Sunday, September 12, 2010

Full Beer Saturday

I had a full day yesterday with going to Capone's, a beer bar in Norristown, for lunch and spending some time at the Hulmeville Inn with my buddy Greg.

The first stop was Capone's in Norristown.  It looks like a normal diner from the outside, but once you get inside and are given a draft list you know this isn't a normal place.  Their draft list was probably 20 beers long with lots of really interesting stuff.  They had Ballast Point's Sculpin, Russian River's Consecration, and a lot of other really great beers.  It was almost entirely limited release beers which is just awesome.

I started with a beer I've been wanting to try ever since Victory announced it and that is Victory Village.
The beer is a coffee brown ale so it poured a nice brown color with minimal head.  The smell was mildly coffee although I'll be honest in that I don't totally remember what it smelled like.  The taste, however, I do remember and it was great.  Hugely coffee through and through with the brown ale taking a back seat.  If you like coffee, then you'll like this beer.  If you don't like coffee, don't order this, you will not like it.  I do like coffee so I liked it a lot.

The second I had at Capone's was Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti.
This beer is an Imperial Stout that has chocolate and apparently some cayenne added to it and is aged in oak barrels for a bit.  It's a pitch black with very minimal head.  The beer smelled of roasted malts with a little bit of chocolate in it.  The initial taste is sweet with some vanilla and chocolate flavors and followed by the stout base.  It's a strong beer at 9.5% so the alcohol comes through a bit but it doesn't overwhelm it at all.  Really a delicious imperial stout and I'd be interested in having it again.  The one cool thing about this Great Divide beer is that they have four different versions of it.  One espresso, this chocolate one, one barrel aged, and one plain Imperial Stout.  Be fun to try them all in one night although you'd probably be pretty drunk by the end of that.

After lunch, I checked out Capone's bottle shop.  I had heard good things about it but I was not prepared for what I saw.  Their selection was really great and reasonably priced for the Philadelphia area.  They had a 375ml bottle of Consecration for $14 compared to Hawthorne's $18.50 for comparison's sake.  Besides that, they also had a ton of aged bottles from 2008 and 2009 which is super cool.  Hopefully they age them properly but I imagine they must considering the number of bottles that were available.  I picked up a bottle of Weyerbacher Riserva from 2009, their raspberry wild ale that I talked about after the brewery visit, and a bottle of Troegs Mad Elf from 2008 which is just awesome.  I probably shouldn't be allowed in this place alone as I could easily spend hundreds of dollars on awesome beers.  It took a lot of effort to only get these two bottles.

From there, I headed to my buddy's house in Buck's County (I think it's in Buck's County) and on the way stopped at the Wholefoods in Plymouth Meeting.  It was a pretty nice set up.  They sold growlers and had 6 different taps and then past that they had a huge walk in refrigerated room.  Their selection was pretty good and the cheapest I've seen outside of Wegman's.  I picked up a bottle of Boon's Oude Geuze in order to compare it to the Lindeman's Geuze I got recently and a bottle of Uinta's Cockeyed Cooper which is a barley wine aged in bourbon barrels.

Finally my friend and I ended up at the Hulmeville Inn for a couple hours.  My first beer there was Founder's Nemesis, their barleywine.
Poured a purplish, brownish, black color with a bit of head on it.  The beer has a nice look to it with some bubbles floating through the whole glass.  The smell was of vanilla, some alcohol, and a little fruity.  The taste was pretty similar to the smell.  Fruity, vanilla, caramel, alcohol and a base level of hops.  All in all, it was pretty good and I'm glad I got a chance to try it.

After that I did a sampler of four different beers.  Heavy Seas Hang Ten, a weizenbock, Heavy Seas Prosit!, a marzen (oktoberfest style), Riverhorse Hipp-O-Lantern, a pumpkin ale, and Sierra Nevada's Tumbler, a brown ale.
They go right to left in the picture if you're curious.  Not going to talk about them a lot since flavors tend to flow together in a sampler, but the Hang Ten and Hipp-O-Lantern I'd order again, I'm not sure about the Tumbler, and the Prosit! didn't impress me terribly but may actually be better in a full pint.  The Hipp-O-Lantern was one of the better pumpkin's I've had actually and it would be a good pick up if you see it.

Finally, the last beer I had was Weyerbacher's Insanity.
First of all the bottle is super cool.  It's a silhouette of a dude in a doorway with a red light behind him.  Totally crazy looking and really fits the name of the beer.  Insanity is Weyerbacher's barleywine, Blithering Idiot, that has been aged in oak barrels for a bit.   It comes out in February so this must have been a bottle from earlier in the year which means the alcohol will be mellower and the flavors sweeter.  It smelled similar to the Nemesis from earlier, but a little boozier and a bit more of caramel.  The first taste was of vanilla, caramel and mild fruits.  Through the rest of the glass, it stays smooth and sweet with the alcohol only coming out when you realize you're a bit drunk after drinking two-thirds of it.  Really, really good.  While it did smell a bit boozier than the Nemesis, the actual beer had less alcohol taste in it because of the oak aging and the age of the bottle.  I enjoyed this a lot and look forward to trying it again in February when it's released again.

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to try the Great Divide Chocolate Yeti at Capone's but got distracted by the Rogue Double Chocolate!

    Enjoyed by Barleywines we tried although I hadn't had any of those previously so it was something new. Definitely liked the Weyerbacher a little bit better.

    I liked the Prosit better than you did, and I'd definitely get the Thomas Jefferson Ale from Yards again in a full pint instead of a sampler.

    Hipp-O-Lantern was good...I like it a little more than the Dogfishead Punkin but a little less than the Weyerbacher.

    Scott Pilgrim wasn't bad, either.

    Good times at Hulmeville. Don't forget - owner claimed that he was going to put up "a surprise" on Wednesday or Thursday night this week!