Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Philly Beer Week is all about beer, homebrewed beer as well

So here we are at the halfway point of Philly Beer Week '11. After taking today off from the City-based festivities, I'll be ready to dip my toes back in the PBW waters tomorrow. But, I've got a suspicion that I'll be keeping it in the 'burbs this time. The 'burbs, in my opinion, appear to be at a crossroads with regard to PBW (more on that some other day...perhaps).

Tomorrow, on Day 6 of PBW, I'll get to explore two exciting aspects of Philly Beer Week. Celebrating the richness of the 'burbs and celebrating the creativity of homebrewing at The Drafting Room in Exton.

There appear to be no less than 5, if I can count correctly, homebrewing contests and 4 or 5 other events with a homebrew tie-in during PBW '11. If you're an aspiring homebrewer, these events provide excellent opportunities to tap into a wealth of experience in the brew house/kitchen. Many of these guys (mostly, but to be fair, some women too) are award-winning brewers who love to talk shop.

I've often said (and, to be fair, others have as well) that what makes the Philadelphia region so rich in addition to the beer commercially brewed here are the beer bars and retailers, the distributors and importers, and the savvy consumers.

What underlies much of these components are the homebrewers whom have been toiling away at their hobbies with a passion for much longer than many in the mainstream likely realize. And it's not unusual to find professional brewers who have their roots in homebrewing as well.

For tomorrow's event at The Drafting Room, "The Joe's Take Over For The Pro's", Artisan Homebrew of Downingtown has sponsored 4 local homebrewers to part. Mike Hamara, owner, has sent the menu of beers, complete with descriptions, for me to share with all of you. I think you'll agree that the diverse lineup of beers should provide for an enjoyably tasty night at TDR.

The beers, by law, are complimentary. In lieu, though, donations are strongly encouraged for the local SPCA.

If you're in the western suburbs and not interested in venturing into the sweltering City, stop by The Drafting Room and have a true locally-crafted beer by one of the "Joe's" and support the SPCA at the same time. Party starts at 6 p.m.

Brewer: Fred Kline
Name of Beer: Hooff's Hefeweizen
Beer description:
This beer is a traditional German wheat beer, Hefeweizen. Hefe means yeast and weizen means wheat in German. The recipe for this particular beer uses German Wheat malt and pale 2-tow malt for its malt base. It uses a touch of Noble Hops, Hallertau, for its bittering. The Yeast used is a traditional German yeast that produces the trademark banana and clove flavors associated with German wheat beers. This recipe has gone on to win many awards including 2nd in the National Homebrew Competition for the German Wheat Beer category in 2008. This refreshing yet flavorful beer makes for an excellent choice for summer imbibing!

Brewer: Christopher Clair
Name of beer: Currant Affair (Saison with black currant)
Beer description:
Floods? Recession? Scandal? Finally some news you can use. Tart and tannic, black currants bring a refreshing edge to the dry and spicy Belgian farmhouse ale. Made with pils malt, 25% wheat, and organic black currant juice this recipe took 1st place in the 2010 BUZZ Off and 2nd place in the 2010 Malt Madness homebrew competitions. Not your typical fruit beer, give it a shot and enjoy the balance, something you won't find in news about the budget. Approx. 8.5% ABV

Brewer: Peter Smith
Name of beer: Gettin' Figgy with it. (Abbey ale)
Beer description:
East Downingtown born and raised, this Belgian style ale is inspired by the holy libations brewed by monks for centuries. This beer, ruby-red in hue lying under a rich ivory head, invites you to experience a healthy dose of chocolate, fruit and spice. The addition of figs helps accentuate the dark fruit flavors while leaving the true character of the style. This aromatic, dark and smooth brew finishes clean, and leaves you surprisingly refreshed.

Brewers Alric Von Gerbig and Mike Hamara
Name of beer: RootDown IPA (American IPA)
Beer description:
This big, American IPA is inspired by the best of the west coast, while keeping true to the roots of the east. Balance was the focus when brewing this succulent beverage. A large amount of American hops are added, not to create tongue ripping bitterness, but rather, to spotlight the splendor of hop flavor and aroma. Simcoe and Citra hops come together to create aromatics of stone-fruit and citrus, while complimenting the sweet malt presence. RootDown IPA will delicately dance across your palate, but at 8.2% ABV, it will leave its footprints to not be forgotten.

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