In Paris, a small, neighborhood restaurant that also brews its own beer is called a brasserie. This concept has been around in Paris for probably thousands of years. It had been catching on in the US (called a brewpub), and in my opinion, this is a great thing. To me, gastronomy should include no only food, but also beer, wine, and liquor. In the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, brotherly love certainly exists, but the love of great food and beer also takes precedence.
Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery is an exciting concept: two great restaurants attached to a craft brewery. Barren Hill, with head brewer Scott Morrison and chef Paul Trowbridge, was founded by owner Erin Wallace. This is another case of a brewery’s website not offering enough information about its history: there is no founding date anywhere that I can see. I wish that breweries would offer the basic information of who founded it, where, when, and why. Barren Hill is first and foremost a pair of restaurants, and they obviously take great pride in their food. But their website, lovely as it looks, is almost useless, as there is no section about their beer! This is inexcusable for a company that brews craft beer. But again, I digress. I suppose the only thing that really matters is the quality of their beer that is currently under review: German Pale Ale. I have been tasting beers and taking notes for years, and I had the opportunity not too long ago, to taste this beer at the Barren Hill Tavern.
A German pale ale is a top-fermented, warm-fermented beer made from pale malt and hops.
Everything On Tap Review – Barren Hill German Pale Ale:
Bottle: This beer is only available on tap at Barren Hill itself. If it is also available in a bottle, then the company is doing a great job of keeping it a secret.
Pour: My pint glass showed a beautiful, pure amber color. The head was one and a half fingers thick, pale white, and dissipated moderately slowly, leaving some medium lacing.
Aroma: The aroma shows an attack of yeasty bread, followed by some hoppy bitterness, green wheat grass, and the faintest of grapefruit elements.
Flavor: During the attack, there is a definite flavor of yeasty bread and malted grains. Then a lovely hoppy bitterness (as in the aroma) follows, with some hints of grapefruit and grass, but no pine, and then there is a slight malty sweetness. The finish shows crisp tartness and slight earthiness and oak. The aftertaste is relatively clean.
Mouthfeel: The body is disappointingly light, even for a pale ale. The carbonation is moderate, but with the light body, it seems a bit too fizzy.
Structure: Although the mouthfeel is a bit light for my taste, the structure is there. The complexity of aroma and flavor create a balanced, solid structure.
Food Pairing: Although this pale ale’s body is a bit light, I would still be very comfortable pairing it with deep-fried seafood like we eat in the Cajun area of Louisiana, such as deep-fried catfish filets. I would enjoy it also with raw oysters (in fact, it would be perfect). And if you want a night out with our friends with buffalo wings, definitely pair this ale with spicy, traditional-sauce buffalo wings with bleu-cheese dipping sauce. It would be absolutely perfect.
Overall Rating Out of 5 Possible Beer Mugs: