Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Old Belsnickel Delivers

S and I made it over to the Ice House Pub this week for dinner and the chance to try Breaker Brewing Company's Belsnickler Ale.

First, let's get one thing as clear as a December eve: This place does not serve run-of-the-mill, deep-fried pub-grub--even IF it has Pub in it's name! They have a real chef and the food's served on really clean plates and silverware.

It happened to be Italian night when we went and there were enough inspired Italian dishes on the menu to make even a South Philly native feel right at home.

Now don't get the wrong idea, I do have a major porcine obsession but I prefer mine in the form of kielbasa. But I have been know to make quick work of a sopressata.

The salads were fresh--large and overflowing a salad bowl. Not skimpily strewn across a small plate like so much straw on freshly seeded grass.

I chose the lasagna which came in a large portion, bathed in fresh home-made tomato sauce. As I've said again and again (and once more for the ladies): I like to taste the tomato unmasked by salt, sugar, peppers, and the whole shebang of other stuff that gets thrown in there from time to time when real taste can't be trusted. Well, in this sauce I found what I always look for and it was deeeelicous!

If you ask anyone, you'll get the same answer: Tazio has been a really good boy this year--maybe the most well-behaved in a long time.

All I can say to that is that is my brainwashing plan is working. Eggsalenttttt!

No. It just requires beer, constant work and attention to detail.

And it doesn't come easy. Po mo wu!

That being put out there, I guess someone has been watching `cause Old Belsnickle brought me something really nice--so nice in fact that he left it in a shaker glass instead of a stocking! This year he brought me amongst other things, a 22 oz. bomber of Belsnickler Ale.

Now this seasonal Quad/Winter Warmer available in draught at certain locations and bottles in others (methinks) so it can be found in a lot of places. Even bad boys and girls can get some, I hear. This beer is mighty tasty but at 8.1 ABV it seems a bit low for a Quad to me but I'm in it for the taste so what's with a name? I'm not Saint Michael by any stretch, but, and here's the thing: the taste, plus the eight dot one, added to prit-near perfection to me. This has a nice and complex malty backbone like some of their other beers and was unmistakably a Breaker Brewing beer. Perfect for a December Winter's Eve. The head was a bit weak but then again, I like to pour softly and carry a big keg. ClockworkOrange (gotta love that, huh?) had two fingers so it may have been the soft pour. (I'm wondering if this was Breaker's first go at a distributed bottle-conditioned beer? That could explain it. Note to self: I'm working on these, well, demons is too strong a word, let's say gremlins myself--some of my bottles come out great-others low carb. [Sheesh how many levels of indirection can you stand at this point?]).

The place was hopping at around 6 pm with kids, parents, dates, the after-work crowd and all sorts, so don't be afraid to bring anyone along. Oh, did I tell you about our waitress? She was so nice and pleasant--she went down the entire beer list from memory, was patient with us and knew the details about each dish on the menu, and seemed to be happy to be here waiting on us. Don't you just love when people are like that?

It's been a while since we've been here and I had forgotten how nice it is and how great the food tastes. They had a number of craft brews available and their inclusion on the taps site Mybeerbuzz, bodes well for this becoming a favorite haunt for the beer drinkers of Mountain Top.

The guys over that Breaker Brewing are quickly becoming this millennium's version of Sierra Nevada. Keep an eye on them--there are great things happening with their beers and expect more to come in `10.

1 comment:

mybeerbuzz said...

Rock on Tony, the Ice House and breaker Brewing Co!