Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rainy Day Thursday

T-Bone and I took a well deserved sunny 90 degree rain day Thursday in the Poconos.

To solve all sorts of world issues. (Government officials have been advised.)

And enjoy a few brews in the mid-summer heat.

We hit Barley Creek Brew Company (BC), The Gem and Keystone Brew Pub, and finished up at Pocono Brewing Company (PBC).

Easily the most interesting beers of the three was Shawnee Craft Brewing Company's at the Gem and Keystone Brew Pub. Although it must be noted that Barley Creek Brew Company and PBC are between brews as each only had a dark and light of their own on. Barley Crew was serving their Navigator Golden Ale and Antler Brown Ale--serviceable each, but just that. PBC had their Ball and Chain lager and light ale house beers on. Same: quenching but uninteresting.

Shawnee Craft beers at the Gem and Keystone on the other hand were a study in detail and craftsmanship.

We started with the Bière Blanche--although T-Bone wanted the Raspberry Blanche which was off. As refreshing, zippy, and zesty wheat as this one would be hard to find anywhere--except perhaps Belgium. Beautiful color and head, essence of lemon on the nose, and a delicious thirst quenching rush when drank. Being 90+ outside, I would say it's hard to find anything better when you want to cool off.

T-Bone had another Blanche for his second but I opted for the Double Pale traditional I.P.A.

Now, this is a 100% organic content beer and props to Shawnee for that. It comes in at 7.2 ABV/64 IBU so it's just about right for a double in this style.

The creamy off-white head (if I didn't know better I might say this beer was on nitro), imparts a distinctive hop aroma, which all us hop heads love, and it comes across clearly. But turned down a notch and more subtle. It's strength is in the middle somewhere between the usual piney/citrusy blast and having to squeeze your gizzard to discern it.

Different from most double I.P.A.s in this respect and a nice change from the ordinary.

But what makes this I.P.A. different is it's taste. Not as bitter as you would expect, with a clean and more neutral flavor profile. Some pine and citrus, but not too much to turn on the afterburners. There is a not-objectionable flavor somewhere in the middle which I could not place. This is an English I.P.A. that's been hopped up a wee bit. Very tasty indeed.

Beautiful lacing on the glass. All. The way. Down.

Shawnee Craft Brewing Beers are great and their trademark: Fidelis in naturam In artem fidelis™ roughly translated means: Faithful to nature. Faithful to craft.

True words indeed.

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