Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A New Brewery In Town

Crowded Castle

Do you remember that ska band in the 80's called Crowded House? Am I showing my age? Sorry, it's the first thing I thought of when I first heard of Crowded Castle Brewery. OK, actual castles are much bigger and very important people typically live there. Lucky for me, some even allow visitors every once and a while.

Personally, I like trying on the helmets and imagining how heavy a knight might actually weigh sporting all that armor. Oh, and of course, the dungeon room. Oh, the simple things that amuse me.

Back To The Brewery

Every Brewery has a story and after reading Crowded Castle's blog, it makes me really appreciate new breweries more than I already did.  First of all, Crowded Castle hangs their helmet in Phoenixville, PA, and thanks to other breweries such as Sly Fox and Stable 12, Phoenixville's beer scene is really booming.

Let me take a long story on how Crowded Castle got it's name and shorten it up a bit. It mainly started with a few blokes who went from beer making kits to all grain brewing.

The original five guys bottled their first red ale titled King Leo's Imperial Red Ale. The King part became a regular joke in the "Beer Making" kitchen which later became known as the Castle.

After graduating from partly mashed beers to whole grain brewing, they decided on W5 as their name. They started a brew club in their kitchen and the Castle became a bit "Crowded", but there is always room for more.

About 18 months into W5, they decided it was time to introduce their well seasoned beer to the rest of the world or rather local community, and Crowded Castle was founded.

Our General Manager Trish visited Crowded Castle a while back to talk wine and the possibility of bringing in their beer to Paradocx. We sampled a couple crowlers and were more than pleased. It would be a few months before we would have the opportunity to tap a Crowded Castle keg.

Though I have yet to visit or sample all their beers, we brought in an Amber Ale and a tropical IPA (No longer available). Our customers and the staff members have been pleased. Even Carol our resident "I don't like beer" staff member loved it.

The Amber, called Iron Amber Ale represents it's style perfectly. If you find yourself avoiding hoppy beers then this is for you. A bold malt profile, medium bodied, and a caramel finish.

The Tropical IPA is a west coast style IPA with notes of mango, papaya, and grapefruit. The tropical and grapefruit notes come from the aromatic hops. This is an Imperial style and clocks at 7.75 abv.

Stop by the winery this month for a pint of Crowded Castle's Iron Amber. Cheers

One Final Thought

First of all, Happy New Year. I hope 2018 is full of good times, good choices and good wine and beer. 

Totally Gnarly Wave Brah!

In a neighborhood slum in London, Oct 17, 1814, the unthinkable happened, or shall I say undrinkable. The Horseshoe Brewery held 3,500 barrels of brown porter beer in a 22 foot wooden fermenting tank. The tank was held together by massive iron rings. 

You know where I am going with this don't you? Well the pressure of the hot fermenting beer caused one of the rings to burst off the tank, sending a tsunami like force of beer that broke the back wall. The force also blasted more vats releasing about 320,000 gallons of beer onto the streets. 

Happy Hour

A 15 ft wave of frothy beer flooded the streets and gave the community one heck of a scare. Free beer for all. Locals wasted no time filling their jugs and cans with fresh debris filled ale. Not sure if I would risk it but who knows? I wasn't there. 

I can't help but imagine the stench that followed. It goes without saying, wooden tanks were soon phased out. Imagine if they had smart phones? Or surf boards? 

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