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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Finback Hoppy Rice Pils Review By: Jack Horzempa
(Originally posted on Beer Advocate)
Today’s beer is a gift beer: Finback Brewery How Soon is Meow hoppy rice pils.

This is my first beer I ever had from Finback. On the can in very tiny font it lists: “a collaboration brewed with our buddies, Kings County Brewing Collective, pils brewed with flaked rice and dry hopped with blanc.” The font is so small I am uncertain whether they truly want you to read this short description.

I am assuming that the hops used to dry hop this beer is Hallertau Blanc which is a ‘new wave’ German hop.

I would tell you a story about Finback Brewing but frankly all that I know is that is a relatively new brewery (opened 2011) and is located in Queens. My mother in law was born and raised in Queens. The only other person I ‘know’ from Queens is Archie Bunker.:)

So, how does a “hoppy rice pils” taste?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

2 x 4 Spruce Beer Review

Fresh spruce tips that Jack picked
By: Jack Horzempa
(Originally Posted on Beer Advocate)

The brewers of Colonial America did not have a steady supply of beer ingredients (e.g., barley malt, hops,…) so they would be inventive and utilize other ingredients that were more readily available to them. As substitutes and/or augmentation for barley malt they would ingredients like pumpkin, parsnip, molasses,… As substitutes and/or augmentation for hops they would use other botanicals like yarrow, sweet gale, mug wort, spruce tips,…

So, today we are going to explore what fresh growth spruce tips provide to beer. Today’s tasting will be a 2 X 4 tasting: two beers in four glasses and my wife will be helping me.

One beer is a commercial beer: Blue Point Colonial Ale brewed with Golden Molasses & Spruce Tips.

On the bottle it lists: American Brown Ale 3.8% ABV. So in the Colonial times this would be referred to as a Small Beer since it is lower in alcohol.

There is an interesting story on the beer label:

“After being elected President, George Washington toured Long Island and stopped by hart’s Tavern in our brewery’s hometown of Patchogue for some oysters and a beer. In honor of the monumental meal, we brewed an American brown ale inspired by the era and George Washington’s own recipe. It proudly features two-row barley malted in NY and colonial ingredients like corn, oats, wheat, molasses and spruce tips which colonial brewers used to supplement hops. American history never tastes so good.”

The second beer we will be exploring today is my home-brewed Spruce Ale which was brewed using fresh growth spruce tips from my next door neighbor’s Blue Spruce tree. My beer is basically an APA where I used four ounces of freshly picked spruce tips (I picked them while the wort was boiling) as the end of boil addition. I have never brewed with spruce tips before so this is quite an exciting ‘experiment’.