Belgian Night at Iron Hill, At Least the Parts I Can Remember.

Wow.

A great night and, because I hitched a ride with Big Dan and Cruella (who gets a bad rap around here now and again, but is truly a Fine Human Being and Skilled Chauffeur, despite laboring under the delusion that the folks at Iron Hill were going to set up a table for 16 when she asked), I was free to imbibe excessively. Which, sadly, I did.

This has not been a good morning.

Not by plan, at least not until I recognized the pattern and just went with it, every beer I had was from one of the Iron Hill locations.

Fred, concocted by Larry Horwitz at North Wales, who was either absent or cleverly escaped my company, was the best (nah, that’ll just get me in trouble down the line) one of the best Flanders Red Ales I’ve ever tasted. A beautiful red beer, 5%, tart, complex and oh so easy to drink.

Rudolph’s Revenge, out of Media, where Medal Machine Bob Barrar holds sway, was a horse of another abv, as they say. A Belgian Golden Strong Ale with more hops than you’d expect (“we bascially took our Belgian Tripel and hopped the hell out of it,” said the tasting notes on the evening’s beer menu), 9%, spicy and grand.

Both those, my co-favorites of the evening, with the vote going to Fred if I had to choose, were in 12oz servings, as were the Fe 10, the big Annivesary Ale brewed by the three founding partners of Iron Hill, a bottle of which I still have in my beer closet) which was brewed in Newark; The Cannibal, Chris LaPierre’s GABF Gold Medal winner, which was the West Chester host pub’s contribution, and Cannibal Nocturnum, a choclate-y, malty rendition using the same Belgian yeast strain as its namesake, from Wilmington. Showing some degree of moderation (much too late), I did 4oz tasters of Imperial Wit (Phoenixville) and Heywood, a 100% Brett beer, also from West Chester.

Did I mention I never ate anything all night?

The bus from Philly brought lots of folks not often seen out here in the ‘burbs to the event. I had a chat with Brendan “Spanky” Hartranft about the forthcoming Memphis Taproom of which his a part, getting him riled up to Bryson Volume Levels without much effort. I did my good deed for the week, hooking up Tom Kehoe with a guy who’s so passionate about Yards ESA that, when he couldn’t find it locally, map-quested the location of the new brewery and hauled his sixtel over there, only to find concrete pouring rather than beer, figuring Tom will work out get him a fill-up as soon as the brewhouse is up and running. Casey Hughes tried to convince me that it is my absolute obligation to trek over to Cherry Hill and see the new Flying Fish bottling line. I might actually do that.

And, folks, when I am considering going to New Jersey without being forced, you know I must be hung over.

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