With help from Special Guest beerBrother
In continued celebration of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014, we headed over to Beermuda in New Kensington for their Southern Tier Tap Takeover event. This bar always carries a long (50+) tap list with a great selection of locals, nationals and rarities. They have also added a newly made-over basement area including a whole wall filled with craft beer coolers. We arrived to a crowded parking lot, which was awesome to see. Burghers seem like they are really coming out in force to support our local neighborhood bars during PCBW.
The beer list started with a large selection of 2012-brewed, hard-to-find Southern Tier beers, including Oat, Jah-va, Choklat, Mokah, Backburner, Creme Brulee, and two taps of Pumking (2012 & 2013). The list also included many of the same Southern Tier beers in recent batches, so a drinker could sample a split vertical of many of these highly-coveted beers. This was a great idea – who doesn’t love comparing an aged beer to its current iteration? They had the delicious Warlock, a new release from last Fall, which is a pumpkin stout with strong flavors of pumpkin seeds. More beers they had on tap from this company include 2XIPA, 2XONE, 2XMAS, Compass, Krampus, LIVE, Hop Sun, and their offering for this year’s Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, the Pittsburgh Left (a brown Belgian double).
In addition to the Southern Tier taps, Beermuda also offered a who’s who of great beers they had acquired or saved for this event, including many rare, unknown, or limited-run beers and some of the PCBW collaboration brews and PCBW specialty brews.
A list of beers we sampled from the draft list:
2012 Oat: A smooth imperial oatmeal stout that aged very nicely, producing a great depth of malty, sweet, roasted flavors.
2012 Backburner: This beer was discontinued, making this the final batch brewed and (perhaps) one of the last kegs in existence. The strong notes that typify the barleywine style are subdued here, having aged into a smoother blend of sweet and subtle strong ale flavors.
2014 Choklat: A semisweet chocolate syrup laid over a nicely defined stout backbone.
2014 Mokah: An excellent mix of coffee and chocolate flavors in a smooth stout made this beer the highlight of the Southern Tier offerings. This beer was primarily sweet and syrupy, without being overwhelmed by the sugar.
Funky Jewbelation (He’brew): This rare beer is a blend of 6 independently brewed He’Brew ales, aged in rye whiskey and bourbon barrels. It features a nice kick of bourbon with strong sour notes.
Hail to Pitt (Voodoo): This IPA had a light malt backbone with a distinctive tropical flavor from the many late-addition hops.
Expedition Stout (Bell’s): This is a great stout from a fine company. It is a deep black in color, with a thick texture that clings to the side of your glass. High in alcohol, a deep, rich, complex flavor but not as overpowering as many high-end stouts.
Rojo Ahumado (East End & Lavery PCBW Collaboration Brew): Spanish for “Red Smoke,” this beer was made with a mix of four smoked chili peppers in a dark brown ale brewed with smoked and amber malts. The spiciness was just enough to give a nice kick. The peppers also produced a nice tangy flavor. In combination with the smoke, a nice dark chili beer.
Oak Aged Big Hoppy Monster (Terrapin): An Imperial Red Ale aged two months on virgin French oak spirals. The malt is strong and sweet; the oak produces a nice green, planty bite; and, the hops round out bitter and slightly fruity. A small batch beer with a rare balance of tremendous flavors. This was the favorite of several folks in our group.
This event had many highlights. Having the aged 2012 Southern Tier offerings, a few great rarities, some PCBW collaborations, and a few new favorites all made this a great way to spend a PCBW evening. It was impossible to not notice the amount of effort Beermuda put into the event. The event was very well staffed. Regardless of being extremely well-attended, no one waited very long to be served. This was a hugely successful event.