Firkin Around....
The Blog of King of Prussia Beer Outlet

Friday, December 9, 2016

Harvest Ale Showdown: Founders vs. Lagunitas

Written by Ryan Gerstel 

Fall in the beer industry signals the return of seasonal favorites like Oktoberfests, Stouts, Porters, Winter Warmers, and strong ales.

But another popular style this time of year is Harvest Ales, which are made to celebrate the hop harvest season. These flavorful ales use fresh, or wet, hops that are usually harvested and boiled within a 30-day window as opposed to dried or pelleted hops. The result is a more potent and defined hop presence.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sole Artisan Ales Citra Nerd: "Juicy For Days"

by Ryan Gerstel:

Sole Artisan Ales has been producing outstanding, high quality beer since its conception in 2015.

The Pittstown, PA microbrewery was founded by Head Brewer, Joe Percoco. Percoco's passion for quality beer took him from his farm in the Appalachian Mountains, to historic breweries across the pond in Europe to learn both new and traditional brewing techniques from adept Brew Masters.

Equipped with newfound brewing knowledge, Percoco returned to the states and created Sole Artisan Ales.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Oktoberfest Spotlight: Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

By Ryan Gerstel:
Saturday, Sept. 17 marks the official beginning of the world's biggest beer fest, Oktoberfest. Every fall in Munich, Germany, over six million people, including locals and tourists from across the globe, gather to  observe the changing of the seasons. This 16 to 18 day event was conceived in 1810 to celebrate the union between Crown Prince Ludwig and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in holy matrimony.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

12 Fun Oktoberfest Facts

by Joseph Elia

  1. Contrary to what many believe Oktoberfest beers have no pumpkin in them. The German purity law or Reinheitsgebot, strictly forbids it...the law states that beer can only be made with barley, yeast, hops, and water.
  2. Oktoberfest beers are traditionally called Marzens which is German for March.
  3. Marzens are Bavarian lagers traditionally brewed in March and stored throughout spring and summer to be consumed in…you guest it..fall.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

How to Get Ahead in the Craft Industry: 3 Examples

Each and every craft brew is inherently unique. When trying the same brew twice, you can almost always notice slight differences.

From yeast profiles to the style of hops, that's the magic of craft beer—the art comes with the territor The difficulty with this perspective is that it's not always what makes the most profit.

As empty as that sounds, brewers are finding it difficult to preserve their craft when sales demand for the beer to be at large volumes and consistent.

2016: Year of New Standards

Today's booming craft beer movement was born from small businesses and hobbyists. According to the Brewers Association, those small-scale operations still pave the way for market trends as they now represent a 12% market share of the overall beer industry. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Victory's Parkesburg facility showcases state of the art brewery automation

by Ryan Gerstel

A Growing Industry

The craft of brewing beer has been a human activity for thousands of years. For the majority of that time, human interaction was necessary to ensure the beer's creation. It was a science. The brewers were the scientists and the brewery was their laboratory.

As the popularity of beer has grown, the industry has had to adapt, turning to machines to keep up with the demand. And the use of automation has played an integral role in propelling the industry to become one of the more lucrative industries, with the global beer market expecting to be worth up to $688.4 billion by the year 2020

Machine automation hasn't only helped corporate macro giants such as Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. It's helped the growth of smaller micro breweries, too. In 2015 it was estimated that micro breweries account for 14.3 percent of the $100 billion United States beer market. Just last November, San Diego's Ballast Point, one of the more renowned names in the craft beer spectrum, sold to Constellation Brands (aka Corona and Modelo) for $1 billion.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale: Smooth and Voluptuous

by Ryan Gerstel

While temperatures have consistently been hitting the mid 90s, I found myself craving a brew with a little more body and malt. Luckily, I had a bottle of Bear Republic's classic Red Rocket Ale, a 6.8 percent Scottish style amber/red ale. The brew has won some accolades over the years, taking home the silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival back-to-back years in 1998 and 1999.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

SweetWater Goin' Coastal Pinapple IPA: Bright and Tropical

by Ryan Gerstel

Much like grapefruit IPAs a few summers back, pineapple IPAs seem like the new flavoring trend this summer season.

After the success of craft giant Ballast Point's Pineapple Sculpin, breweries such as Maryland's Evolution and Georgia's Sweet Water have released pineapple versions of their flagship IPAs, in the form of Pine'Hop'Le and Goin' Coastal. I have previously reviewed Evolution's brew, stating that I actually prefer Evolution's product over Ballast Point's.

Nonetheless, the pineapple IPA style has not disappointed. Each offering, while slightly different, has been a pleasant drinking experience. This includes SweetWater's pinapple IPA, Goin' Coastal.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Brew Feature: Flying Fish Daylight Savings Time

by Ryan Gerstel

It's finally starting to feel like summer, which means it's time to begin cracking open some refreshing, sessionable brews. The market for session ales has become a bit saturated over the years. Nonetheless, there are plenty of quality options available this time of year, such as Founders' All Day IPA, Neshaminy Creek's J.A.W.N, and New Belgium's Slow Ride.

One of the newer options this year is a session IPA from New Jersey's Flying Fish Brewing Company dubbed: Daylight Savings Time.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Roy Pitz Sour Hound Review: Liquid Art?

by Ryan Gerstel

Roy Pitz, a brewery located in Chambersburg, PA, prides itself on combining stylistic, modernist art with quality craft beer. The result is the phrase, "Liquid Art," which currently reads as the brewery's tagline.

Below are some examples of Roy Pitz's stunning bottle art:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lagunitas The Waldo's Special Ale Review: Dank and Proud

By Ryan Gerstel

Lagunitas Brewing Company, one of my favorite breweries, produces some phenomenal beers. My favorite product of theirs, Sucks, is one of the best double IPAs I've ever had. In fact, their entire year-round lineup deserves two thumbs up. Needless to say, I'm a Lagunitas fan.

So whenever I see a new product of theirs on our shelves, my intrigue is instantly peaked. Since I'm such a huge fan of Sucks, I was ecstatic when The Waldos' Special Ale, a DIPA, hit the shelves.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Evolution Pine'Hop'Le: How does it compare to Pineapple Sculpin?

by Ryan Gerstel

Evolution versus Ballast Point is the craft beer equivalent to David versus Goliath. Ballast Point has been an esteemed, highly rated San Diego brewery purchased in November by Constellation Brands (aka Corona) for a ridiculous $1 billion. They are best known for brewing the double IPA Sculpin (and more recently its variants) that at one time in craft beer history was as revered and anticipated as Hop Slam.  Evolution on the other hand is a smaller, somewhat local (Salisbury, MD) brewery completely "unburdened" by a large infusion of corporate moola.  Evolution however does brew some excellent beers including Lot #3, their single, west coast style IPA, and Lot #6, their double IPA.

The newest addition to Evolution's year-round lineup is a pineapple twist on their Lot #3, which is cleverly dubbed, "Pine'Hop'Le."

Thursday, March 31, 2016

IPA Snapshot--White Birch DIPA

by Jack Horzempa

(I asked long-time, loyal customer Jack Horzempa to taste White Birch Brewing DIPA.  Jack is an accomplished home-brewer with an extensive knowledge of beer and brewing. He also has an experienced palate that is highly respected by all of us here at the beer store. He originally posted this write up on the New Beer Sunday thread on Beer Advocate.  It is posted here with his permission.)

I have a few quick caveats to get out of the way. Firstly I have never heard of White Birch Brewing before so this will be a new experience for me. Secondly I am typically not a fan of the DIPA beer style since more often than not these sorts of beers have a cloying sweetness to them which is not particularly appealing to me. When I am in a mood for hoppy beer I generally reach for an IPA and on some occasions an APA.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

IPA Snapshot--Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin

by Ryan Gerstel
Availability: Year-round

Ballast Point Brewing Company's newest addition to their renowned Sculpin lineup comes in the form of Pineapple Sculpin; an India Pale Ale brewed with sweet and juicy pineapple.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

IPA Snapshot --Try These Two Soon

by Ryan Gertsel
These Spring offerings from two of the most venerated breweries in the country won't be a round for be sure to grab some before they are gone!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

IPA Snapshots --Flower Power and Odyssey

by Ryan Gerstel

Flower Power IPA

Flower Power is a dry hopped American-style IPA from Ithaca Beer Company located in New York.

Like the name suggests, Flower Power is a beautifully crafted single IPA, and its elegance can be identified in every aspect of the beer drinking experience.
Flower Power pours a nice, slightly hazy gold with a delectable finger of  head that remains until the first sip.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

3 IPA Snap Shots

by Ryan Gerstel

New Belgium Citradelic IPA

Availability: Year-round
New Belgium brewery's newest addition to their core product line, Citradelic, is a 6% ABV, traditional American IPA with a juicy tropical fruit twist.
Like most IPAs, Citradelic pours a pale and crisp golden color with a thick foam head that slowly dissipates shortly after pouring with minimal lacing.