Articles by Matt Michini
Jun. 6, 2014
Allentown Brew Works offers velvety smooth ale
With names like Steelworker’s Oatmeal Stout, Pawnshop Porter and Blueberry Belch, Allentown Brew Works seems to have a penchant for run down, post-industrial small town imagery. But that’s not to say their beer is no good. In fact, the ones I’ve tried are pretty tasty. The brewery was also the first to snag the name “Hop’solutely” for their triple IPA. With most hop-related puns already trademarked, that is quite an accomplishment. I’m still holding on to “Sheer Hoppenstance” for when I start my own brewery. Don’t steal it!
May. 30, 2014
Brooklyn Brewery’s pale ale provides malty flavors
At one time, New York’s Brooklyn borough was a prominent brewing center in the United States. In 1900, it boasted 48 breweries and produced a large chunk of the country’s beer. But by the late 1970s, every single one of these breweries had shut its doors, succumbing to Prohibition followed by post-war poverty and the crippling decline of industry in the borough. The 1980s saw a slow revival of Brooklyn, with affluent newcomers and a resulting gentrification of many neighborhoods. However, the borough still lacked a brewery to call its own.
May. 23, 2014
Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery delivers mellow Brown Ale
Is it a duck or a rabbit? You decide, says the Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, whose logo depicts the decades-old rabbit-duck illusion. Personally, I think it looks more like a rabbit than a duck. That probably says something deep about my personality or whatever. Either way, Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery makes some pretty good beer. I first tried a Duck-Rabbit beer a while ago in Washington, D.C. It was the Hoppy Bunny Black Ale, and it was delicious. This time, I decided to try the Brown Ale.
May. 16, 2014
Detour Double IPA is very hop heavy with crisp notes
This week I grabbed a bottle of Uinta Brewing Co.’s Detour Double IPA. Uinta beers are usually quite easy to pick out due to their eye-catching labels and unique compass bottle. This particular label depicts an old truck towing one of those space-age rounded camping trailers. The truck and trailer are approaching a fork in the road and evidently have opted to drive toward the great outdoors in lieu of the hustle and bustle of the city.
May. 9, 2014
Yuengling Summer Wheat features bubblegum notes
In an increasingly bubbling craft beer market where a new brewery seems to be popping up in the United States just about every day, Yuengling Brewery is perhaps unique in its slow and cautious expansion. Even the “big three” breweries (Budweiser, Miller and Coors) have attempted to cash in on the burgeoning craft beer frenzy. But in a competitive and rapidly evolving beer industry, Yuengling has always done its own thing and hasn’t strayed much from its steady course.
May. 2, 2014
D.C. brewer makes pale ale with bitter, astringent finish
Washington, D.C., is a wonderful beer town. If you’ve ever visited a bar in the district, you’ve likely encountered a large, well-chosen draft beer list and plenty of people talking about craft beer. But despite a burgeoning beer scene, Washington had lacked its own production brewery for decades. Aptly aware of this void, D.C. natives Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock used their years of experience in the beverage, food service and brewing industries to open DC Brau Brewing Co.
Apr. 25, 2014
Unibroue’s Belgian Tripel packs complex mouthfeel
A triumph of modern beer brewing, the Belgian Tripel style is complex, tasty and strong. Like many Belgian styles, special yeast strains produce unique flavors not typical of other ales. In addition, spices like coriander seed and orange peel provide unique notes that add depth and character to the brew. The Tripel style originated in the Trappist breweries of Belgium in the early 20th Century. The origin of the name “Tripel” is not precisely known, though one theory suggests that the Trappist monks used three times the amount of malted barley, producing a formidable beer with a respectable alcohol content.
Apr. 18, 2014
County Line IPA provides well-balanced, hoppy taste
Last week, I took a trip to the Craft Beer Outlet in Northeast Philly to peruse their extensive selection and take advantage of their Tuesday half-price growler promotion. I opted for a local brew on tap and filled up my growler with the County Line IPA from Neshaminy Creek Brewing. I’d seen more and more beers from Neshaminy Creek on taps around Philly, but I realized I knew very little about this expanding brewery.
Apr. 11, 2014
North Coast Brewing Co. Makes Refreshing Pilsner
With springtime upon us, it’s time to start enjoying one of my favorite beer styles, Pilsner. This light lager style is typically hops-forward, with crisp malt flavors and moderate to high carbonation. Pilsners are typically light in color and body and are hopped with German and Czech varieties, which lend earthy, spicy flavor characteristics to the beer. Because of the light flavor profile, any imperfection in a Pilsner will not go unnoticed. In addition, the brewing process for a Pilsner is usually longer than that for a typical ale. These may be a few reasons why craft-brewed Pilsners are few and far between today. Because of their scarcity, I usually scoop up any craft Pilsner I can find on the shelf. The other day, it happened to be North Coast Brewing Co.’s Scrimshaw Pilsner.
Apr. 4, 2014
Oskar Blues’ Ten FIDY has sweet, delicious taste
This week I decided to try a beer from one of my favorite breweries, Oskar Blues. I picked up a can of their ominous Ten FIDY Imperial Stout — so named because of the 10.5 percent ABV rating. An imperial stout is just a stronger version of stout. Brewers use more grains and more hops, resulting in a heavier and heartier beer.