Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Growler Wars: Free Will vs. Stoudt's

Two growlers. Two beers. Two frosted glasses. One winner.

Free Will Brewing Company Citra Pale Ale
Never heard of this brewery before buying this beer. Turns out that they are based in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. Based on this product, they are a beer maker to look out for. The beer has an amber coloring and packs a powerful, hoppy scent and taste. The power is more along the lines of an IPA. I tasted a note of caramel and a significant blast of grapefruit. A very nice balance between a heavy-hitting hop monster and an easy-drinking pale. One of the better beers I've had in a while.

Stoudt's Brewing Company Karnival Kolsch
This beer has a dry feel, but is still very refreshing. One of the clearest colors I have seen in a beer. There is a sweet kick, a floral scent, and an earthy bite in the finish. There's a slight aftertaste, but nothing overwhelming. It's a beer that, while complex, would be fine to enjoy session-style. Looks like a light, but has surprisingly punchy (if subtle) hop notes.

The Winner
I should say that when I originally went to buy these growlers, my first choice was Dock Street's Dude de Garde, but the keg tapped in the middle of the pour. I replaced the choice with the Stoudt's offering. The Stoudt's was good enough that I do not regret the occurance, but to Dock Street I would like to say, "Don't worry, we will sample some of your product soon. Especially if you send it to my door step." But on to the battle between these two other Pennsylvania-based breweries. Both of these are fine products, which I would be happy to consume again (but let's be honest: I have not had the same beer twice since we started this blog). This being said, I am going to go with the Citra Pale Ale. This is quite simply one of the joys of being a beer enthusiast. I walked into a place that sells beer holding two 64 oz. glass receptacles, saw a brewery that I never heard of in my life, and rather than run from that product and go toward bigger names (Dogfish Head's Aprihop was on the list, for example), I decided to give the place a shot. They did not disappointment. Karnival Kolsch is a fairly stellar beer, but it could not hold up to this place in Perkasie. I look forward to heading out to their area to down some more of their goods. If I could only find it on a map. Oh well, I guess that is what GPSs are made for.

Growlers purchased at Whole Foods Plymouth Meeting.

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

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