Monday, October 26, 2009

Iron Hill, Flying Fish, and New Jersey---Perfect Together?

And George Washington thought he had it tough. Crossing the Delaware River this past Saturday was no easy feat. Maybe I should have instead picked Iron Hill's West Chester event to attend. Eh, no matter, it became more of a challenge. Close to 90 minutes to get there and almost the same on the return. The way over was plagued by accidents on every major roadway imaginable. The return trip had us confronted by a storm wall that seemed to scream "stay out" as we tried to cross back into Pennsylvania (though, hasn't that always been the message from PA to NJ...joking folks, joking). Alright then, enough of the dramatics. This is all about the beer, right? This was supposed to be all about finally getting to see Chris "Lappy" LaPierre in his new brewery and Casey Hughes on his turf over in New Jersey. 'Two great tastes that taste great together' would probably not be an appropriate description of the day at Iron Hill, but it would be an accurate description of the beers that were being passed over the bar to a solid crowd. How about we just say that Gene Muller (owner) and Casey brought some great beers from Flying Fish to officially welcome Kevin Finn (co-owner) and Chris (and also, brewer, Jeff Ramirez) to the New Jersey neighborhood. This included the curtain call (not be confused with the evasive Curtin) for the Exit 4. Of course, we arrived more than 14 minutes after the official start of the event and after the exiting of the Exit 4, so we'll just need to look ahead, instead, to the Exit 1 later this week. As hosts of this, their regularly-occurring Brewers' Reserve, event that doubled as a Pride of New Jersey event, Iron Hill rolled out some mighty tasty treats as well. With the Flying Fish crew hot on the trail to releasing the next in the line of the imaginatively-created Exit Series, they brought some Belgian Imperial Mild, the aforementioned Exit 4, and Grand Cru to Saturday's festivities. Iron Hill returned the favor to the throngs of craft beer lovers from both sides of the river with Golden Barleywine, Brett Barrel-aged Quadrupel, and Totally Inappropriate cask...or shall I say a cask full of beer called Totally Inappropriate. Winner of the day? Well, I didn't drink much (given an 18 mile run looming the next morning, not to mention a 40 mile drive home), but if I had to pick one...without waffling, equivocating, or otherwise remaining neutral, it would likely have maybe been too close to a tie to declare the Quadrupel from Lappy's brewhouse a resounding success. Even though it perhaps should have been the one to be called inappropriate, in a roomful of great beers on this Saturday afternoon, this one stood out by a nose...just one of the distinctive things about it. The distinct layers of identifiable funk and sweetness co-mingling with dry roastiness and just a wee bit of alcohol (weighing in at approx. 9-10% ABV, if I heard Chris correctly, though I suspect that might be a bit light) were enough to make me wish for a designated driver. If you have the opportunity at any future events to check out this beer, please do yourself a favor. A Great People Pic can be found, with everyone posing nicely, over on Chris' Iron Hill Blog. There you go, my first so-called "assignment" since returning from Hawaii. Hopefully, this turns into more of a habit again?

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