Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia, PA

I stopped in at Yards Brewing Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It seemed reasonable to have a flight to check out their beers – which I did.  I enjoyed the beers with dinner – the two meet barbecue board – brisket and ribs.  The food was tasty.  ANd it paired nicely with the beers.  Their Pale Ale is really nice.  It’s a hoppy pale.  Their Extra Special Ale is pretty close to an ESB.  Nice.  Signature IPA is a very drinkable IPA – not over the top hoppy.  But I’m totally in love with Brawler English Mild.  I’ve visited many breweries and very few have an English Mild on tap.  I liked this enough to purchase a six pack that I lugged over a mile back to my hotel (on business travel) and fortunately I drove to Philly so I don’t have to worry about getting it past TSA in an airport.  Brawler is smooth – very smooth.  It’s rich.  It’s mildly caramelly.  It’s light.  It’s so easy to drink.  Delicious.  Well, as it happened I felt urged to get another flight.  I tried Pynk sour berry which was just that sour berry.  Refreshing.  I also tried Post Run Beer – a standard Lager – which my wife enjoyed.  The Nitro Coffee Brawler was nice but seemed like the coffee might need to be stronger.  Not sure.  And Washington’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter was rich and delicious.  Frankly, I think anything aged in bourbon barrels is amazing.  Maybe I’ll be buried in a bourbon barrel. Where did that come from?  Any way, Washington’s Reserve makes for a delightful dessert drink.

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Prince Edward Island Brewing Company, Charlottetown, Canada

I stopped in at Prince Edward Island Brewing Company in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.  I really enjoyed this place.  It’s open; cool vibe; industrial; artsy; lots of space; games to play; helpful bar staff.  I narrowed today’s beer to the Snowbird Juicy IPA.  I really liked this beer.  My son-in-law is a big fan of hazy, juicy IPA’s.  This is so good I’m bringing him a can home from Canada.  I think he’ll love it.  I really enjoyed it. It has a delicious citrus flavor along with enough hop bitterness to be an IPA but not overpowering.

I tasted the blueberry ale, which had enough blueberry flavor to give it that taste but not too much.  And, finally, I tasted the stout which was delicious.  Full disclosure, I had enjoyed the Beach Chair Lager at Rick’s Fish and Chips in St Peters before I got to PEI Brewing or I might have had another beer or a flight.  I really liked the Beach Chair Lager and it went well with fish and chips.  Rick’s fish and chips were the best we had on the island!  And, my wife enjoyed the beer too.  Win Win Win.

I also bought a can of Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale for my dear friend John B.  I think he’ll get the connection.  I didn’t try it but if it’s as good as their other beers it’s phenomenal.

Upstreet Craft Brewing, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

I stopped in at Upstreet Craft Brewing in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.  With help from the bartender I selected Commons Czech Pilsner, Rhuby Social Strawberry Rhubarb Witbier, William Windsor Porter, and Top Stamp Honey Brown Lager.  The bartender also gave me a taste of Do Gooder American Pale Ale.  So here’s the run-down.  I enjoyed the Commons; a great easy drinking crisp beer.  And, my wife even enjoyed it which is very rare.  She’s not a beer drinker.  Rhuby Social is tasty with a hint of fruit flavor but certainly not overpowering.  William Windsor is a lovely porter.  Coffee and caramel and chocolate flavors.  With the cold rain it was a delightful warmer.  Top Stamp is smooth and malty.  Do Gooder is a crisp Americal pale with a bit of citrus.  Not strong.  Very easy to drink and tasty.

The taproom offers food but we had recently eaten a very filling lunch at the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company and didn’t have room for anything to eat.  That’s another story but this place is wonderful (seafood chowder, potato pie, raspberry cream cheese pie – enough said).  Back to Upstreet, the taproom is a cool industrial space, comfortable, and indicative of the size of their mug club quite the local hangout.

 

The Gahan House, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

I stopped in at The Gahan House in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.  What a beautiful place to visit for a work related conference.  The beers are very tasty.  Vic Park APA has a grapefruit flavor due to the citra hops.  The Raspberry Sour is just that – raspberry and sour.  Refreshing and fruity.  The Island Red is a great flagship – the red soil in PEI – the red ale is rich and malty and crisp.  And finally Iron Bridge Brown is almost like a stout.  Not heavy.  Malty brown ale.  Great beers and a great historic setting.

Founders Brewing Company, Detroit, MI

I stopped in at Founders Brewing Company in Detroit, Michigan.  I’ve been eager to get to Founders for quite a while.  We recently had the wedding of our youngest son and we did a beer tasting to determine what beers to serve.  Founders All Day IPA was our go to IPA for the beer selection for the wedding reception.  And, it was one of the most well-received beers we had available.  The folks at Founders were even nice enough to send us some swag for display at the wedding reception bar (Awesome!)  I had to have one draft at the brewery and was not disappointed.  I could drink this all day.  Duh!

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Jamesport Farm Brewery, Riverhead, NY

I stopped at Jamesport Farm Brewery in Riverhead, New York.  The bartender helped me through local favorites in a flight.  Although all were delicious, the most noteworthy to me was Wicked Little Sister, double IPA.  I almost got a t-shirt for my wife’s sister.  Great taste on the beer hoppy and strong.  Only had time for a brief stop on my long drive from Orient Point to LaGuardia.  But at least I had some tasty beer right along the way and how could I not stop – the brewery was right on the road.

Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, Greenport, New York

I stopped in at Greenport Harbor Brewing Company in their Peconic location.  I got there pretty late but in enough time to get in an order of fish tacos (wish I had made it two orders because they were delicious!).  And I enjoyed them with Maibock and Kettle Cookies.  I really enjoyed the beers and wish I had time for more but barely got these in before last call.  Maibock was strong.  Kettle Cookies was a perfect dessert for the evening.

Blue Point Brewing Company, Patchogue, NY

I stopped in at Blue Point Brewing Company in Patchogue, New York.  The stop was a great relief from a drive from LaGuardia Airport to Greenport.  Traffic was heavy and the stop was a blessing.  I wish I had more time to relax at Blue Point than I did.  I had to reach Greenport in time to check in to a boutique hotel whose front desk was closing early.  There was so much to enjoy, including live music, great food, and awesome beer.

The trouble with not writing this sooner is I forget details.  Of the six beers I tried, the Coconator was clearly my favorite.  Their oysters and warm kale salad were also delicious.  Each of the beers was delightful along with their great kitchen fresh food.  Coconator was a yummy sweet malty coconutty delight.

I greatly enjoyed a sign they had on the wall.  “In heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here” is a line from a polka song I’ve heard my father-in-law play many times and I’ve never seen it in print at a brewery before.  I love it.  Not sure of the theology behind it but it’s fun.

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I bought a few stickers and a t-shirt on my way out.  My only regret is that I didn’t have more time to sit back, relax and enjoy.

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Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY

I stopped at Brooklyn Brewery in, you guessed it, Brooklyn, New York. Getting here from lower Manhattan was actually easier and quicker than I thought. I only had brief walks on each end, and short subway rides on green and gray lines. The trip only cost a few bucks. And I was here in roughly 45 minutes.

Unsure what direction to go, and always up for trying various beers, I chose the OG Flight. Not paying attention, I started with beer 3, Defender IPA. So, this is crisp and refreshing. It’s not especially hoppy, at least not in my opinion. So, if you’re looking for an understated IPA this may be for you. Now I’m paying attention and I’m back to beer 1, Brooklyn Lager. This is a fresh lager. It’s crisp and clean. It’s not an amber in my opinion. When I think amber I think maltier than this. It’s amber in color but more bitter than most ambers I’ve enjoyed. Beer 2, Brown Ale is smooth and caramelly and sweet with slight bitterness. I think this may be my personal favorite so far. And I’m also enjoying beer 4, Bel Air Sour. It’s dry and refreshing. Yes, its sour but sours are all the rage these days. Every brewery has one and this is pretty good.

The brewery and tap room and operations are in a pretty cool industrial space in Brooklyn. I’m not especially well versed in Brooklyn history. The neighborhood now seems full of restaurants and residential spaces. The tap room is spacious but I bet it gets full on busy nights and weekends. I’m here midweek.

I had to try Come All You Weary, English Dark Mild style. I read about this style in my Cicerone British and Irish Beer Styles course. This is a tasty beer and also low alcohol. Only 3.4%. This beer is smooth, has a biscuity flavor and slightly both caramelly and chocolatey taste. I could drink this all evening long. Not many domestic breweries make this style. Tally Ho to Brooklyn Brewery!

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Irish Stout. I went with my son, a newly minted 21 year old, to the Guinness Brewery in Baltimore a few weeks ago. Many would say theirs is the gold standard Irish Stouts. I’d put Brooklyn Brewery Black Light Irish Stout right up there with Guinness. And at only 2.2% ABV I could enjoy this all day every day.

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If I had more time and if I’d planned in advance I would have registered for a tour. I’ve toured many breweries from Sierra Nevada to Stone to Allagash to Boulevard. Missed this one. Maybe on the next trip to New York if I get my act together. I heard the tour leader starting in with the 5pm group and it sounded informative, fun and engaging.

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Full disclosure. I came to the brewery yesterday and hadn’t checked social media or the website and wouldn’t ya know they were closed for a private event. Personally, it gave me some good exercise because I took the opportunity to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Note to self, check brewery websites and social media before stopping in.

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K is for Kriek and KO is for Knockout which is what this will do to you if not careful. Clocking in at 10.1% this is pretty heavy duty. But a beer aged in bourbon barrels I can’t resist. This is strong, boozy, cherry taste from the cherries it’s aged with; delicious. A veritable substitute for dessert or for an after dinner drink.

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I also had to stop at the swag store before leaving. No beer glasses. The kitchen cabinets are full of them already. No t-shirts, the closet is full of them already. Socks, why yes! We can sneak in a pair of socks. Stickers, yes, need one for the sticker collection at home and one for the sticker collection at work. Also bought a single bottle of Brooklyn Brown Ale which I’m enjoying right now as I edit. And, I’ll place the bottle cap onto the US map beer bottle cap frame I’ve got; one closer to filling it.