Monday, March 9, 2009


There is little hope that I'll be able to make it to more than a few events during Philly Beer Week, but this was one I was not going to miss: Upstate PA Beers with Lew Bryson at the Grey Lodge in NE Philly. And as always, the food and beer did not disappoint; the food specials made for the night were spectacular: an earthy, herb-flecked, half-pound bison burger, rich and moist and cooked perfectly medium, and a sensational basket of Atomic Punk Sweet N Sour glazed wings, bursting with sweet tingles of citrus and bitter hops. These wings could easily convert even a die-hard hot wing fan, and I hope Grey Lodge owner Scoats makes them a part of his regular menu. They were that good, crispy, greaseless and expertly glazed.

Which brings me to the beer I have been looking forward to for almost a year; One Guy Brewing's Atomic Punk IPA, hands down one of the best beers I've had in the last 5 years. Big, ballsy, with an herby, citrusy nose, an explosion of hops in the mouth upon first sip, and a clean, almost silky finish. Guy Hagner, owner/brewer at One Guy is already one hell of a brewer, and Atomic Punk is a magnificent beer, worth the drive to Berwick, PA just to drink it. But not everyone can get to Berwick. Those of us gathered around a big table upstairs at the Grey Lodge (Bryson, Scoats, his friend Marty, good beer buddy and uber-beer geek Gary Bredbenner and his angel-of-mercy designated driver, Traci) were in unanimous agreement: Atomic Punk would rock Philly. Are you reading this, Guy? The other beers served laste evening were also quite good, but the AP blew them all away.

Stegmaier's Oak Aged Spiced Winter Warmer from Wilkes-Barre, was a boozy dessert in a glass, like a bourbon bread pudding with chocolate and attitude; Bavarian Barbarian from Williamsport contributed their Square Feet Wheat Dunkelweizen to this event, and it was a sweet and sour, kind heavy version of the style, but it was a killer match for those wings; Bullfrog's Beesting, a honeyed saison style ale from Williamsport, was nice, though neither Gary nor I could detect much honey in the glass; Elk Creek's Belgian Strong was not to my liking, due more to inexperience with that syle than anything else, but it was a tad too alcoholic for me to enjoy; and Yuengling's brand new Bock was a delight, tasting to me like a roasty version of their fllagship Lager, which, to my palate, is a good thing.

But here and now, let me start my campaign for Atomic Punk in Philly: (repeat after me) BRING ATOMIC PUNK TO PHILLY , GUY! WE WANT ATOMIC PUNK!!!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Atomic Punk IPA is my kind of beer. What's the closest airport to Berwick, PA?

Rich said...

That would the s\
Scranton-Wilkes-Barre International Airport in Avoca, PA, Suzie Q.