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Beer Review #280 Lancaster Pale Ale

04-01-03It’s been over a year since I last reviewed anything from Lancaster Brewing Company. They are a bit tough to find around me and I haven’t see anything new from them in some time (though I have picked up their wonderful Milk Stout from time to time). The last time that I was at the beer store I noticed something new from them (to me) a Pale Ale. It had a simple Americana logo, and I grabbed a bottle to try it out.

Lancaster Pale Ale pours a nice orange color with an off-white head. The nose has a slight floral hop and there isn’t any malt aroma to be found. I was actually a bit surprised by the smell of this one. I’m so used to the aggressive pale ales that I forget that the mild ones can hold a place. I still generally like a pale ale with a bit more to the aroma, but this one doesn’t sit too far outside of my desired zone.

The taste, unlike the nose, starts with a nice malt sweetness. The flavor then goes into a decent hop bitterness. There isn’t really a distinct hop flavor though, just bitterness. It was kind of odd not to have a defined flavor for the hops. The beer ends on a grassy note which I didn’t care for.

This is a pretty natural pale ale. A starter pale ale if you will. I don’t know if I just got an old bottle but nothing about this beer wowed me. I would love to see this beer come alive more and show some balls. Instead, it seems to be behind the pack. (more…)

Beer Review #181 Lancaster Brewing Company Winter Warmer Ale

Lancaster Brewing Company was one of the first breweries that got me into craft beer. In fact, many of the early review on this site come from Lancaster Brewing Company (2 of the first 9). It has been some time since I’ve actually had one of their beers. They didn’t distribute to Texas and in Delaware, they are available, but it’s nothing new, so I generally skip over them. One beer that I wouldn’t skip over is their milk stout, but I can’t find it in Delaware. If anyone has an in with the good people at LBC, tell them to fix that asap. Lancaster’s Winter Warmer was a favorite of mine in college. The bar down the street had it on tap every winter and my friends and I would visit after night classes. Needless to say some fun times were had, in part, thanks to this beer.

This Winter Warmer pours a nice brown color with some hints of ruby. A tan head accompanies the darker beer below. The nose is filled with dried fruits and chocolate. I didn’t get an hops or much in the way of malt (other than the previously mentioned chocolate) but I did get a slight bit of heat.

While the nose isn’t super impressive or complex, the flavor gives up more than the nose. On my first taste I was met with a wall of toffee followed closely by some coco. I slight bit of roasted malt flavors come in, but they are very light and really add a background flavor. The dried fruit comes in to finish up the whole thing. There is also some heat in there, a little more than what the nose let on.

Lancaster Brewing Company Winter Warmer Ale has a lot going on with it. As it warms the flavors really start coming out and mixing in a joyous fashion. I highly suggest that you let this one warm up as it only reveals half of itself when it is cold (insert dirty joke). The heat that is in the flavor is noticeable, but I didn’t find that it took away from the beer. It provides a nice warming feeling on the way down which allows the beer to complete it’s namesake. If this beer is an option for you, try it out, I think that you will be pleasantly surprised by it, especially on a cold night. (more…)

Beer Review #72 Lancaster Brewing Company Oktoberfest

Our second Oktoberfest comes all the way from Lancaster, PA (only an hour’s drive from where I currently live). I went to college out near Lancaster, and I gained a love of Lancaster Brewing Company. Almost two years ago I visited their location in Lancaster. I believe their bottled beers are actually brewed by the Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I’ve had their Oktoberfest a few too many times, and three years ago, something was just off with it. I haven’t tried it since, but when I saw it at the store this year, I decided to grab it.

It pours a nice amber color with a thin off-white head that quickly fades. It is clear, as expected. The nose is malty, with some sweetness, but it is not as sweet as Brooklyn’s Oktoberfest. There are some notable bread aromas in there as well. On the first taste I really noticed how dry it was. There is a sweetness upfront, but the dryness kicks in and cuts it off. The toasty and bready notes do follow through-out the beer. There is a slightly sulfury aftertaste, but it wasn’t terrible. There is also a bit of heat to comes in at the end as the beer is drying out.

It is a decent Oktoberfest, but not my favorite. There is just something about the beer that doesn’t sit right with me. Maybe it was the sulfur and dry combination, but it didn’t compare to other Oktoberfest beers that I’ve had. It does kick up the ABV compared to some other beers as well and comes in at a lovely 6.5%. Try it if you see it, but know that there are betters out there. (more…)

09-06-11-02

Troegs Brewing Company Nugget Nectar Ale Beer Review

09-06-11-02

Troegs is one of my favorite breweries. For the past five years I have lived in Lancaster, PA, which is about 20 minutes away from Harrisburg, PA, home of Troegs. So needless to say, I made a few trips out there during my time living near it. Feburary is one of my favorite times for beer. The spring beer are beginning to come out and Troegs releases their Nugget Nectar Ale. Let me start off with what the brewery has to say:

Alcohol by Volume: 7.5%
Hop Bitterness (IBU’s) : 93ish
Color (SRM) : Straw-Orange
Availability: 1/2, 1/6 and Cask Conditioned kegs, 12 oz. bottles
Malts: Pilsner, Vienna, Munich
Hops: Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, Palisade
Yeast: Ale

09-06-11-05Squeeze those hops for all they’re worth and prepare to pucker up: Nugget Nectar Ale, will take hopheads to nirvana with a heady collection of Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops. Starting with the same base ingredients of our flagship HopBack Amber Ale, Nugget Nectar intensifies the malt and hop flavors to create an explosive hop experience.

On the nose, this beer is hops, hops, hops. Citrusy and wonderful. It pours a nice orange color and has a decent amount of head, that lasts through the entire drink. As the brewery claims, it is like their Hopback Amber Ale, just an intense version.

It is nicely balanced and has a great malt backbone to support the hops. If you like IPA’s you will dig this beer. I f you can get it in Feburary do it. It is fresh and wonderful tasting. I had this in a 22 oz bottle in Feburary. I just found this at a local bar, on tap, and it is not as fresh, but still good. I wish Troegs made this year-round instead of just one month of the year. Again, if you are a hop head, go get this if you can find it. (more…)

Lancaster Brewing Company Sampler Beer Review

This isn’t so much of a beer review as it is a sampler review. I recently celebrated my birthday and decided that the best way to do that was to sample some microbrew from a local place. I live in Lancaster, PA so I went to Lancaster Brewing Company. They have some great beers, and package 4 of them (Milk Stout, Strawberry Wheat, Amish Four Grain, Hop Hog). They also package a few seasonals, but at their brewpub in Lancaster City they have a lot more to choose from.

Looking at the image on the left, there are 13 sampler glasses! That’s the most I’ve ever had from a microbrewery sampler plate. They were all 5 oz. glasses and it only costs $15. Not a bad deal at all.

There were actually only 12 beers on tap, but they then decided to make a black and tan type drink by combining the Milk Stout and the Strawberry Wheat into something they called a Chocolate Covered Strawberry. I like the Milk Stout by itself, not so much on the Strawberry Wheat, but when combined, both brews go to a new level. I’ll be reviewing a bit more of their brews in the near future. I mainly wanted to comment on the quality of the beers (with the exception of the Oktoberfest, when it is January and the Oktoberfest is still around, it’s not good) and how great they made my birthday. (more…)