First Mango in Lancaster

When I shared with my astute wife, the play on “The Last Tango is Paris” movie with Marlon Brando (1972) in this blog post title, she didn’t get the reference.  So, I felt I needed to be more explanatory. That said, it is what it is. The film was controversial and sordid, but that is not the direction this post is going to take besides noting that Marlon Brando was perhaps the best method actor of all time.

There a number of actors on the Pennsylvania Microbrewery scene, and from its humble start in a Spring House in Conestoga with its tasting room reminiscent of a man cave in the air (or tree fort), Spring House’s Tap Room is fast becoming a major superstar. The founders seem to have a methodical plan. From their superior beers, to its stellar downtown location, to having its food prepared by the upscale but accessible Carr’s Restaurant,  it just seems like everything is following a well-written script. Behind the scenes, I am sure it is chaotic and improvisational at times, but the execution and delivery of its lines seems on cue.

I appreciate how the proprietors have delegated the food to another entity rather than trying to do it themselves (for now). At some point, they may assume the reins for the culinary aspect of the production, but for the time being it is wise that the beer is the focus. It is the star, and the food is in a supporting, yet critical role.

Last Friday night, I assembled with two couples who are good friends of my wife and I. We as couples share a love of great movies and great beers. My wife was in San Francisco for business, but I can assure you that on this night, Lancaster brought a production to the stage at the Tap Room that can rival the big city.  The debut of the Mango Ale was in the spotlight this evening, a Noir-type of night–rivaling the Paris nights of yore.

The Tap Room’s beers tend to be on the hoppy side, which means if you enjoy hops, you will like the beers. Some brewers use hops to hide bad brewing technique and ingredients, just like a filmmaker might throw in gratuitous sex and violence into a flick to make it more palatable to the non-discerning rabble of an audience. Assuredly, this is not what Spring House is doing. The hops are a critical yet refined ingredients in their brews and the Mango Ale for sure. Although the Mango Ale is not a regular actor and gets no billing in the billboard of Spring House beers. The Mango Ale was both tart and sweet…and I am sure packed all kinds of healthy phytochemicals into the mix.   I would make one suggestion to make the Tap Room more exquisite…turn down the music a bit. No need to try to have a Frat House vibe with the volume.

The Tap Room in Lancaster City is fast becoming a destination location for the discerning beer-drinking public who have a penchant to drink better beers. For those who follow the Microbrewery scene in Pennsylvania and regionally, this is one affair that looks to be one that will last. Like any good relationship based on the enduring qualities of love, trust, and commitment, animated by elan, one just senses that Spring House is going to be a significant player. It indeed could be, and is, a contender…

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