Oscar Blue Brewery, originally a restaurant in Lyons CO., brewed it’s first beer (Dales Pale Ale) in their basement in ’99. Five years later they became one of the first craft breweries to do what was then unthinkable: can their beers.
Much like the cork less wine bottle, can beers came with the stigma of unrefined, cheap ingredients, and most of all: DOMESTIC
Since breaking the Craft-Can-Barrier canning has become common place- now almost preferred. Canning enables the protection of of the beer from light, maintaining the high level of quality you would come to expect from a well regarded brewery.
Deviant Dales, is citrusy, with grapefruit rind and Piney Resin, Dry hopped with Columbus Hops.
G’Knight, is a dry hopped double red IPA with a nose full of aroma, sticky mouth feel, and large hop flavors
And don’t forget to recycle.
Domaine Dupont, Normandy France, strikes a different chord then most cider producers. At least most producers that Pennsylvanians have come to expect. Our liquor laws have barely crawled out of the prohibition era making brewers and distillers jump through hoops to get through PA state lines as well as the maze of regulations. Ciders selections have been hit hard by these tie-ups.
Outside of the typical sweet palate oriented mass produced big guys (Wood Chuck, Angry Orchard, Crispin, most of the ciders in our coolers) there is not much available. Candied Ciders hit the mark for many, most time anyways, but sometimes we crave something a little more nichey. Maybe something that shows a different side of the apple.
So for reasons only your divine overlord knows, the Domaine Dupont Etienne Cidre Triple has made it to the mean streets of Philly. She’s French you know?
Much like your attitude, The Apples chosen are bitter. The Distillers took a page from the book of brewing darker Belgian strong ales (thus the Triple in the name). The ABV is the highest of any cider we’ve had to date(11%!!!!!!!), the color is a darker amber, and notes of darker fruits are present. Finally, because they want to continue to mess with your expectations, it has a surprisingly dry and bubbly mouth feel. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as a Champagne substitute when the liquor stores are closed- and there is a good chance it would kick the shit out of the bottle of sparkling wine you were gonna choose anyways.
Bottle Bar East
Above: Pomegranate Wheat & Pomegranate Wheat Barreled-Aged Sour.
Naked Brewing Company, Huntingdon Valley PA, was built from the ground up by a pair of complimentary yet opposing parts. Jim- a former steam fitter turned brewer/ mechanical designer, and Brian- brewer/ company detail man, combining right and left brain to form a more perfect beer union.
These two beers have casual spring drinking all over them. While sipping the non barrel-aged Pomegranate Wheat, your mind doesn’t run around trying to figure out what it’s tasting: Pale Malts in the background, sweet pomegranate holding up foreground, and hint of tartness in the after taste.
The Barrel-Aged Sour Pomegranate Wheat doesn’t diverge dramatically from the frame work developed in the original- but changes have been made. While in barrels this little guy has been aged over raspberries leading to a more sour, but only mildly so, beer. No wild yeast was involved- meaning no vinegary funkiness… Just sweet and sour fruit.
Finally: These beers pour with a healthy rich head, but their bodies tend to be a little on the thinner side.
We are happy to have Naked Brewing Company part of our collection so we hope you give these guys a taste. They want to be in your bodies.
Bottle Bar East
Considering they were acquired by Anheuser-Busch in early 2011 Goose Island has been interesting to watch. Although Craft Beer has never formally been about complete separation from the corporate experience, it was very heavily implied. A major allure of the scene was its emphasis on making a better product than an unfeeling-shareholder-driven-money-machine ever could- So when craft breweries start being bought out left and right, does the quality of beer collapse?
Philosophical Arguments aside- Goose Island has been able to make some great beers in recent years including many iconic ones- “Sofia”, “Matilda”, and the “Four Sisters” series just to name a few. So lets take a peek at one of their most recent addition: Endless IPA
Goose Island’s first entry into the “session” beer category has some interesting features.
The aroma has floral hoppyness, but it’s not an aroma that rushes out of the bottle to fill the room.
For a session beer its body pleasantly isn’t watery. It’s satisfyingly milky, almost like a cream ale, nicely complimented by a subtle carbonation.
The taste combines some minimal malt and dank herbal hops.
Simple, tasty, all day drinking.
Perennial’s Brewer, Phil Wymore, has an interest in “different” beers. Brewing popular strong American hopped ales don’t interest him, at least as far as his own creations are concerned. And while many of his beers have old world (Bel./Germ./ U.K.) inspiration as their foundation, the subtle accents are what set his beers apart.
Woodside is a honey tripel, as advertised, clocking in at 9% Abv. It’s sweet, with strong Belgian Yeast Aromas, and high ABV. The ABV is hardly noticeable, but the honey is very apparent- delivering a decadent, but well balanced Perennial.
Baldur the Brewmaster,
a native Icelander who has studied brewing in Germany and returned to his homeland for the opportunity to brew craft beer just miles south of the Arctic Circle.
During his time in Germany he learned German and Belgian brewing techniques, which comes through each of the three beers we had a chance to try. The quality of the water used in brewing also added an interesting characteristic. Water, arguably the most important ingredient, can make or break a beer. And in the case of Einstok, water does much of the talking.
Sourced from glaciers and filtered through lava fields- the water tastes so clean it almost overwhelms the beer itself- particularly the Icelandic White Ale. Coriander and orange peel compliment the clean glacier appeal with a cut of citrus and spice. The Icelandic Pale gives us a sweeter toffee and subdued hop approach, while the Icelandic Toasted Porter sticks to a very traditional direction – Dark Roasty malts that are noticeable, but not overwhelming, with a very light drinkable body that is approachable any time of the year.
It may not feel like it, but it is in fact spring, and summer is right around the corner. Session beers tend to be my go to during these seasons, and I wouldn’t hesitate to drink like a modern day viking.
Bottle Bar East loves your face.
This month we are rolling out our first beer dinner featuring two of our favorite breweries paired with dishes designed by our own Chef Dan Bellotti.
Each Course is not only served with, but also cooked with the featured brews.
Tickets are $60, which includes four courses and four beers. They can be purchased in house or over the phone.
Scallop ceviche with spring onions, blood orange and grapefruit
Pan seared Pork belly with string bean and tomato salad
Quail stuffed with duck sausage, served with shaved brussels’ sprouts
Rhubarb and Pomegranate Panna Cotta
Often times when speaking in regards to a brewery we bring the most complicated beers forward. It makes sense. It’s not hard to go mad for the “Bourbon Counties”, “Perennials” and “Russian Rivers” of the world. They see the light of beer stores for a few hours and are soon to be whisked away to be digested or stored for a year or so in a cold cellar somewhere. Then their are brews like Souther Tier’s new season, 2xONE. One hop (Mosaic), one malt (Special Pale).
Southern Tier has played a big role in our cooler since the beginning. It’s an odd day that they don’t enjoy the comfort of an entire shelf just to themselves and it’s not just variety that affords them such real-estate.
Southern Tier’s year round, “2x”, and 12oz seasonal brews arch toward simple but well crafted recipes. The emphasis is on clean and balanced flavors created using quality traditional ingredients (water, hops, malts, yeast, grains).
This does not imply that they brew uninspired beers. They have focused on pull
ing the most out of simplicity, complimenting the overwhelming diverse variety of malts, hops, yeasts, and grains that can be drawn from every region on earth.
This direction leads to intriguing, sometimes simple, almost always satisfying (like their new 2xOne release). Fun and indulgent isn’t beyond their abilities(Choklat, Creme Brûlée, Pumking) and well crafted specialty brews, such as the Grand Arbor Belgian styled ale, are not absent from their repertoire.