With snow and frigid weather still hammering the northeast of the USA we had to make a trip down to the Pennsylvania State Capital of Harrisburg so whilst there we decided it was also a good time to visit a couple of local breweries namely Lancaster Brewing and Pizza Boy Brewing.
From the nearby city of Lancaster, in the middle of Amish country, this brewery has now opened a second location in Harrisburg. We arrived shortly after 5pm on the Friday night and it was already busy.
We opted for a flight which consisted of all 11 beers on tap (top-left to bottom-right in the photo and includes our ratings out of 5 stars):
- Fest Beer (5.5%, 28 IBUs, Amber Lager) – slightly malty – 2/5
- Lancaster Lager (4.9%, 15 IBU’s, Premium American Lager) – slight caramel notes – 3/5
- Imperial Jo Espresso Milk Stout (8.0%, 50 IBUs) – nicely balanced coffee and not too bitter – 4/5
- Double Chocolate Milk Stout (6.8%, 33 IBUs) – intense vanilla – 3.5/5
- Billy’s Bock (6.0%, 20 IBUs, Traditional Bock) – a lot of astringency and no caramel – 1/5
- Southern Cross Hog 2x IPA (8.0%, 70 IBUs, Imperial IPA) – strong hop aroma & flavor with bitter after-taste – 3.5/5
- Milk Stout (5.3%, 25 IBUs, Sweet Stout) – cocoa and coffee notes – 2.5/5
- Strawberry Wheat (4.7%, 25 IBUs, American Wheat) – slightly sweet with a slick mouth-feel – 2.5
- Boss Hog 2x IPA (8.0%, 70 IBUs, Imperial IPA) – light citrus aroma & flavor – 3.5/5
- Gold Star Pilsner (5.1%, 33 IBUs, Bohemian Pilsener) – balanced hop and malt flavor – 2.5/5
- Celtic Rose Ale (5.0%, 29 IBUs, Irish Red Ale) – malty followed by hop bitterness – 3/5
We accompanied the sampler flight with some great food and a couple more beers served in 20oz English pint glasses.
Pizza Boy Brewing
The following morning we went onto Pizza Boy Brewing, also known as Al’s of Hampden, which is based in the small town of Enola just outside Harrisburg. We had been recommended visiting this brewery as they do sours as part of their extensive range of beers.
Unfortunately they do not do flights nor samples of their beers so we decided to opt for their own beers as they had 102 in total on tap from all across the US!
Here are the beers we selected:
- Barleywine (10%, English Barleywine) – brewed with honey to boost the alcohol content, tasted a bit hot from the alcohol warmth and was accompanied by strong sherry notes – 2.5/5
- Pomegranate / Rose Hip Sour (5.2%) – a fresh sour beer – 3/5
- Grasslands with Grenache Grapes (8.2%, Farmhouse Ale aged on Cherry wood) – tart and fruity – 3.5/5
- Sunny Side Up (9.5%, Double Coffee Stout) – smooth coffee flavor yet not bitter – 4/5
As well as a wide selection of beers on tap, Pizza Boy Brewing is also a Bottle Shop with a wide range of beers available from both in and out of State breweries plus some of their own.
The food menu is extensive with plenty of choice in addition to their huge pizzas which can also be bought by the slice.
We also opted to buy a couple of their own beers for taking home:
- Future Primitive by Intangible Ales (7.2% ABV, brett fermented Farmhouse Ale) – in a 750ml cork ‘n’ cage bottle, batch #1 – bottle 395/2700.
- Eternal Sunshine by Pizza Boy Brewing (5.2%, Dry Hopped Sour Ale) – in a 22oz bomber bottle.
Look our for reviews of these beers in the coming weeks as part of our Beer Of The Day series of daily postings over 365 days of beer.
Both of these breweries are definitely worth a visit, Lancaster Brewing for a great value sampler flight and $4.50 20oz pints, Pizza Boy Brewing for such a huge choice of beers and seldom found sours.