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Friday, December 18, 2009
This Guy's Living the Dream
If this doesn't make you consider your career choice, I don't know what will. I'm devoid of any pictures from last night and that might be a good thing. The way mister, I should say doctor, Joel was being greeted like a rock star---back slapping from the gents, hugs and kisses from the ladies, even smiles of approval from a toddler---I'm proud to say that I knew this swell lad 'when'. The excitement level at Pickering Creek Inn last night for New Holland Brewing's goodies like Charkoota Rye and Dragon's Milk made the Mad Hatter IPA look like the odd sister out. My last (and my first) run-in with the "kooter" was at the 2008 GABF where I declared the Charkoota Rye one of my favorites of the event; I was thrilled to have good fortune finally bestow another taste upon me. Joel, too, said that it was the first time he's had it on draft...now how about a firkin of cask-conditioned? Please? Oh, by the way, you may be wondering what the heck this Charkoota Rye is all about. They classify it a doppelbock. With a few different smoked malts, including rye, I can see where they're going with this. The smoke was fairly obvious to me. Also, this bit of a lingering medicinal flavor that was difficult to put a finger on...but when someone said 'sucrets', that could be an apt comparison. A very interesting beer that I strongly recommend trying at least once. The Dragon's Milk...ah, yes the Dragon's Milk. I may have had this one before, but I couldn't recall (still can not). After taking one taste, it's difficult to understand how I could not have recall of a run-in with this bell-ringer. The wood, the malt, and the vanilla dominate in this beer and admittedly is not for everyone. Still, I recommend grabbing a glass and letting it sit for 15-30 minutes. Then sip it over the next 15-30 minutes and enjoy. At 10% ABV, it will get your attention, so think about driving arrangements if you're going to have more than one. This was finally my first visit to Pickering Creek Inn. I received an email somewhere over a year ago announcing that a couple of beers that I had recently written about were at this place. A place that I'd heard of but really knew nothing about. Apparently a change in ownership and a bit of sprucing up of the interior, the menu, and the beer list started putting this place on people's (namely beer geeks) radars. Tröegs was hosted there a couple of weeks ago and other beer events have taken place as well, including during 2009's Philly Beer Week (the Phoenixville Pub Crawl). We only stayed long enough last night to get a nice vibe from the bar staff, a simple taste of some wings and chicken fingers, a good feel from the other patrons, and the Flyers game on the flatscreen TV (volume muted). I''m wondering what took me so long to get there for my first visit (oh yeah, it must be Phoenixville's continually improving beer scene) and am already anticipating my next. Cheers Dr. Joel...keep on truckin'.