Saturday, December 17, 2011

King of the Case: Philadelphia Brewing Company

Wherein I will buy a variety case and decide what the best beer in it is.

Philadelphia Brewing Company


A very straightforward session beer that is uncomplicated, yet not boring. Incredibly crisp. Could easily drink several in a row. There's a nice little floral kick in the finish. Probably the Noble hops that are stated in the recipe. I'll give it a slight downgrade for a bit of an aftertaste, but would give it high grades as a good craft-beer intro piece.

Pennsylvania Pale Ale
Crisp flavor with sizable hops. More floral punch, almost (but just short of) a little musty. A nice combination of light and hefty.

Joe Coffee Porter
Figured this one was destined to not be a favorite since I a) don't drink coffee and b) don't enjoy porters. The coffee taste doesn't overwhelm, but this certainly isn't a beer that I would want to go back to the well on too often.

Walt Wit Belgian-Style White Ale
Very interesting Belgian-style beer with subtle taste of acidic citrus. (I like this beer a lot more than this one-liner would suggest. When I drank it, I had just played basketball, which always leaves my brain feeling muddled and insufficient these days.)

The Labels
I don't like the label for the Pennsylvania Pale Ale at all, and the Joe Coffee Porter doesn't do it for me either. That leaves the classic cursive design of the maroon-and-gold Kenzinger bottle and the black and yellow Walt Wit label, which features a drawing of a fellow who I assume is famed poet and bridge namesake Walt Whitman. While the Kenzinger one appeals to the minimalist in me, I have to go with the Walt Wit. The portrait gives the beer a dignified, wistful look.

The Winner
While I am tempted to go with Kenzinger - a beer you can purchase at Les and Doreen's Happy Tap in Fishtown if you want a feel of what the section was like ten years ago before the hipsters moved in - I think I'm throwing the victory to Pennsylvania Pale Ale. It's the hoppiest beer in the bunch and I can't very well give it to Walt Wit if I wasn't able to come up with more than eleven words to describe the taste. This being said, the best beer the brewery makes was not even in the case: Fleur de Lehigh is a gem. If you see this at a bar near you, shell out 4 or 5 bucks to have a bartender place it on the coaster in front of you. You won't be disappointed.

The Pizza Project
Just a nibble:
Single slice:
The full pie:

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