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Saturday, November 24, 2007
Things are Heatin' Up at Iron Hill in West Chester, PA
Lots of good things happening with the Iron Hill Family. The birth of their new location in Lancaster (lucky Franklin & Marshall folks!), continued success this year at GABF (not enough success, though imho), the unveiling of a very nice "Sleeper" Saison (honey & chamomile...hence the moniker), and now..... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How do they make Tabasco? Well, a wooden barrel plays a big role...and I seem to recall that beer brewers have this thing for wooden barrels! It's just that I don't recall a brewer taking a wooden barrel that once aged Tabasco sauce and, in turn, aging one of their beers in it. That is, until I learned of the brew boys' latest concoction at West Chester's Iron Hill location. Chris LaPierre (head brewer) and Jean Broillet stuck their Lodestone Lager in said barrel and let it sit for a couple of months. In Jean's words, it's no longer beer...it's its own "thing". So, they've got a couple of kegs of it stored away until they decide just what to do with it. At this point, it sounds like they'll be blending it with something. One beer mentioned was their Russian Imperial Stout. I say bring it on! How good does that sound? For starters, the big and beautiful R.I.S. tempered a bit by the relatively lighter lager and its accompanying flavors. Then, jacked up a bit with the Tabasco heat. That's it...heat and sweet. I don't recall where, but I've had a spicy chocolate dessert creation in the past. I recall really, really enjoying the alternating zings of spicy pepper heat with the sweet and bitter chocolate. They also mentioned porter, and that sounds fine too. But, I'm really liking the sound of the R.I.S. blending. As of now, they're talking of it being a bottled product somewhere in the early summer timeframe...for you dads out there, think of it as a Father's Day gift! Chris & Jean, I trust I got the details right, but please correct me if I misinterpreted anything.