Row House Red


My friend Tom Becker runs a Christian think tank of sorts here in Lancaster Pa called “The Row House” where “Nothing Is Not Sacred.”  

First, Christian and Think Tank can work as a hybrid. Not all evangelicals are cultural Do-Do birds. Second, the forums and events are an eclectic mix of ideas and performances. I saw a band earlier in the summer sponsored by The Row House called Listener and they are still moving me with their profound lyrics and music. Check out this tune. It will mess you up. Third,Tom has a mission to reach the younger generation with culturally relevant art (music, writing, visual). Fourth, he likes beer.

Tom texted me to let me know that Philadelphia Brewing Company has a line of brew called Row House Red. It is not often that someone mentions a beer that I don’t know about. I am aware of Philadelphia Brewing Company as I am a Philly boy. However, the Row House Red had slipped under my Rocky Radar. I  stay attuned to what is happening in Philly even though I reside two hours west.

Tom was excited about the namesake and half-jokingly and half-seriously was getting fired up about sponsorship, taking the coincidence as perhaps a divine appointment for collusion. He checked with me about whether I had any cred with Philadelphia Brewing Company and I do not. I had a case of their Walt Wit earlier in the summer and that is the closest connection historically. I believe one bottle is still in the Beer Fridge. 

As a follow-up, Tom invited me to a brewskie party on Friday night with 20somethings. Thus, I went to my go to distributorship here in Lancaster called Wheatland (named after former president James Buchanan’s estate Wheatland a few blocks away) and they had the Row House Red in stock!  Philadelphia Brewing Company has an interesting price point. Their cases sell for around $ 28 which makes them more than the Buds but less than other craft brewers. It is not a bad place to be.

So, Tom and I headed to the party on the south side of Lancaster City. Since I was walking for a good bit, the beer got jostled quite a lot. So, when we opened the bottles, they were foamy. Unusually foamy. Just a tip, even when the bottles are stationary, they still have a lot of head no matter what. Pour in a glass and let it settle. Drinking it out of the bottle is just not wise and totally bloating.

The taste of the Row House Red is almost Belgian. It is brewed with Belgian yeasts and is quite malty. With the foam, it is almost a milk shake. It comes short of a Belgian but for the price, it is a contender underdog for that prize of a good beer at a good price. It has a puncher’s chance for the belt of beerdom.

At the brewskie party there was a beer trough (an actual trough) and a toilet. A Judgment Day of sorts of beer that was heavenly and beer that was hellish. The Row House Red, although not ready for sainthood, definitely did not belong in the john. Definitely recommend this beer for your edification.     


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