Manayunk Brewery’s Kölsh Blonde & Schuylkill Punch

Posted by Andy Gradel | In The Fridge | Friday, 18 April 2008

Without a doubt, Spring is my favorite time of the year. The grass starts to turn a lush green. There’s baseball on the radio. And, of course, there’s outdoor drinking! Yes, there’s nothing like a couple of beers outside to make you feel like you’re really experiencing life.

So, with the temperature hovering around 80 yesterday, I set out for the Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant on the outskirts of Philly for some locally brewed beer on the deck overlooking the Schuylkill River.

Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant offers about 8 beers on tap and I decided to start off with a Kayak Kölsh Blonde German Ale. I was a little disappointed to see that the draft beer was being served in plastic cups which looked to be a tad on the small side, but that’s the price you pay for outdoor drinking.

According to the description: Unique in that it is an ale made in Germany, Cologne embraces this old style of brewing that is dictated by the Kölsh Konvention. Our interpretation is extremely balanced, dancing between fruity malt undertones and snappy hopiness, with a brilliant deep gold appearance.

This seasonal brew checks in at just under 5% abv and had a cloudy yellow color with a decent white head. Outside, it was hard to tell exactly what the aroma was (there were many aromas floating around, some from beer and some from people). As for the taste, it can best be described as nutty with a side of malt. Nothing that really stood out, but nothing that really offended either. A brew that’s right down the middle of the road which I’d get again, but not as a first choice.

Next, I moved onto the Schuylkill Punch which a friend was drinking. Wow… this is a beer that’s worth the drive. Don’t let the name fool you. This is a Belgian Red, ruby-colored ale with an abv around 6% that has a distinct raspberry-flavor, but is much more beer than “punch.” Apparently, it’s fermented using 500 pounds of black berries and raspberries, which gives it a very strong berry aroma and a sweet, slightly wheaty taste that I could drink outside all night long. This one’s available year-round on tape and in bottles, so I’m definitely going to check to see where it’s available.

Overall, a great way to start the outdoor drinking season and a night that, surprisingly, didn’t break the bank.

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