Beers in Review: Beers from Philadelphia and Jersey

As promised, let's get into the myriad of beers I had while on vacation. This particular entry will deal with three Philadelphia-/New Jersey-based breweries. We'll start with the one-offs.

First up is Sol Reaper Pale Ale from Demented Brewing Company. It pours a fairly clean golden color, and the ale brings a moderate hop bite with a bit of citrus and even some light dank hop notes. There is also a nice spicy note at the end that tends to linger after the drinking experience.

Next, from Tuckahoe Brewing Company, is Colubris dry-hopped amber ale, and they nailed the style. It pours a pretty red-gold color. I was impressed by the well-balanced malt and hop presences. Flavors included nice piney hop notes, and a really delightful and bright orange note. As a guy who can appreciate more malty beers, this beer's balance really hit a nice chord with me.

As I mentioned in yesterday's video, Yards Brewing Company provided a bit of mixed bag while I was up north. I first had a bottle of their long-time standard Philadelphia Pale Ale. They refer to it as "sessionable", so I wasn't expecting anything too bold or strong in this beer, but I found it still quite mild overall, perhaps TOO mild for my liking. Pouring a pale yellow color, I found it quite aromatic, but was surprised by grainy flavor notes, along with some mild spice notes. There was a very mild--nearly non-existent--hop presence. Frankly, this particular beer was a bit of a disappointment, though given the beer's reputation, and the quality of the beers that followed, I would certainly give this Pale Ale another try.

Next from Yards was General Washington's Tavern Porter. This Tavern series is Yards' attempt to create modern beers while trying to closely replicate the recipes of ales created by our country's Founding Fathers. In this case, the result is a beer that is a moderately dark brown, lighter than cola, and lighter than I expected. Despite being lighter than expected, this porter did not lack for taste. It features a nice, well-balanced sweetness, with strong notes of cocoa and molasses. It is a malty and rich beer, and it really is tasty and quite excellent.

Finally, at the complete opposite end of the beer spectrum is a tart fruit ale called Pynk. It pours a light red to pinkish color, and features sour and sweet cherries and raspberries. My palate brought this all together--most notably the sour cherries, I think--and came up with cranberry-like flavor notes. Indeed, it was quite sweet, making it taste almost like a cranberry soda. Pynk was crisp and clean, and so incredibly tasty.