This past weekend, I did something I’d never done before. No, it wasn’t black tar heroin… I went to a fondue place! It was a chain place called the Melting Pot. I actually had so much fun that I forgot to take pictures of most of the action! Anyway, our waitress was super nice and the food was fun to cook. Definitely liked the cheese starter and the chocolate dipping desserts at the end the best, but the entree course and salad were pretty good too. Also, I discovered a new beer while I was there!
I’d never heard of Pennsylvania’s Funk Brewery before I got to the restaurant, but it was basically the only real craft beer the bar had. It opened its taps in 2014 and is co-owned by Jon Norman and Kyle Funk—that’s his name on the sign, in case you can’t tell. The two are brothers-in-law, too, which is always a good story. If you find yourself in PA, you can visit one of their two taprooms—in Emmaus and Elizabethtown.
The new beer I discovered at the Melting Pot, is one of Funk’s year-round brews: The Citrus IPA. Citrus was Funk’s first IPA, and you can tell that they are very proud of it. It’s brewed with Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic and an experimental hop they refer to as “LemonBomb.” The name is accurate. I got all the citrus goodness on the nose and tongue from this beer. I liked it so much that I ended up having three during our four-hour, four-course meal. I really liked it!
Check this, and video from my fondue experience, on Instagram right now!
After 16 months, we’ve finally found the Giant on the Windowsill today!
You know what I love about Hershey PA’s Tröegs Independent Brewing? No, it’s not the umlaut (although… it kind of is); it’s the fact that they pride themselves in supporting their community. They view the brewery as only one part of the Tröegs community, and they support local vendors, producers and causes they believe in. This means they sometimes hold tree planting events, or 5K races, and they try to use locally sourced hops and ingredients wherever possible. Keep that going!
The Nimble Giant is one of Tröegs’ most famous, and anticipated, yearly releases. It has dropped into cans and kegs every June since 2016, but this was my first time trying it. Let me tell you, this double IPA was worth the wait. It’s brewed with three top notch hops, Simcoe, Mosaic and Azacca. That’s only part of Tröegs’ “ingredients + people + process” beer-making formula. The people part comes from the innovative hopping technique they developed for this brew. They dubbed it Hop Cyclone, and it ensures that the hop oils get to every drop of beer in those tanks. The process? Tröegs found a small window of time during fermentation that optimizes the dry-hop additions. The Nimble Giant is truly a giant at 9% ABV, but the flavor profile from the hops and techniques shows how nimble Tröegs can be. Amazing!
It might not be Sunday where you are, but it is on my Windowsill!
I love a good Mexican stout, don’t you? Chocolate, cinnamon and chilli peppers? Yes, please! I’ve always been curious though. Why do stouts amalgamate so well with the intense flavors from the peppers? It’s all about the thick body. As Bon Appetít Magazine said, the malty backbone of the stout is simply strong enough to support it all. The sweetness of the higher ABV highlights the flavor of the peppers, while the creamy body acts like a fire extinguisher, suppressing enough of the heat to make the beer comfortable to drink. It’s the best of all worlds!
The Sunday Molé stout from Pennsylvania’s Weyerbacher Brewing Company takes the Mexican stout one step further, really capturing the flavors of traditional Mexican molé poblano. Coffee, chocolate, heat and smokiness were what I needed from this brew, and those flavors were definitely playing a Ranchera on my tastebuds. This stout has it all: cocoa powder, cacao nibs; ancho, pasilla, mulato and chipotle peppers; and the cinnamon kick that brings it all together. Really liked this one!
Check out more delicious Mexican stouts on our Instagram, now!