Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Beautiful Day, Great Beer- Selin's Grove Brewing

What a better way to spend a beautiful spring day, by going to an acclaimed brewpub. The Selin’s Grove Brewing brewpub has been listed in many top-whatever lists- #10 RateBeer Top Brewpubs 2010, #98 RateBeer Top 100 Brewery, #13 Top 50 Places to Have a Beer (2006)- there are others, I just couldn’t find them. It is based in a small town of around 10,000 people and a college in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. During my time at college, this brewery was one of the biggest influences in my beer beginning.

The brewpub is located downtown, right on their main street, Market Street. Being on the street is deceiving, as the brewpub is located down steps- so basically, you are going into their basement. Inside, there is a great looking, yet rather small bar and also seating at tables. The dimly lit room gives a great ambiance to drinking beer. But the patio was where we were going.

The small patio holds about 5 tables, so we felt fortunate to grab the last table (the brewpub is rarely packed during the day, as there is usually always a seat available. Their food is very good. We had already eaten lunch, so it was just a couple of soft pretzels for the two of us to go along with the beer. If you do go, they specialize in gourmet sandwiches and simple appetizers (Spinach Dip, Quesadillas, specialty cheeses, etc.).

First up was Ambition ale (a Belgian style Strong Pale Ale) for me and their Stealth Triple for my brother. (Sorry, I didn’t get pictures of the first beer.) The Ambition was a very good Strong Pale Ale, with a good base of spice; some hop bitterness and a bit of citrusy, dry finish. The triple was to style, but left a bit to be desired. We had it there before, and remembered it being a little more complex, maybe it was just not as fresh?

Next up, we both went with the Priestly Pale Ale. Named after a local scientist (the man discovered oxygen), the beer looked so good on the table next to us, we had to order it. A beautiful amber color with a nice half to three-quarter inch head, gave a good smell of caramel malt and citrusy hops. The taste was just as good. A perfect combination of bitterness and malt made this an extremely drinkable beer (at 5.7%).

Up next was the Organic Shade Mountain Oatmeal Stout for me and the American Pale Ale for my brother. The Oatmeal Stout looked and tasted perfect. It was. (Sorry for gushing over these beers, they were just phenomenal.) The dark, dark brown brew held up a creamy off white head (half inch). The APA had a golden/orange color, and also held up a creamy head (quarter inch). The stout had roasted malts present, but the chocolate malts stand out. The oatmeal is present, and the beer has a nice creamy mouthfeel. There is a bit of a hop bitterness finish, breaking apart the malt. My favorite beer on the day. The APA had a strong spiciness to it, as well as much more hop bitterness than the Priestly Pale Ale. It was a smooth beer, that did not offend any of the other beers on the day, but it was overshadowed by the stout.

Other beers that I can recommend (but were not on when we were there) are the Scottish Ale- one of their most popular beers, and their IPA- just a great IPA.

If you are looking to get to Selin’s Grove Brewing, a great time to try them out is at the Selinsgrove Beer & Wine Festival, held in July. It is a great beer, wine and food gathering, in a small town atmosphere. More information here. SGB is only 40 minutes from Harrisburg, 2 hours from Baltimore and 2.5 hours from Philadelphia. A great place for a day trip, or an overnight in one of the local bed and breakfasts or inns. Think about it.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely beer experience that looks like. Fresh air, friends, and a good beer.