Freshly tapped!

By on August 23, 2017

Black Forest Brewery’s White IPA. “Unlike some other wheat brews, the fruity and spicy undertones are subtle and not overpowering in this White IPA,” says beer connoisseur Michael Upton

The end of summer is quickly approaching. Goodbye, beach vacations. Hello, hop harvest! (And yes, pumpkin beers are already on the shelves, for good or bad.)

With all the traveling summer brings it’s been a while since I was #hopinaround the local breweries in Ephrata and Lititz. While I was gallivanting around the country, local brewers were busy little bees.

On Thursday, Aug. 17, Black Forest Brewery added their White IPA (6.2 ABV) to their tap line up. A tad nuttier than a standard IPA, this new brew is created with Magnum hops for bittering and finished with Cascade and Hallertau hops. The most likely source of the earthy tones is the use of Belgian-style yeast, which creates a “hopped-up wit style beer,” said Black Forest brew man Bob Harter.

A little hop history, Hallertau — named for the region of Germany with the largest continuous hop-planting area in the world — is considered one of the noble hops. Once a constant characteristic of German lagers (it is now often replaced by hardier, disease tolerant strains), Hallertau is a necessity for Bavarian style brews, according to beer purists. While an aromatic hop, the flower presents a nice earthiness suitable for wheat heavy brews. Unlike some other wheat brews, the fruity and spicy undertones are subtle and not overpowering in this White IPA.

Black Forest also recently released new editions to their food menu. New entrée sandwiches include a Grown Up Grilled Cheese, a traditional Italian-style grinder, and a selection of paninis featuring pepperoni chicken and French onion beef. Of course, they still have my favorite beer accompaniment, the PA Dutch Platter. Can’t beat beer and ring bologna!

Down the street at St. Boniface Craft Brewing, their new nitro system is up and pumping out pints of Ace in the Hole Stout (4.5 ABV), an Irish dry stout similar to Murphy’s. It’s frothy! The two latest brews in the Offering series have been tapped as well. Offering #31 is a single hop brew named Galaxy IPA (6.1 ABV) made with only Galaxy hops. On Tuesday, the brewery released Offering #37, Session Zero.

“It is a zero IBU IPA, meaning all the hops give aroma and flavor because when they were used in the brewing process; nothing in the boil,” said co-owner Dain Shirey.

Also, the next installation of Surprise! It’s Another IPA will be available in both cans and draft this Thursday. This time St. Boniface used Idaho 007 and Ekuanot hops.

In Lititz, stay tuned for a special collaboration brew between Appalachian Brewing and Bionic Brew from Shenzhen, China. Yes, China! And what is more associated (albeit an American institution) with Chinese cuisine than the fortune cookie?

Coming soon: Fortune Cookie Ale (5.8 ABV) a beer brewed using actual fortune cookies in the mash said to showcase “the toasted and slightly sweet flavor of the simple fortune cookie.”

Confucius say, “What will they think of next?”

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

St. Boniface’s cool commemorative beer glass holds a cold serving of Ace in the Hole Stout.

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