As we slip-slide into Autumn, two of the big news items during the last days of summer were that Stone’s Greg Koch will be cutting his beard for charity and Dogfish Head is opening a hotel so Sam Calagione can have one more thing to to call “off-centered.” More locally, Scott Morrison has laid out a rather striking potential beer list for the soon to open Barren Hill Tavern in Lafayette Hill and we might see a big new contract brewery in Allentown.
And really, really locally, which is to say right here at Liquid Diet World Headquarters, the sad news is that my on-again/off-again four-day sojourn to Belgium in November has fallen permanently into the back side of that “/” thing. It is going to be one helluva trip conducted by a group called the Belgian Family Brewers which includes presentations and tastings involving 21 different breweries. This trip originally scheduled for last June, when neither I nor most of the invitees could (the only person I know of who is in the group is Jay Brooks). I at first had to turn down the November re-schedule, but the persistence on the part of the person running the tour kept me trying to work it out and sent me scrambling to renew my passport. I was back in until this past week when I had to withdraw in time for them to take me off the traveling party reservations without cost to them. No need to go into why, so I’ll just say “physical therapy.”
On a more pleasant note, I enjoyed three hand-bottled samples sent to me by my friends at Delaware’s 16 Mile Brewing this past week. In particular, Long Ben ESB (5.96%), a collaborative brew with a group of Northern Delaware chefs which involved the addition of fresh pineapple and mango and then oak spires which were soaked in white rum. Really interesting and summery. The other two, Made in the Shade (no abv provided), a “Blackened” IPA with such additions as 12-year old Single Malt Scotch, and Peter’s Deptford Addiction (9.6%), a Russian Imperial Stout, were, as was the ESB, really well-made and balanced beers, a pleasure to drink. Keep your eye on 16 Mile. Their new taproom in Newark, DE officially opened this weekend and has been doing “great numbers” during a soft opening period according to sales and marketing guy Claus Hagelman, who also promises “we have some very big news coming.” Let’s hope that’s packaging for off-premise sales and maybe even an entry into the Philly market.
Finally, I picked up a bottle of Cicada Indigenous Ale (8.5%), the newest release from Yards Brewing, this week as well, a “Belgian style India Pale Ale” brewed with “local wildflower honey, a classic Belgian yeast strain and a hop variety so new it hasn’t even been named yet.” Pleasantly hopped, well balanced and, yes, I want more.SHARE