Monday, February 18, 2013

Beers #22-28: Pittsburgh Day Trip

Over the past few years, a few of my friends and I have tried to take a one-day, beer-related road trip.  Sometimes we've gotten in a couple, sometimes just one.  Sometimes, it's just two of us and other times, there have been three or four of us - we all have families, jobs, and other obligations so it's not like the days of college road trips.

In late January, Dave and I took a Pittsburgh road trip.  We got off to a bit of a late start because of a two-hour delay in the local schools, but we made the most of the short time we could get away.

The first stop was for lunch and beer at Fat Head's Saloon in the South Side section of Pittsburgh. Fat Head's beers are brewed in Ohio, but they keep a lot of them on tap (along with about 25 other brands) in Pittsburgh.  My first beer was not a new one, but delicious enough to have again - Fat Head's Head Hunter IPA - with my burger and fries.  For dessert, I tried ...

22/365: Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale:
Great fresh hop aromas, grassy, spicy, light rubber, and piney. Mild malt sweetness. Dull golden amber clear with creamy off-white lacing head. Medium-heavy body with medium carbonation. Starts medium sweet, pale malt, light caramel. Tons of fresh spicy hops. Big bitter finish that is not overwhelming or offensively bitter. Bitter finish with sweet bitter after.  Specialty Grain  82/100

From Fat Head's, we headed over to Smokin' Joe's in order to find a limited-release offering from Stone.

23/365: Stone Enjoy By IPA:
Enjoy by 2-15-13. Terrific fresh hop aromas. Grass, pine, bitter citrus peel, apricot … heavenly. Very funky with ozone and bong water. Deep amber clear with foamy white lacing head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Starts lightly sweet, funky with grass, resin, ozone, and rubber. Potent hop character throughout, with burnt brown sugar and creme brûlée sweet finish. Fairly smooth bitter after, very tasty. Imperial/Double IPA  88/100
Next, we walked across the street to Piper's Pub, where we enjoyed a couple of pints and BS'd with Hart, the bartender. 

24/365: All Saints St. Mosey's Black Pils:
Dry tangy nose with lots of roasted character. A mix between a stout and a schwarzbier. Mild sweetness. Dark black opaque with thin cocoa tan lacing head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Roasty and chocolatey with sugar tang. Medium bitter finish with nutty light sweet after. More like a schwarzbier than a Bohemian pils.  Bohemian Pilsener  88/100

25/365: Victory Midlands Stout:
Nice roast to the nose, roasted barley with lots of hop character. Mild coffee and chocolate, dusty grain. Dark black opaque with thin lacing head. Medium body with medium-light carbonation. Starts roast with light tang, carbonic acidity and light caramel. Dry finish with light bitter after.  Stout  72/100
From the South Side, we drove up to the new location of East End Brewing, which now shares a great space with Commonplace Coffee.  Nothing new on tap for me to try, but I picked up a growler of Monkey Boy (German Hefeweizen) that Dana and I enjoy.

Our last stop before heading home was at House of 1000 Beers, in New Kensington.  The House always has something new on tap, and their bottle selection is incredible (and prices are a bit cheaper than bottle shops in Allegheny Co.).  We sat at the bar (next to the owner) and enjoyed a couple of offerings.

26/365: Firestone Walker 16 (XVI Sixteenth Anniversary Ale):
Toffee, caramel, vanilla, oak, bread pudding with caramel sauce. Sublime nose and only improves and expands as it warms. Dark black opaque with thin off-white to light tan lacing head. Medium-heavy body with medium carbonation, smooth. Alcoholic warming, slightly boozy. Sweet start with bread pudding, caramel, oak, vanilla, and licorice. Warm finish, heavy with oak and vanilla. Delicious sweet after but not cloying. Nice example of what you can do with brewing.  American Strong Ale  94/100

27/365: Urban Chestnut Zwickel: 
Wheaty grainy nose with noble hop notes. Medium amber clear with thin off-white lacing head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Starts medium dry with wheat and pale malt sweetness. Noble hop bite, carbonic acidity, and light hop finish. Zwickel/Keller/Landbier  70/100

28/365: Clown Shoes Muffin Top:
Hoppy nose, fresh and fruity with orange blossom, sugary sweet and almost cloying. Medium golden amber hazy with thin head. Medium body with medium-light carbonation. Sweet start with sweet malty caramel and biscuit. Big hop flavors with almost cloyingly sweet after. Bitter sweet and tasty.  Belgian Strong Ale  80/100
 We each picked up a few bottles (Dave grabbed a Pliny The Elder!) before heading back home.

Up next ... a couple of tastings with friends

No comments: