you’re a serious hophead looking for a fix then you’ll want to grab this one.


We have a couple brews from Belgium up next.

First is Vicaris Generaal Dubble, available in 750ml bottles.  Generaal has an ABV of 8.8% and an 88 rating with over 60 reviews.  It’s flavours are raisin bread/cookie, dried candied fruits, candi and brown sugar, toffee, caramel, Belgian yeast and a hint of orange.  Grab one of these and break out a goblet and sip away.


Our next Belgian is Malheur 12 Quad, available in 750ml bottles.  Malheur 12 has a 91 rating with over 300 reviews and weighs in at 12% ABV.  So, another hearty bold brew that’s good for sipping, or sharing.  It’s flavours are toasted malts, dark fruits (fig, raisin, plum), brown sugar, chocolate, toffee, Belgian yeast and pepper spice for a nice bit of a warming sensation (like the ABV isn’t enough?  LOL).  This one will warm your belly.


Sierra Nevada’s DevESTATEtion Black IPA is now available in 750ml bottles.  Seems they lost their regular barley crop due to bad weather so they instead made this brew to replace the one they intended to make.  This brew has an 87 rating with over 150 reviews and an ABV of 6.7%.  DevESTATEtion has very roasty flavour characteristics, a bit of smokiness, charred coffee, bitter chocolate and a nutty note with grassy hops, grapefruit and resiny pine.  Something off the beaten path for the hophead.


Making it’s way back to us is Stone Brewing’s Double Bastard Ale, available in 22oz bombers.  This 11.20% ABV hoppy Strong Ale has an impressive 95 rating with over 4100 reviews, so that’s quite a track record.  Double Bastard won’t be around long, so make sure you get some of this before it’s sold out again.  DB’s flavours are dark fruits (dark cherry, fig, date), toffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla all balanced out by generous hoppy notes of citrus (grapefruit and lemon zest) and resiny pine.  Limited availability so e-mail back to secure some for yourself.


All our remaining beers are very limited so e-mail back ASAP if you want to reserve any to pickup at your convenience.

First up is Fullers Vintage Ale, available in 500ml bottles.  This is an 8.5% ABV Old Ale brewed in limited batches and the bottles are numbered.  The brewery suggests laying this beer down to age for 3-4 years.  Vintage Ale (this is the 2012 vintage) has a 93 rating with over 800 reviews.  Vintage Ale’s flavours are brown bread, dark fruits (fig, raisin, plum), chocolate, caramel, toffee, vanilla, orange marmalade with spicy Earthy hops for balance and a Sherry and Whiskey characteristic.  A complex and rewarding brew.  1 bottle per person, only 12 available.


Making it’s return is Dogfish’s Miles Davis Bitches Brew Imperial Stout, available in 750ml bottles.  Good news is that there is a bit more than last year, but it’s still a limited item, so 1 bottle per person for now.  Bitches Brew has a 94 rating with over 2300 reviews and an ABV of 9%.  Bitches Brew has flavours of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, honey, licorice, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla and pepper spice.  A rich and well rounded offering that only comes out once a year.


Our next group of beers were all very limited so we decided to make up another variety sampler pack so we could get it in the hands of as many hands as possible.  What we’re offering is an IPA Sampler 4pk that contains the following beers:

Schlafly Tasmanian IPA, 95 rating

Founders Harvest Ale IPA, 95 rating

Flying Dog Single Hop Simcoe IPA, 91 rating

That’s 3 limited and highly rated IPAs that are sure to make any hop loving beer enthusiast water at the mouth.  Only 24 of these IPA Sampler 4pks to go around, 1 per person.  A good value for the quality of these beers.




OK, so get your e-mail reservation requests back ASAP with any of the beers you want reserved for you.



11-12-13 Ithaca   11-12-13 Belgians

11-12-13 hoppy   11-12-13 limited

11-12-13 IPAs



First new beers for November, Part One

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Good evening all,

as mentioned in the heads up e-mail there’s loads of new beers to let you know about, so we have another two part e-mail for you.  Part two will follow after this one.  Let’s get to the beers straight away.


First, we have another seasonal Mead from B. Nektar, Dwarf Invasion.  This is a Mead infused with cherry juice, similar to the Zombie Killer we have in stock year round, but this one is dry hopped with Styrian Golding hops.  So it’s kind of like a hoppy Kriek, but with honey as the base instead of malt.  Dwarf Invasion’s ABV is 6% and it’s available in a 500ml bottle. 

Also still available is their Miel de Garde, made with the most select orange blossom honey and then aged in oak barrels for 18 months.  I recently had this at a good friend’s birthday celebration and everyone I shared it with agreed it was pretty amazing liquid.  If you fancy any of the honey Whiskies, this would be something worth trying, only this is far smoother and a bit sweeter.  Available in a 375ml, this is something you can treat yourself with on a special occasion.


New from Starr Hill of VA is their The Love Hefeweizen, available in 6pk bottles and singles.  The Love has an ABV of 4.6% and is an easy drinking brew that you may have seen at area concert venues on draft.  Here’s my review for The Love:

aroma: Banana and clove the most evident. Some wheat notes as well.

taste: You have to like banana to really appreciate this brew. I’m a big fan of banana, coconut and coffee flavours, so this hit my sweet spot. I’ve had loads of Hefeweizens, including Weinhenstephaner and other Germans, but I’ve never tasted such a ripe banana flavour on any of them like this one. Think of going to a supermarket and buying a bunch of bananas that still have green on the skin and when you peel them the flesh inside is still firm. That’s what this tastes like…a ripe banana. The clove and wheat flavours are also there as well, but the ripe banana flavour makes this beer, IMO.

mouthfeel: Crisp and moderately carbonated, light on the palate with a smoothness that makes this very sessionable.


Anchor Brewing of CA has a new brew to their year round lineup, California Lager, available in 6pk bottles and singles.  This 4.9% ABV Lager so far has an 83 rating.  It’s flavours are bready malts, crackery grains and a bit of honey with notes of lemon, grassy hops, herbal and spicy hops and a soft hint of pine.  A good Lager to try when thirsting for something smooth and sessionable.


Next up we have a handful of local/regional beers to tell you about.

New to us is Free Will Brewing of Perkasie, PA.  They have graced us with 2 of their offerings.

Coffee Oatmeal Brown is a Brown Ale brewed with coffee from a local coffee shop.  The distributor rep told me Free Will orders just roasted coffee beans from the shop as needed to make this beer, so it’s always fresh with flavour.  COB is available in 6pk bottles and singles.  It’s ABV is 8.3% and it has an 86 rating with over 30 reviews thus far.  COB’s flavours are roasted coffee, toasted oatmeal, cocoa and toffee with a bit of hazelnut and herbal hops for balance.  This is a most curious sounding brew, especially for those who love things coffee flavoured.


Free Will’s next brew is Techno IPA, available in 6pk bottles and singles.  Techno is a 6.6% ABV IPA with a solid 88 rating with over 30 reviews.  Techno has a bready malt base with hints of apple and white grape and hoppy notes of citrus (orange, grapefruit, tangerine) and tropical fruits (pineapple, mango) with a touch of pine.  A bright and flavourful IPA for the hophead.


From Neshaminy Creek Brewing comes a season offering, Neshaminator Weizenbock.  This Wheat based Bock beer is 8.5% ABV with an 85 rating in the early going.  It’s available in a 22oz bomber.  Neshaminator has flavours of caramel, chocolate, dark fruits, honey (they brew it with orange blossom honey after all) and slightly spicy hops.  A good dessert beer or something to sip on a cold night.


From Manayunk Brewing we have another new offering available in 4pk cans and singles, and that’s Session Blonde Ale.  This 4.6% ABV Belgian-style brew is pretty much brand new, so no rating yet.  It’s an easy drinking brew made with a simple clean malt bill with yeasty and hoppy notes of lemon zest and pepper spices.  Why not pick up a 4pk and see how sessionable it is?


With the coming of cold nights we also get more bolder and higher ABV brews.  Weyerbacher’s Quad is no exception as it makes it’s seasonal return to us once again.  Quad is available in 4pk bottles and singles.  This hearty 11.8% ABV brew has an 86 rating with nearly 800 reviews.  Quad has an array of tree fruits (apple, cherry, pear, banana and plum) with caramelized and brown sugar, toffee, Belgian yeast and notes of nutmeg and clove spices.  This one is surely a sipper on a cold night.


Another seasonal local brew is Yards Poor Richard’s Tavern Spruce Ale, available in 6pk bottles and singles.  This 5% ABV brew has an 81 rating with over 300 reviews.  It’s based on an old Colonial recipe that’s attributed to Ben Franklin himself.  Tavern Spruce’s flavours are toasted bread with a bit of nuttiness (similar to an Irish Red Ale) with caramel, light molasses, brown sugar, a bit of a mint tea like quality, Earthy hops and of course spruce as it’s brewed with spruce tips.  A good selection for a holiday brew.


Also from Yards is their Olde Bartholomew, a 10.3% ABV English Barleywine available in 750ml bottles.  Olde Bart has an 84 rating with over 50 reviews.  It’s flavours are toasted bread, caramel, toffee, honey, molasses with fruit notes of apricot, plum and raisin, brown sugar and cinnamon and citrus hops.  A bit of a different take on a traditional English Barleywine that’s worth a try.


From Telegraph Brewing of CA comes Stock Porter, available in 750ml cork and cage bottles.  This is a bottle conditioned Porter, so a Porter with a Belgian-style twist.  This 7.5% ABV brew has an 80 rating with over 70 reviews.  Stock Porter has flavours of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits (raisin, plum) with hints of oak and vanilla and a touch of red wine sourness from the yeast.  As I said, a Porter with a Belgian-style twist, which is Telegraph’s MO.


A new release from NY brewery Ithaca is their 15th Anniversary Dark Rye Ale, available in 750ml bottles.  15th Anny is a 8.4% ABV brew with an 87 rating on over 50 reviews.  It’s flavours are bready malts, toasted grains, spicy rye, fruity yeast, Earthy hops, dark fruits and a hint of citrus.  An interesting mix of flavours to round this one out.


Hoppin Frog has released their Barrel Aged Outta Kilter Scotch Ale, available in 22oz bombers.  BAOK has an ABV of 8.2% and an 87 rating with over 70 reviews.  It’s aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels that were previously used for Barrel Aged BORIS Imperial Stout.  Hmmm, really?  BAOK’s flavours are toasted malts, caramel, toffee, honey, brown sugar, raisin, apple and from the barrels hints of vanilla, oak and Whiskey.  If you like barrel aged brews then this one should get your attention.


That’s the end of Part One.  


11-12-13 Mead   11-12-13 lighter styles

11-12-13 local 2   11-12-13 local 1

11-12-13 big singles



First new beers of October, Part Two

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Let’s continue with Part Two.

We left off at Germany and we’re going to stay in Europe for our next couple of beers, but in countries you don’t think of when you think of beer.

First up is a beer from Spain, La Socarrada Ale available in 750ml bottles.  This 6% ABV is a Golden Ale  with an 87 rating with over 30 reviews.  It’s brewed with rosemary and rosemary honey.  Seriously.  This one got the best of my curiosity so I had to try a bottle for myself.  Here is my review:

aroma: Smells like honey. I’m not talking about a Mead, I’m talking honey. Like open up a jar and stick your nose in it honey. Honey and bread is what it reminds me of for those of you who have just slathered a slice of bread with honey to eat, this is what this beer smells like. I get a faint bit of the rosemary, I know what it smells like since I cook with it usually when making pasta. There’s some white grape in the background, sort of wine-like. I’m not getting much else out of this, but what’s there smells pretty good.

taste: The honey isn’t near as prominent in the taste. It’s there, but more subtle. Primary flavour is like crackers, scones and baguette. There’s a hint of caramel and orange as well with pear and white grape to accompany the honey note. On the finish you get a firm but short lived kiss of the rosemary which is a nice touch. The rosemary only lingers on the palate for a few moments before it fades.

overall: I really enjoy this beer. It has a nice flavour and would be a great food beer. The body and mouthfeel were very good, it’s rather easy drinking and pretty smooth. If you don’t like rosemary this beer wouldn’t be for you. I think it adds a great bit of depth to the flavours. This would be a great beer to take to a Spanish or Mediterranean restaurant, luckily I have a good one only 10 minutes away (Barcelona in Pitman, check it out).


The other beer is from Israel.  Malka Keha Dry Stout is available in 4pk bottles for and singles.  I’m a Stout lover so I had to give this 6% ABV brew a try, besides, there’s only but a few other reviews for this one so here is mine:

aroma: Chocolate, cocoa, black bread, cake batter, light coffee notes and a bit of char and roast in the background. Smells pretty good.

taste: Oh hell yes. The coffee really steps up in the taste. Not like a straight up coffee infused Stout, but it’s solidly there, the main flavour. Nice slightly bitter chocolate notes as well with the roasted barley and malts, black bread and a tiny hint of vanilla that mixes with the coffee for a mocha-like taste. This is a basic yet well done Dry Irish Stout.

I think this one is worth taking a punt on and I don’t think it’s readily available so if you hesitate now you might miss out.


Next up are a few hoppy beers for you hopheads.

The first couple are from Three Heads Brewing of NY, both are available in 4pk bottles for and singles. 

The Kind IPA is Three Heads first brew.  This 6.8% ABV IPA has an 84 rating with over 250 reviews.  The Kind’s flavours are a base of toasted bread, caramel and biscuit malts with hoppy notes of grapefruit, lemon and pineapple with the main focus being the dank resiny pine.  This one is a near Imperial IPA by the flavours and the ABV, so it should please any hophead.


Three Heads second offering is Loopy, an Oatmeal Red Ale.  Oatmeal?  We’ve all heard of Oatmeal Stouts, but in a Red Ale?  Curious.  Loopy has an ABV of 6.6% and an 86 rating with almost 100 reviews.  I just had to try this one so here is my review of Loopy:

aroma: Toasted bread and caramel up front with sweet citrusy hops right behind. Good opening aromas on this. Getting a little sticky toffee as well. The hops are orange mostly with pink grapefruit and lemon along with resiny pine. I’m digging the aroma on this.

taste: The malt tastes match the aroma with toast and caramel, but I also get stone ground cracker as well. While the orange aroma was strongest, in the flavour the grapefruit is the main player, though the orange is right behind it. The pine also comes into play to mix with the citrus and malts. In between the initial malt flavours and hops I get a hint of oatmeal cookie, nothing sweet but I it reminds me of the taste of oatmeal cookie.

This one was something different in a good way, so give it a try.


Our third hoppy beer comes to us from Victory.  We all know Victory makes some really good beers and now we can appreciate their new Imperial IPA, which will be year round, Dirt Wolf.  Dirt Wolf is available in 4pk bottles for under $9 (great value here!) and singles.  It’s ABV is 8.7% and thus far it has garnered a very impressive 96 rating with over 100 reviews.  Here’s my review of Dirt Wolf:

aroma: Bready malt, biscuit, light toasted grains. Fresh green pine needles. Soft notes of citrus and tropical fruits like pink grapefruit, tangerine, clementine, pineapple and mango. There’s also a faint flowery herbal scent like jasmine or lavender.

taste: That is a very clean crisp and somewhat dry DIPA. Very easy drinking and almost evaporates off your palate. Flavours are caramel, bready and biscuit malts, light grains with a soft green pine note and pink grapefruit and bitter orange. I’m not getting the tropical fruit notes I got from the nose, however. Very well balanced between the malts and the hops.


Next up are 3 Porters.

Innis & Gunn has released their Scotch Porter, available in 4pk bottles for and singles.  Scotch Porter is a new beer for them and so far there are no reviews.  It’s brewed with molasses and aged over Bourbon infused oak for 39 days.  If you’ve had and enjoyed their other beers then this one should satisfy you as well.


Another addition to Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Series is Baltic Porter, available in 4pk bottles and singles.  This 8.5% ABV brew has an 84 rating with over 170 reviews.  Baltic Porter has a cornucopia of flavours going on:  caramel, toffee, dark fruit (raisin, cherry, plum), molasses, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, licorice and a bit of a Port wine aspect as well.  For those of you who like to entertain your palate with a carnival of tastes, you would do well with this one.


From Port City Brewing of VA we now have their Porter, available in 6pk bottles and singles.  PC Porter has a 7.5% ABV and a solid 90 rating with over 200 reviews.  It’s flavours are roasted malt, baking chocolate, coffee, molasses and plum with an assertive Earthy herbal hoppy note for balance.  Sounds like a solid Porter that any fan of the style would appreciate.


Our final beer is (for now) limited and we’ll be taking e-mail reservation requests for it, so reply back ASAP to have this one reserved and held for you to pickup when you can.

Founders Breakfast Stout

Breakfast Stout is available in 4pk bottles.  For now it’s one 4pk per customer.  The good news is that Founders is supposed to keep sending Breakfast Stout to NJ till Janaury, so we will see this one again and you will be able to purchase it again (hopefully at least 2 more times).  How often and how much more I’m not sure, but it will be back again.

Breakfast Stout is an 8.3% Imperial Stout infused with coffee.  If you like coffee flavoured beers this is one of the best you’ll ever have.  It has a 100 rating with over 8000 reviews and is the #22 beer on BeerAdvocate’s Top Beers list.  That’s very very impressive to say the least.  It’s only available in Autumn and early Winter and in limited quantities, so make sure you get yours while we have it for you.




10-8-13 From Where   10-8-13 4pks


10-8-13 Porters   10-8-3 FBS


First new beers of October, Part One

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Good evening all,

as promised here’s the latest Beer Club e-mail notice and yes, since we have so many new beers to inform you about, this is a two part e-mail so as not to overwhelm you with too much info at once.


We’ll start with Seasonal brews, meaning Fests and Pumpkins.

First up is Leinenkugel’s Uber Octoberfest available in 4pk bottles and singles.  Uber could be referred to as an ‘Imperial Octoberfest’, however that term doesn’t really exist, but it’s a good description.  This 8.5% ABV brew, part of their Big Eddy Series, has an 81 rating with nearly 60 reviews so far.  It has flavours of toasted grains and breads, caramel, brown sugar and toffee with Earthy hops for a bit of balance.


Next up are a pair that are a collaboration between 21st Amendment (you know, the brewery that makes the Watermelon Wheat) and Elysian, who has a knack for making very good Pumpkin beers.  It’s called He Said and it’s 2 cans each of Pumpkin Tripel and Pumpkin Baltic Porter.  It’s available by the 4pk and in singles.  Both ring in at 8.2% ABV.  I took home a can of each to try since they are new beers with barely any reviews to tip us off.  Here are my reviews of each:

Pumpkin Tripel

aroma: A nice whiff of pumpkin with baking spices (clove, nutmeg, cinnamon) and Belgian yeast. Banana on the 2nd whiff along with candied fruits like pear, apple and peaches. This really smells like it should be damned delicious. I’ll be buggered if this is a trick and the flavour doesn’t match the aroma.

taste: The pumpkin isn’t as pronounced as it is in the nose, but it’s there just enough. The spices follow and then I get a bit of pie crust as well, which is a welcomed touch. Then the flavours of a solid Tripel come into play from mid palate to finish, just as described in the aroma with the Belgian yeast adding a bit of soft herbal spice and a floral note. I’m not buggered, I’m chuffed to bits. This is almost as tasty as it smells, good enough for me.

overall: This is a very enjoyable brew, wonderful aromas and a flavour that makes you want more. Might have been even better had the flavours of pumpkin/spices and the flavours of a Tripel blended more instead of coming in stages, but this is still a very solid and tasty beer. Nicely done from 21st Amendment and Elysian.

Pumpkin Baltic Porter

aroma: Heavy baking chocolate aroma with some espresso in the background. Not getting any pumpkin aroma in this and the spices (nutmeg, allspice) are very faint. The chocolate is the dominant scent though I do get a little of black bread, dark fruit (fig, raisin) and molasses buried under the chocolate. Smells nice, but I do hope the flavour doesn’t reflect the nose and I’ll get more of the other flavours and not just mostly chocolate.

taste: Have to say, I’m not impressed with the flavours on this. They seem watered down in the mouth, nothing like the aroma. And they aren’t in balance, they are all over the place with each flavour running around on it’s own. No structure to speak of here. The chocolate is fainter than the nose and mostly makes it’s appearance at the end. There’s a bit of roast at the fore and middle.

So as you can see I was a big fan of the Tripel but not a fan of the Baltic Porter.  Maybe your opinion will differ from mine.  We only got 3 cases of this beer, so not a lot to go around.  Should you be intrigued by this one you may e-mail back to have it reserved for you so you know it’ll be waiting for you.


From Great Lakes comes another of their Imperial Seasonals, Nosferatu, an Imperial Red Ale in 4pks and singles.  This 8% ABV brew has a solid 92 rating with nearly 1500 reviews, so quite a good pedigree on this one.  We only got 3 cases and once sold out it’s gone until next Autumn.  Nosferatu’s flavours are toasted nut bread, caramel and toffee with fruity notes of grapefruit, orange rind and apricot and floral and herbal hops with assertive pine. 


Our next few Seasonal beers are all local/regional offerings.

First up is Manayunk Brewery’s Octoberfest, available in 4pk cans and singles.  We only got 3 cases of this one, which is new for them (as was their Yunkin Punkin which was a very good Pumpkin beer) and thus far there are no reviews on it.  I have yet to try this one myself, so any of you that want to try a new local Octoberfest will be an independent adventurer. 


From Neshaminy Creek Brewing of Croydon, PA we have their Punkel Dunkel in 22oz bombers.  Punkel is a Pumpkin Dunkelweizen, which makes it the first such creature I’ve heard of.  I’m a big Dunkel fan so I figured to bring this one in and give it a go.  This 8.8% ABV brew has a good 88 rating so far nearing 20 reviews.  Here’s my review of Punkel:

aroma: The classic aromas of banana , bubblegum and clove spice along with some caramel and toffee with subtle hints of dark fruits like cherry (dark) and fig. Mellow baking spice scents linger in the background, but I don’t get any pumpkin aroma.

taste: To me this pretty much tastes like a nice Dunkel and not a Pumpkin Dunkel as I’m not getting any pumpkin flavour in the taste. The Autumn baking spices of allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon make a cameo at the beginning and then give way to the classic Dunkel flavours. The rest of it is a good solid Dunkel with all the aromas present in the taste with bubblegum and dark cherry really standing out to me. One bright note is I get a little bit of pie crust at the beginning with the baking spices, just no pumpkin to speak of. I don’t know if the true flavours of the Dunkel are masking a very faint pumpkin taste or if it’s just not there to begin with. Hard to score this one because it is a solid Dunkel but I am disappointed with the lack of pumpkin. Another plus is that the 8.8% ABV is well hidden. I’d swear this is a typical 5% Dunkel. As it warms the baking spices carry through to the finish for a nice touch.

If you like a solid Dunkel then you’ll want to give this one a try for yourself.


New to us is Prism Brewing of North Wales, PA.  Their Autumn Seasonal, Red Zone, is one of 2 beers from them we’ve brought in.  Red Zone is an Irish Red Ale with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and PA maple syrup added to it.  It’s available in 6pk bottles and singles.  This 6.6% ABV brew has an 82 rating with close to 30 reviews thus far.  Upon it’s arrival I decided to crack open a bottle to see what it’s about.  I didn’t write a full review of this as I shared it with a couple of our staff, and our one beer drinking cashier gave it her stamp of approval.  I recall it having the typical notes of toasted bread and caramel that an Irish Red usually has, with a rustic Earthy flavour of herbs and spices that reminded me of Autumn.  The maple syrup is faint, but does a good job to lend a bit of sweetness to keep the flavours in balance.  I liked it and suggest giving it a go.


Keeping with both the local/regional theme and the Seasonal theme, we have 2 new Ciders to let you know about.  Both are available in 6pk bottles for and singles.  From Philadelphia Brewing Company comes Commonwealth Traditional Dry Cider and Commonwealth Razzberet Tart Cider.  Yes, Ciders from Philly.  We only got 2 cases of each one for now, so if you’re a Cider lover and like to support the local/area economy then don’t wait to pick up one (or both) of these Ciders.  Traditional Dry is made like a Cider you’d typically find in the UK, tart and on the dry side almost like an apple Champagne.  Razzberet Tart is made with raspberries from the Lehigh Valley so the juicy berries lend a bit of sweetness for a bit more balance, but it’s not going to be sweet like other flavoured Ciders.  These are Ciders you can pair with food that won’t be cloying.


Another Cider new to us is Crispin Original Cider in 4pk bottles for and singles.  We had their Brown’s Lane Cider before in 4pk cans, but thought to try the Original in bottles and see how they do.  Again, this is a more UK style Cider and not the sugary sweet style that some brands like to produce.


From a few gluten free beverages to another, we have another brew from New Planet for those of you who have to settle for gluten free beers.  Brown Ale is available in 4pk bottles for and singles.  You finally have a Dark Ale as a gluten free option now.  Brown Ale, at 6% ABV, is brewed with molasses, coffee, cocoa, vanilla and cinnamon for some extra flavour.  Worth checking out if you have to go gluten free or worth mentioning to someone you know who has to do so.


Back to Prism Brewing for their other offering, Bitto Honey Amber Ale, available in 6pk bottles and singles.  Bitto Honey is a hoppy ale with the addition of Chester County honey.  It’s ABV is 6.5% and it has an 80 rating with over 80 reviews.  Here’s my review of Bitto Honey:

aroma: Like multi-grain baked bread, biscuit, caramel and honey. By honey I mean the darker types, not the lighter types. People who have had different types of honey should know what I mean by that. Also some very faint notes of citrus, like lemon/lime, reminiscent of Sprite or 7UP.

taste: The honey is there throughout the taste of the beer, from start to finish. At the start I get a little of the lemon/lime I got in the nose, but that gives way quickly to the baked multi-grain bread and cracker-like notes. Then the honey mixes with some caramel before the hops comes into the fold. The hops and honey wrestle for dominance and they are pretty even as there’s both sweet and bitter on my tongue. The hops profile is rustic, Earthy, slight resiny pine with a tiny hint of grapefruit rind. Leaves a nice bitter kiss on the palate after the sweetness washes away. Not bad.


Southern Tier has added a new brew to their 2X Series of beers, this time it’s 2X Rye Ale available in 6pk bottles for and singles.  2X Rye is an 8.1% Double Rye Ale with an 87 rating based on over 100 reviews.  Here’s my review of 2X Rye:

aroma: Like stone ground crackers, hard German pretzels, toasted cereal grains, cracked pepper and a hint of citrusy lemon. Not really a complex array of aromas going on here, but the ones that are here smell like they should be tasty.

taste: Like it smells. Tastes like these pepper laced multi-grain crackers I had recently, along with the pretzel and cereal grains from the nose. Thankfully the rye in this does not have that anise flavour that I detest. Soft notes of lemon, pine and grapefruit towards the finish that linger a bit afterwards. Like the nose, flavours aren’t complex but the ones that are here are tasty. I’d have liked the hops to be a bit more assertive. The beer is well balanced.


Now we swing over to Germany as we have another brew from the Rauchbier (Smoked beers) kings, Schlenkerla, this time it’s their Eiche Oak Smoke Dopplebock.  Eiche is available in 16.9oz bottles.  It’s ABV is 8% and it has a 91 rating with over 500 reviews.  Eiche’s flavours are a base of caramel, dark/brown bread, toffee and dark fruits (plum, cherry) with accompanying notes of molasses, pepper and charred wood and of course the main player is the taste of smoked meats (ham, bacon, pork).  Rauchbiers are good beers for sipping on a cold night, so try one if you haven’t already.  I know it sounds odd, but they are very good.


Well that’s the end of Part One.  Part Two will follow right up.


10-8-13 Seasonal 1   10-8-13 Seasonal 2


10-8-13 Ciders   10-8-13 Assorted