St. Boniface – Libation: Doubling Down

What to do? I was hankering to go down to Philly to be a part of the opening festivities for Philly Beer Week. But then, I started to do the Calculus: It is Friday….kind of tired after a long work week; long drive to Philly (2 hours down, two hours back); the tolls and parking; having to haul the wagon back to Amishland after the food and drink; the wife not real into it. Hmm…abandon ship.

Alternate: First Friday in Lancaster city. Do the Math: Closer to home (fifteen minutes), easy parking, it will look like Philly crowd-wise because it is First Friday for at least a couple of blocks.  Ship ahoy! We met a couple for dinner at Molly’s Pub. Sorry about the annoying bagpipe music in the background on their website. Makes me want to turn off the sound…which I did. I get the point, you want to convey a North Atlantic European vibe. My buddy and I had heard that the pub was serving St. Boniface,  a Double IPA…and they indeed were.

One of the reasons we selected Molly’s Pub was that is was a lovely late afternoon/early evening in Lancaster and Molly’s has a rooftop deck for dining. One of those days you’d like to bottle and save for the future. Mid-70’s, blue sky, a brisk and warm breeze. Truly, a weather gift. Fantastico. We ordered our food and awaited the arrival of our beers. I told the waitress that we were beer snobs  and she said that she was, too. She said that she drank Miller Lite. That does not make you a beer snob, Ms. Just the opposite. She’s not going to win in any game of wits.  See the assessment of the brew by a Beer Snob here.

Here is a description of the Libation from St. Boniface’s Facebook page:

Libation is a double IPA that, although quite highly hopped, is also balanced by a wonderful malt sweetness and and a pleasantly yeasty nose. The goal of this beer is to be big yet friendly. And that is precisely what it is. Rather than attempting to focus on one particular note — and amplify it — the hops, malt, and yeast all compliment one another giving the beer a complexity sometimes missing in big beers. This beer is like a Great Dane: big enough to make you pay attention; friendly enough to be a lifelong companion. 

Never heard of a beer being compared to a dog before. But, I’ll work with it. If this beer was a dog, I’d call “Here, boy!” Get ready to get some Libation elation. This stuff is not to be trifled with. If our waitress drank one of these, her Lite beer would scamper away like the little castrated scrawny and mangy mutt that it is, in the face of the woofness of this brew.  Basically, twice the malt and twice the hops in the dog bowl, leading to supreme sweetness and bitterness simultaneously. A breed apart. Doubling down indeed. Should win the dog show rather than those uptight poodles with poofy ball tails and canine therapists working on their self-esteem.  Stella Atois comes to mind.

This brew tasted practically like a well-hopped Belgian, sharing the characteristic of a high ABV. Not drinking a six-pack like soda pop beer. If you double-down on this stuff, you are going down.

I generally don’t commentate on the food, but my wife’s Shepherd’s Pie was very good. My Chicken and Cashew salad was lame. The chicken itself was grilled nicely. Otherwise, it was a pile of lettuce and a generous handful of cashews. Truly average.  Fortunately, we were there for the beer. I have had Molly’s burger before and if I wasn’t trying to be more healthy and reduce the midsection a bit, I would go in that culinary direction rather than the greens. My wife noted that my buddy and I both ate salads and suggested that this was rather girl-like, while she and the other woman were meat and potatoes. She asked if we were going to go to the bathroom together.

Good thing that St. Boniface was there in front off us the bark at away suggestions of girliness.  Later, we hit the town, stopped by the Taproom, (where our pretty wives scored us some free brews from some older dudes…not sure how that worked), walked around some more, and then ran into another couple we knew from Church. Then, all six of us headed to the Belvedere Inn for a continuation of the festivities. That is a story for another day.  Made me phorget about Philly.



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