Finding My Thrills (Pt 1) @ Iron Hill Brewery Lancaster

First, I need to get something off of my mind and then move on.

I am thinking about drawing this blog to a close. Like a keg, I fear it is kicked. I read other beer blogs that seem to less qualitative than this one get more readers or other blogs on WordPress that  get the ‘Freshly Pressed” status that are frankly sometimes pretty flat like a bad beer left in the glass overnight. But then, days like yesterday happen when a good number of visitors hit the site and it makes it hard for me to call it quits.

No one likes to labor in vain, so if you like this 40/40 beer blog visit it at least once weekly on Saturday or Sunday and there should be something fresh to sip. I will make the decision if I kill 40/40 based on the numbers. Cold and calculating, that is me. I have enough writing to do otherwise with my book and bierkergaard blog. Search it if you want.  I won’t link it because I don’t want to presume that you give a hoot.

Part of me de-stressing is to not spend a lot of time correcting grammar and usage and the like. Just let it rip like graffiti or a jazz riff. You red-penned English teacher types out of there…take your writing micro-nanniness elsewhere or make due.

OK, now that this is out of the way, last night I headed to Iron Hill Brewery here in Lancaster. Iron Hill is the whole package. With 5 house beers, 9 seasonals, and two pages of 750 ml Reserves–many of the them award-winning—Iron Hill just crushes the competition both on quality and quantity. Iron Hill, like a battleship, has the guns and firepower. They are not going to be beat in a head-to-head competition by any other brewpub out there. The best the other micros can expect to do is either be cheaper with less quality (like Lancaster Brewing Company) or more expensive with more quality (like St. Boniface). If a microbrewpub is in the middle, prepare to be blown out of the water if you are within range of I.H.

For all of the talk about microbrews cooperating, I have to think some of this is just bluster. When an upstart like Springhouse/The Taproom is in the city and has the same type of quality/quantity profile, make no mistake about it, these establishments are competing for the same clients to fill the seats.

At I.H., the food can be great, or fairly average considering the price, but stick with the less exotic higher end bar-type of food like innovative sandwiches, and you will dine fine. And the drink is divine.

This is the Smokin Blond  Ale that I had last night…love the paradox (blonde ale style with smoked malts) and it is a sure winner.

Smokin Blonde

OG: 1.065   Color: 6   IBU: 30   Alc by Vol: 6.2%

Belgian-style Blonde Ale with biscuit-like character and a subtle sweet smoke flavor from the use of smoked malts

Here she is in all her glory…(more review about other I.H. beers to follow in future posts. Best to do it one at a time).

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