Friday, December 17, 2010

Fri, 17 Dec 2010 Update

Tomorrow: Christmas Festival and Craft Show
The big news is our first annual Christmas Festival and Craft Show on Saturday, December 18th.

noon: tapping of Southern Tier Crème Brûlée and Troegs Mad Elf. (more details below in Beer News)

noon to 5pm: Craft Show featuring baked goods, knitted items, electric powered items, and more!

5pm: Santa arrives. Hang out and have a beer with Santa.

5pm - 9pm: Don Bitterlich will be entertaining us with his accordion.

It will be a jolly time and could be a good opportunity to fill in any gaps on your Christmas list. Stuck for a gift? Give the gift of schnitzel... we have gift cards available in any amount over $20.

Food News
Version 2 of our Lunch/Bar Menu should be ready any day now. Speaking of our bar menu, I finally got around to having our German Wings. People told me about them but I always wound up ordering other items on our menu. Wow, I am craving them as I write this.

Beer News
Previously our draft beer menu was updated as needed. It will now be updated weekly and include not just what is on tap, but what is coming up as well. And you can view it on-line (it looks better on paper).

On tap, we currently have:
Paulaner Salvator, a super authentic doppelbock from Munich, Germany. Originally a Lenten beer, it is now available year round. In 2011, we will have our first Starkbierfest, when we will tap a different -ator beer each Friday during Lent and then end Lent with all of them returning to be tap together.

Berwick Hondo Keller Bier is a keller style beer from Berwick Brewing, which is nestled in the town of Berwick, PA. Berwick is a really cool brewery. They have a great beer garden right on the Susquehanna River, and I hear they make a great pizza. And the beer is terrific. Sadly I have only been there early in the day before the pizza oven was heated up. That is something I need to rectify in 2011.

We have two wheat beers on tap at the moment. Some US breweries only brew wheat beers in the summer. In Germany, they are available year round, and are great with weisswurst for breakfast, but that's another story. Boulder Sweaty Betty is a Bavarian-Style Wheat Beer from Boulder Co. This one bursts with flavor; it is one of the best wheat beers out there. Franziskaner Dunkel Weisse, is an authentic dark wheat beer from Munich. The banana and clove flavors from the hefewiezen join with chocolate notes from the dark malt.

We have three schwarzbiers on tap the moment. Schwarzbiers are black lagers. Think of them as being like stout but mellower since they fermented with lager yeast. Kostritzer, from Bad Kostritz, is one of the oldest producers of schwarzbier in Germany. They have perfected it over several hundred years. Sprecher Black Bavarian, Glendale, Wisconsin, is an excellent Amercian version of this style. Cricket Hill Noctern from North Jersey has been the pleasant surprise of the bunch, being a truly great session beer.

Hofbrau Original is a Munich style helles beer from Munich. Helles means a light colored lager. Some people may dismiss helles beers as not being extreme enough. A truly great helles is one of the hardest beers to make; there's no room to hide any mistakes. The ones that really excel have wonderful depths of subtly.

Sly Fox Rauchbier from Royersford PA is a smoked beer that we have been restocking a lot here at Hop Angel. One of my pleasant surprises is how popular the various smoked beers have gone over. This is in the standard smoker lager style. Fire makes it good; no, fire makes it great. One of my favorites.

The big news is that we are opening our taps to include styles that aren't German. We will still be very heavy on German style beer, but with 12 taps, we have room to squeeze in a few non-Germans. Yes some IPAs will be on tap soon.

The beer to open that door is Troegs Mad Elf from Harrisburg PA. This beer has been a super popular Yuletide beer for several years now. It's a huge 11% Belgian style ale that features cherries, honey, and chocolate malt. For many of us, it's not Christmas without a little Mad Elf. We had to opportunity to get a couple barrels for Hop Angel, so how could we say no. Make sure you drink some water along side this one.

Another holiday beer is Avery Old Jubilation, from Boulder CO. Its an English style winter strong ale with a mahogany hue, a hint of hazelnuts, and a finish reminiscent of mocha and toffee. No spices.

And from the amazing Bells Brewery of Kalamazoo MI, we have their Winter White This a seasonable wheat ale brewed with American wheat and a blend of yeasts.

Getting tapped at noon on Saturday the 18th will be a sixtel (5.15 gallon barrel) of Southern Tier Crème Brûlée. Southern Tier brews some amazing things, as anyone who has ever had their PumKing pumpkin beer can attest. This one is the classic Crème Brûlée dessert in a glass. Truly extraordinary. We could only get 5 gallons of this one; it won't last long.

Thanks for your support. Have a wonderful holiday.

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