Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What's Scranton about Cleveland--After the Fire

So there we were, perched on stools at a table along the wall and beginning to look over the beer menu. There was a nice selection of brews on there, beers one could drink all morning and others for special occasions. Still having to drive back to where we were staying, I opted for the DUNIA special (my word, not theirs) and picked the Burning River Pale Ale. Now, I know if this beer was around when the Cuyahoga river caught fire in 1969, it's quite possible it would have been quaffed by the firefighters working on the blaze. This beer is a 6-time Gold Medal Winner at the World Beer Championships and let me tell you, I can see why. It's an American Pale Ale that has the perfect blend of Cascade hops and malty sweetness. The pint arrived a deep tawny color which is something like a lion caught between the mid-day sun and a muddy watering hole. In other words, a brown-yellow color closer to brown with a tinge of yellow giving it a bright clarity. A thin head was present after the soft pour, but remained on the edge of the glass as I quickly sipped it. The citrus and pine of the hops came out noticably with just a tinge of sweetness. Ahhhhh perfection in a glass.

Looking over the menu, I noticed a sausage tray appetizer: a sampling of four sausages, with some pickled red cabbage and various mustards. Now, I'm here to tell you that a Pole and his sausage are never separated by more than an arms length and this looked mighty enticing so I opted for it to get the party started. Cleveland being one of the top 10 cities in America in terms of Polish-American population, explains it.

Looking around the bar some more, I noticed a vintage metal sign on the back wall for E. Robinson's Sons Brewery, Scranton PA! Doing a little research, I discovered that their Pilsner brewed in Scranton , were once considered the Beer of Beers for Over 50 Years. It's really a small world isn't it? The E. Robinson's Sons brewery met the wrecking ball in Scranton just 17 years ago--what a shame. There was another smaller tag-line on the bottom of the sign but for the life of me I can't remember it exactly. Something like: Bring some home for the family. I'll drink to that.

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