Just finishing up a great weekend all around.  Hung out with good friends most of the weekend.  Got to actually run the floor at Copper Kettle Brewing (hope I served the customers and CKB well).  I had a great time hanging out and assisting several great customers make great beer.  Now I plan to sit back and relax a bit before getting ready for my day time gig at work tomorrow.  Another day another dollar.  A week from today I'll be in Baltimore MD teaching at an annual convention called Innovations.  I look forward to catching up with some old friends and great customers.  I do NOT look forward to being away from home and the family.  I'll do my best to have a good time and just hope I can find a few good beers while down there after work of course.  Nothing else really important to report so lets get to the beer.
Native Brewing Company – The Eleven Brown Ale – Grade 2.25
This beer was one I brought back from south Florida.  It is another one that is not brewed in Florida but instead this is brewed by Shipyard Brewing Company.  This is one of many beers I found like this.  The beer poured a very dark brown with a deep red tint.  It had a peppery spicy hoppy aroma.  The beer was a bit colder than it should have been served I’m sure.  I found this beer to be light in body.  It could be from the temperature as this seemed to get a bit thicker in body as it warmed up.  It had an average malty backbone.  But the problem I noticed is it produced a very metallic taste.  It also seemed a bit too dry and acidic for my likes.  It felt like a somewhat low beer that would lead to a harder hangover the next day.  The one plus to this beer was that the head was nice and thick and stayed with the beer through the entire drink and that is always a plus in my book.  I’m still a bit confused why these breweries do not brew local beers.  Is it a Florida Law?  Is it the environment?  I may need to email them and ask the question.  If anyone has this answer or has any thoughts feel free to let me know.

Appalachian Brewing Company – Espresso Stout Small Batch – Grade 4
We had some extra days in York and decided it would be nice to get to Harrisburg to visit a buddy of mine.  One of these days I’m going to visit other locations but I just love ABC Brewing so much this is always first on my list.  We stopped here for dinner and drinks and hung out with an old high school buddy.  It was great catching up and drinking great beer.  The food we ordered was really good.  My wife and I have grown custom to splitting a meal and sharing an appetizer lately and the chicken sandwich we ordered turned out really good.   We did order a sampler here as protocol would have it and found a mix of good and average beers.  I noticed on the board a “small batch” Espresso Stout.  This beer poured a DARK BLACK in the glass.  It was strong and smelled of coffee from the table below my nose.  When I put the glass to my mouth the roasty goodness of black and chocolate malts were BIG but the COFFEE notes were BIGGER.  This beer was HUGE on coffee and light on beer.  It really was quite enjoyable (if you like coffee that is).  It was actually refreshing and heavy on the body.  The head was light and not much to speak of but as I remember this was a great night out with a good friend and good beer.

Iron Hill Brewery - Tailgater Ale – Grade 3.75
The description read a top fermented beer brewed with a percentage of corn… the perfect session ale for summer.  I had been growing tired of beer at this point from so much on vacation.  So for this lunch I wanted something light and watery (all beers have a place).  This beer at 4.0% I believe seemed to fit right in.  It was light pale yellow almost watery looking.  The beer was crisp on the tongue and had a smell of yeasty bread.  It seemed very much like a lager beer but of course with the top fermentation is Ale.  It was light and refreshing with a light hop note.  It was perfect with the lunch that we had in Lancaster at the Iron Hill.  If you get a chance to visit this location you should definitely stop.  The staff was all very friendly and nice.  As I took the picture you see the waitress came by and asked if I wanted to stop in and take a look around.  OF COURSE!  Kevin one of the 3 brewers that were in the back gave me the 5 cent tour of the brewing area.  They had a few cask beers with some “FUNK BEERS” laying around in the back.  I think the event they were working on that evening may have had something to do with the Funk Beer; sort of sad I was not going to be around for that.  Kevin and the guys were incredibly friendly guys showing me the shop and talking about what they do at Iron Hill as a chain brewery.  They have to have 5 Iron Hill Regulars on at all times but then get to do their OWN stuff on the rest of the taps.  It seems like a great place to work and everyone seemed happy.  I have liked Iron Hill since I first visited one back in roughly 2001 in West Chester when I was living there and the second one opened up.  Cheers to Iron Hill – Glad to see the you have a firm grip on the chain brewery concept.

Thanks again for stopping by and PLEASE continue stopping back.


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