Birthday Brewery Crawl

Posted: November 19, 2012 in Beer Drinking Adventures
Tags: , , ,

Happy Birthday to me.   Okay, so my birthday isn’t/wasn’t until Thanksgiving Day this year but for the past several years, my wifes birthday present to me was to play Designated Driver for a brewery crawl of some sort.  Two years ago, we headed down to Pittsburgh for several stops…last year we roamed the New York Finger Lakes brewery trail and a small brew fest…this year we tried a Northwest Pennsylvania mini tour.

The first stop of our journey was at Blue Canoe Brewery in Titusville PA.  Titusville PA is a small town located about 45 minutes southeast of Erie PA.  The Blue Canoe is a brewpub located in the center of town in a turn of the century 4 story building.  The interior is a wide open expanse with large picture windows in the front, the bar runs the length of the south wall, the center of the building is open seating with the brewing equipment packed into the far north corner of the building.  We had stopped at Blue Canoe once before and we’re really impressed with the food quality and decent beers.  I ordered myself an appatizer of Bavarian Pretzels served with house made Honey Mustard and Beer Cheese dipping sauces.  I also got myself their pub burger which was nicely cooked, although I wasn’t a fan of their home made fries (potato chips).  One of the previous beer that I had from Blue Canoe was their Snickers Stout, made with 50 lbs of Snickers bar, the taste was solid and spot on.  A beer like this is pretty balsy for a small brewpub but flavors like this is what makes this place great.  Here is the chices that I made this time when there…

  • Blue Canoe Brewery (PA) Sexiest Beer Ever Made ~ Belgian Dark Ale ~ 5.7% ABV ~ 3.50 Rating ~ was supposed to be Black Belgian Wit Spiced with Orange Peel, Coriander & Rose Hips Aged on Grand Marnier Soaked Oak”.  The nose and taste was of toasted/burnt wheat, corriander, and oranges.  Decent but I didn’ get much from the rose hips.
  • Blue Canoe Brewery (PA) Black Chai Affair ~ Milk/Sweet Stout ~ 6.5% ABV ~ 3.90 Rating ~was pretty spot on with the description as it had literally smelled and tasted of Chai Tea and Mildly Roasted Malts, I loved it personally.
  • Blue Canoe Brewery (PA ) Punked Out ~ Pumpkin Ale ~ 8.0% ABV ~ 3.90 Rating ~ is the Blue Canoe’s version of a pumpkin ale…and it was pretty good.  The nose was solid pumpkin and cinnamon wih the taste of pumpkin, allspice, cinnamon and yams.

http://www.thebluecanoebrewery.com/

From the Blue Canoe, we took the half hour drive from Titusville to Meadville PA where the new brewpub for VooDoo Brewing has recently opened up.  VooDoo Brewing has been open for several years no and doesnt do a ton of beers like some places, but what they bottle and distribute is done pretty well.  VooDoo Brewing typically use to only add one or two new beers per year but with the addition of the brewpub to the brewery, they are now producing small batch beers for the brewpub exclusively.  The new digs has a pretty cool feel to it with some eclectic lighting and doors hanging from the ceiling.  Here were a couple of the house beers that I got to enjoy:

  • Voodoo Brewing (PA) Ryed or Die ~ Rye Beer ~ 5.0% ABV ~ 3.88 Rating ~is Voodoo’s first attempt at a Rye Beer and it was pretty decent with a nose very Rye forward, Biscuits, and a Floral finish.  The taste was somewhat rougher with the Rye up front again, Bittering Hops, and a bready finish.
  • Voodoo Brewing (PA) 4 Seasons IPA ~ American IPA ~ 8.0% ABV ~ 4.23 Rating ~ Summer IV batch ~ is their rotating IPA, done in 4 different styles (hence the 4 seasons name), the summer version had a very hop forward presence of resin and grapefruit rind on the nose with a resin and citrus rind taste with a grainy finish.

http://www.voodoobrewery.com

Our final stop of the mini tour was across the town of Meadville to the Timber Creek Tap & Table.  Timber Creek has been opened since the early part of the summer and seems to be doing well.  The location is seperated into two building, the bigger one called Table, while the smaller one is called Tap.  The Table building has a long bar, that holds about 20 patrons and many tables everywhere.  The interior has a vast amount of lacquered log/wood everywhere, very rustic.  The Tap building has a smaller bar area that can hold about a dozen patrons and has about a dozen tables and a small pace for a band to perform in.  Also, the floor of Tap is made of glass so you can see into the basement below you into the brewing area with all the tanks.  Here is what I got to sip on while there…

  • Timber Creek Tap & Table (PA) Handlebar Alt ~ Altbier ~ 4.6% ABV ~ 3.98 Rating ~is your typical but flavorful Altbier with the nose that was Malty, Bready and a mild Chocolate finish, meanwhile the taste was Malty, Chocolate, Bready and a mild Bittering Hops finish.
  • Timber Creek Tap & Table (PA) Freshly Squeezed IPA ~ American IPA ~ 7.5% ABV ~ 4.08 Rating ~ is the house IPA and was the runner up at the BrewErie Beer Fest in January 2012.  The nose is very grapefruit, floral and orange zesty with the taste very similar except a little less floral and a little more citrusy.

http://www.timbercreektapandtable.com/

Since we have started my birthday tours, we have gone to Pittsurgh, the Finger Lakes, and NW PA….where to next year???

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Comments
  1. Matt says:

    California?

  2. Matt Clark says:

    No bite, huh? We have one of your favorite breweries-Stone. We also have a few other small ones you may not be familiar with:Bruery, Lost Abbey, Russian River. Oh-and we also have Lord Stanley’s Cup.

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