Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2nd Story Brewing: new craft spot in old Philly (new face II)

   Several years ago, my Philadelphia-based daughter and I took in a brewpub called Triumph in the oldest part of her city, a few blocks from Independence Hall, the original Liberty Bell, and all that history.  The pub had a stark modern look and the beers didn't celebrate the setting or stand out from decent craft beer anywhere.  A couple of months ago, the story changed: this is the Second Story.
The name derives from the location of the 15-barrel brewing system Triumph had installed on the second floor of the building. The main pub is on the street level.  The property was purchased last year by Deb Grady, who was already busy farming some miles out of the city, in Pottstown, PA.  Her Tilted Barn Farm inspires the name of one of the ales brewed here, Tilted Barn Saison, made in the farmhouse style at 5.2%.  But there's more to this story: Grady planted hops on some of her acreage and picked the Cascade and Centennial buds used in this brew. Grady also intends to raise a small barley crop on a couple of acres of the farmland and have that malted for her head brewer (and son-in-law) John Wible.  (Many of the facts reported here were published this month in, in a story written by Justin Klugh.)
A number of breweries grow a bit of hops on their premises or other land--not as much as Bale Breaker in Yakima, but a fair amount.  Last month I revisited Brown's Brewing in Troy,NY, and l learned that they had opened a production brewery outside the city on sufficient land to root seven hundred rhizomes of hops.  Klugh's article points out that back in 1850, New York State produced almost two-thirds of the hops grown in the U.S., and a good chunk more in Pennsylvania, no doubt.
At any rate, a brewery using its own barley and hops will be a noteworthy example of locavore.
   At the right, the pub scene is cozy and snug, beneath the fermenters.  The menu is pub-plus--the restaurant scene in Philadelphia is extremely competitive, and wings and pizza won't pack 'em in even with the best beers on tap.  The soup was black bean with lime, which paired well with the Grumpy Old Man Stout, 4% abv with some nice coffee notes from the malts and the espresso beans in the boil.  Then I tried another 9-oz. glass of Root Cellar Helles, the Munich-style lager Chuckanut does so well back in Bellingham.  They do it pretty well here, too, with the bitterness just sneaking in for the aftertaste.

(Visited 01/12/15)

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