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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sly Fox Hop Project Review By: Jack Horzempa
(Originally Posted on Beer Advocate)

Who doesn’t like a beer project!?

A brewery local to me, Sly Fox, decided it is time for a Hop Project. The beer I am discussing today is the second iteration of this project and is branded as Hop Project #002. I had the pleasure of drinking the first iteration of #001 and that beer was absolutely AWESOME!! How will #002 be?

At this point you may be asking: what the heck is a Hop Project?

Well, the folks of Sly Fox have an answer for you:

“Our brewers are excited to continuously explore the universe of hop-forward beers. Each project is a chance to step out of our comfort zone and flex our creative brewing muscles by utilizing new hop varieties and utilizing innovative hopping methods. The Hop Project™ possibilities are endless.

Hop Project™ beers are available in 16oz. cans and on draft, but quantities are very limited. Be sure to keep an eye on our social media pages for the latest release announcements, because just like the beer itself, no two releases will cover quite the same ground.”:

On their website they describe #002:

“No. 002

India Pale Ale

OG:15 IBUs: 70 ABV: 6.8

For iteration No. 002 in our ongoing liquid experimentation project, we combined copious additions of Centennial, Simcoe, and Denali hops to create this fragrant IPA bursting with tropical fruit aromas. Do the results of this liquid experimentation lineup with our hypothesis of deliciousness? - See more at:

Release Date 05.13.17”

I am familiar with both Centennial and Simcoe hops from my homebrewing; in a couple weeks I will be brewing another batch of Simcoe IPA. But I am unfamiliar with Denali hops. Below is some information about this hop variety from one of my homebrew suppliers:

“Denali™ Hop Pellets

Denali (formerly known as Hopsteiner 06277) is a dual purpose hop, originated from a cross between Nugget, Zeus and USDA 19058 male.

Denali has a big aroma that imparts pineapple with notes of citrus and pine. This hop is popular with brewers who are looking for a distinct, impactful flavor in their beers. Denali has an unusually high total essential oil content, averaging more than 4 grams oil/100 grams of raw hops.

Denali hops are often used in pale ales and IPAs.”

Well, it sure reads like an intriguing hop.

Let’s see how Denali plays with Centennial/Simcoe!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Can a distributing brewer produce a so called ‘NE’ style IPA?
By: Jack Horzempa
(Originally posted on Beer Advocate)
A few weeks ago I had a series of reviews that I entitled “Spring of the so called ‘NE’ style IPA”. This week I have a beer that was produced by a distributing brewery: Thomas Hooker Brewery which is located in Bloomfield, CT.

Thomas Hooker sends their beers to 7 states (Northeastern/Mid-Atlantic states).

This beer has a long and interesting label: #NO FILTER New England India Pale Ale.

On the can’s label it states:


Tropical Fruit

Juice Aroma

Abundant quantities of Mosaic and Citra hops make this unfiltered IPA explode with a tropical fruit juice aroma. Heavy on the aromatics but light on bitterness, this brew is a true New England IPA.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

15-Month Cellared Goose Island Sofie Review Jack Horzempa
(Originally Posted on Beer Advocate)
I have had today’s beer of Goose Island Sofie many times before but Michael suggested that I should buy some of these beers and cellar them and last year that is what I did. This beer was bottled on 08FEB16 which means it is around 15 months old right now.

This beer is bottled with some Brett so the idea is that with age the Brett derived flavors should be evident by now.

Some folks are fans of the funky flavors that Brett can produce and others aren’t. A few months ago I home-brewed a Belgian Pale Ale which I co-pitched with both a Belgian Trappist Ale yeast strain (the strain that is used to ferment Orval) and Brett. Because both of these yeast strains were used for the primary fermentation the Brett funky flavors are evident right away. I enjoy the ‘barnyard’ type flavors of this beer but my wife is BIG non-fan of this beer; she calls this beer "Horse Piss."

So, what does a year-plus of cellaring do for Sofie?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What the Helles Going on? Sly Fox Helles vs. Red Oak Hummin' Bird Jack Horzempa
(Originally posted on Beer Advocate)

Well, let me tell you what is going on. It has been a while since I discussed a side-by-side tasting in NBS so today is the day to do this.

I was fortunate that I was gifted a bottle of Red Oak Hummin’ Bird Helles beer. The bottle has a very appealing, colorful label as you
 will see in the photograph below. had a can of Sly Fox Helles Golden Lager in my fridge so this beer will be the ‘challenger’. The cool aspect of this can of beer is that it has a 360° top so you can pull it off and the can becomes a ‘glass’ of sort. As you will see in the photograph I will be using a glass for this tasting but I think this is a nice feature that Sly Fox provides.

Below are descriptions for these beers:

Red Oak Hummin’ Bird Helles BA description:

“From the brewery: Hummin' Bird is a Light Lager or Hell (Helles) similar to those found throughout Bavaria. We use carefully selected Pilsner Malt...then it is delicately hopped with imported Tettnang Noble Hops. Then we add a proprietary lager yeast strain which is not filtered out providing ones daily supply of vitamin B. Hummin' Bird is slow-cold aged for over one month resulting in a lush mouth feel.”

Sly Fox Helles Golden Lager from the brewery’s website:

11.5 OG 18 IBUs 4.9% ABV

A German-style golden lager brewed with imported German pils malt and Saaz and Hallertau hops. This light-bodied beer offers a gentle, dry finish. A perennial favorite in the Sly Fox pubs and our brewer's go-to session beer.

AWARDS: Bronze Medal GABF 2002