Monday, November 12, 2007

Today's Two Beers

Flying Fish Grand Cru Winter Reserve
New Jersey gets a bad rap, and it mostly deserves it. But it does have some stuff going for it: It's close to Pennsylvania and New York. It has a turnpike. Springsteen is from there. And it's home to the Flying Fish Brewing Company, which is based in Cherry Hill. A perennial "best place to live" in the Delaware Valley area, Cherry Hill is about five miles west of Philadelphia. In my 23 years living here, I've never felt any any desire to step foot in Cherry Hill. (There's something about the suburbs that creeps me out, especially the ones in Jersey.) Which I guess is why I've never taken a tour of Flying Fish, despite they fact they produce some really nice local brews. Their bottle-conditioned Grand Cru Winter Reserve is a Belgian-style golden ale that's 7.2% alcohol. There's a lot going on in this beer, but it's not overwhelming. Grand Cru isn't my favorite Flying Fish offering, but it tasted good after a long walk on a chilly night.

Tröegs HopBack Amber Ale

This is the flagship beer from Tröegs, a cool 11-year-old brewery based in Pennsylvania's capitol city of Harrisburg. I'm not usually a big fan of amber ales, as most of them don't have a whole lot of flavor, but this one is an exception. While HopBack has a sweet hoppy aroma with malty hints, it's not at all overwhelming. This would be a perfect choice for someone who thinks IPAs are too hoppy but still likes a beer with some flavor. Tröegs only distributes its goods to places within a three-hour drive of the brewery, so this one might be tough to get outside of the Mid-Atlantic region.

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