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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Beer Review: Barrel-Aged Lagunitas High-Westified

by Jack Horzempa
originally posted on Beer Advocate

Beer and barrels have had a long relationship. You could view it as simply a relationship of convenience: beer has to be stored in some sort of vessel and for a long time barrels where the vessel of choice for bulk storage. Depending on what type of wood was used there were nuances to how the barrels were finished for beer storage.

You carpenters out there are probably interested in knowing that the wood of choice for beer storage was mostly oak. I am not a carpenter but I know just a little bit about oak:

· It is a hard wood – likely durable for long term use I would assume

· There are lots of different types of oak

In IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale author Mitch Steele (former brewmaster at Stone Brewing) wrote several pages on barrels and how they were using in the British brewing industry of the 16th and 17th centuries. One extract:

“The wood used for cask themselves was slow-growth oak from Northern Europe. It was specifically selected because of its tight grain pattern, which meant that it would contribute little, if any, flavor or tannic astringency to the beer that was aged (stored) in it. Although brewers tested American and French oak, the overwhelming choice for brewers casks was slow-growth oak from the Baltic and Poland.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Winter of Pilsners: Highland Pilsner Review

by Jack Horzempa 
originally posted on Beer Advocate

Today I have another installment for my series of Winter Pilsners: Highland Pilsner*.

I was gifted this beer by a good friend over the holiday season. I have never heard of Highland Brewery so I am very excited to try this beer.

I did some research on this brewery and I thought others might be interested in knowing about it too:

“Highland Brewing Company has crafted the highest quality beer with North Carolina mountain water since 1994. Family-owned and Asheville’s first legal brewery since Prohibition, it is a favorite destination for beer fans, music fans, and families. From the balanced, food-pairing favorite Gaelic Ale, to the tad aggressive, fruit and pine hop-burst of Highland IPA, the portfolio always showcases quality. Highland’s name honors the Scots Irish who settled in the Appalachian Mountains in the 18th and 19th centuries. Come see us! Get a beer at Asheville's first legal brewery and learn what we believe in.”

I don’t know about you but the fact that the word “legal” was used twice in that paragraph sure got me thinking. I am aware that in the past (and even today) that making moonshine was popular in the Appalachian Mountain regions but maybe bootlegging beer was popular too? Hmm?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A review of...Stroh's?

by Jack Horzempa originally posted on Beer Advocate

Editor's Note:  Jack is a longtime friend of the store. An extremely knowledgeable home brewer, brewing some of the best beer I have ever tasted. Jack's palate is well seasoned and he has been a valuable source of beer expertise to the store. He has graciously allowed us to repost his review/posts from Beer Advocate where he has achieved Poo-bah status. Since joining Beer Advocate 12 yrs ago, Jack has posted more than 20,000 times and earned over 25,000 likes. 

In this first repost Jack reviewed a beer some of us remember from our younger days. But this isn't the Stroh's some of us shotgunned in college...

The first time that I had a Stroh’s beer in my hand was a loooong time ago. I was just a couple of years out of college and I was invited to a Fourth of July picnic/party. One of the beers available there was Stroh’s and since this was the first time I have actually seen this beer I figured I would give it a try. The only thing I really knew about Stroh’s was their advertising slogan of “Fire-brewed” and since at that time I knew nothing of the brewing process I was uncertain what meaning this had. As I was drinking my first can of Stroh’s (and yes I did drink it from the can) I heard some guy at the party loudly exclaim: “Who brought Stroh’s? I hate that beer, it gives me gas!!” I will admit that this statement gave me a bit of pause but I thought to myself: who is this loud mouthed Bozo and what does he know? I am glad to report that I did not suffer any gas issues, well no more than usual.:rolleyes: