Two growlers. Two beers. Two frosted glasses. One winner.
Old Forge Brewing Company T-Rail Pale Ale
This beer from a Danville, Pa. brewery that I had never heard of before purchasing the growler has a copper coloring and hop flavor that registers, but doesn't necessarily pop. There's not much jumping off in the scent department and the appearance is a bit cloudy (perhaps it is unfiltered?). To go along with hops that seem a little on the small side, there is not much of an off-setting ingredient of any sort. I wouldn't call it bland really, but it certainly is not memorable. It is an average (maybe slightly below) microbrew Pale.
Great Divide Brewing Company Nomad Pilsner
This one pours a thick head that sticks around for a while. The bubbles within the extra-clear and clean golden coloring stay perculating for a while as well. It's obscenely crisp with a major pop of flavor in the finish. It's a simple beer that could be enjoyed one after another on a spring afternoon (or a somewhat temperate winter one), but it's complex as well. Rustic and wheaty, with a pleasingly fragrant scent that will jolt you if you make the effort.
Honestly, I figured this might be an unfair fight when I purchased the growlers. Great Divide is an esteemed Colorado brewery with a variety case that I absolutely cherished. Old Forge is a brewery that I have never heard of. In fact, before I did the research for this piece, I assumed it was located in upstate New York. Well, unfair or not, the winner is the Great Divide specimen. The Old Forge is a very average Pale Ale. Nomad is an exceptional pilsner. One positive for Old Forge: It was only $7.99 for the growler. The Nomad was $10.99. But do yourself a favor and spend the extra three bucks. It will be worth it.
Growlers purchased at Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting.
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