Beer Review – Manayunk Brewing Company Schuylkill Punch

Manayunk Brewing Company Schuylkill Punch

When I look back at all of the different beers that I have tried this summer, one thing is readily apparent: I’m been drinking a lot of fruity beers! Here are just a few of the fruity beers that I’ve had thus far: Terrapin Maggie’s Peach Farmhouse Ale, Ithaca Apricot Wheat, Lindemans Peche, Kriek, and Cassis Lambics, Samuel Smith’s Organic Apricot, Dogfish Head Festina Peche, Aprihop, and Sixty-One, Southern Tier Plum Noir, Founders Rubaeus, and 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat.

Since Summer 2013 has evolved into the “Summer of Fruiting Up My Beer”, I couldn’t resist picking up this can of Manayunk Brewing Company’s Schuylkill Punch when I saw it on the shelf at WineWorks while pulling together a mixed six pack. I was also intrigued by this beer since the words Schuylkill Punch aren’t exactly synonymous with something that you should be drinking. At least not to a Philly native such as myself.

Before we get on with this review, here is what Manayunk Brewing Company has to say about their Schuylkill Punch Raspberry Ale:

Ruby colored ale fermented with over 500 lbs of real raspberries for a distinct berry aroma & a tart, yet not too sweet flavor. This beer is brightly filtered to protect its delicate profile. The name refers to the term used in old days in reference to Philadelphia drinking water & the recipe has been a part of Manayunk Brewing Company since its earliest days.

Let’s find out what this Schuylkill Punch business is all about…

  • Appearance: Bright ruby red color. Think fluffy head with a pink hue that tops out at about an inch and then dissipates really slowly, settling down to a thin layer of foam. No lacing.
  • Aroma: The aroma is very straight forward, i.e. it smells like freshly pureed raspberries with a hint of biscuity malt and maybe a touch of freshly grated lemon zest.
  • Taste: Lightly carbonated with a velvety smooth mouthfeel. Perhaps a touch on the syrupy side. Much like the nose, the palate is very straightforward, i.e. they weren’t kidding when they called this a raspberry ale. The raspberries stick with you from beginning to end, yet are never overbearing. The flavors are slightly tart with hints of sweet malt to lend some balance. There’s a slight pucker in the finish with some of that lemon zest coming through.
  • ABV: 6.0%

I gotta admit, I was pleasantly surprised by Manayunk Brewing’s Schuylkill Punch. While it doesn’t have a great deal of complexity, I really enjoyed how the fresh picked raspberry flavors came through from beginning to end. This wasn’t a mind blowing beer, but it was definitely tasty and I would love the opportunity to try it on tap.

Valentine’s Day Craft Beer Review – Anchorage Brewing Co Love Buzz Saison

Anchorage Brewing Co Love Buzz Saison

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I thought posting a review of a beer called “Love Buzz” would be most appropriate. Anchorage Brewing Company’s Love Buzz Saison is Craft Beer #2 from the Mike and Linda Craft Beer Christmas Present series of reviews. Beer #1 in this series was the Mikkeller Draft Bear.

To be completely honest, I had never heard of Anchorage Brewing Company until I pulled this bottle out of my gift bag. Since the label clearly states that this beer is a Saison (aka Farmhouse Ale), I was instantly intrigued since this is one of my favorite beer styles.

Here is what Anchorage Brewing Company has to say about their Love Buzz Saison: Continue reading

Beer Review – Sixpoint Brownstone

Sixpoint Brownstone Ale #1

Since Thanksgiving was relatively early this year, I thought that the Holiday Season (i.e. Black Friday to New Year’s Day), would go by at a leisurely pace. I couldn’t have been more wrong! The last week of November and the entire month of December were a blur, and it’s now January of 2013. Why am I telling you this? Because I’m not sure if I bought this can of Sixpoint’s Brownstone Brown Ale at The Foodery in Center City Philadelphia or at WineWorks in Marlton, NJ. I know it doesn’t really matter where I bought this beer, but this is one of those little details that we like to include in our reviews (call it filler), and I like to keep my facts straight. Since I can’t keep my facts straight this time around, let’s get down to business… Continue reading

Beer Review – Samuel Smith Organic Raspberry Fruit Ale

On a recent trip to Kress Liquors in search of the Duchesse De Bourgogne for my better half, I was shutout. Fortunately, I am one of those take lemons and make lemonade kind of guys so I was able to find a number of mild if not fruity beers to pacify her palate. One of the bottles was an Organic Raspberry Fruit Ale from Samuel Smith. Now, I have made no secret of my love of Merchant du Vin and all things Samuel Smith, so the purchase wasn’t really a stretch.

From the Samuel Smith site: Continue reading

Beer Review – Firestone Walker Fifteenth Anniversary Ale

On a recent trip to Kress Liquors, I picked up a bottle of Firestone Walker Fifteenth Anniversary Ale. The tag on the shelf indicated that the bottle is rated 98 out of 100 so I was looking forward to another great Firestone product. I had had the Double Jack and the Union Jack and thought that the Fifteenth would draw heavily from the great line-up of IPAs and stouts. I gave G-Lo a call (the picture is his) and we split the bottle on a “Thirsty Thursday”.

From the Firestone Walker site: Continue reading

Beer Review – Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve Blackest Ale

On a trip to the Roger Wilco (formerly the Wine Warehouse), I picked up a bottle of Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve from Harviestoun brewery. I had already had the Old Engine Oil and the Bitter & Twisted, so I was familiar with the brand and I really like the style, English porter (black ale).  Harviestoun is a small, brewer located in Alva, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. The brewery was founded in 1985 and has been bought and sold several times and is once again independent.

From the Harviestoun site: Continue reading

Beer Review – Morland Tanner’s Jack


As a part of mixed six from Wegman’s, I picked up a bottle of Tanner’s Jack by Morland brewery. The brewery had been around since its founding in West Ilsley 1711. In the 1860’s, after a series of acquisitions, the brewery was moved to Abingdon and remained there until it was purchased by Greene King in 2000. Greene King shuttered the brewery and moved production of the Morland brands (Morlands Original, Old Speckled Hen, Hen’s Tooth and Tanner’s Jack) to its facilities in Bury St. Edmunds. From the Greene King site:

 A smooth-tasting ale enhanced to offer an elegant happy floral nose, a nutty malty palate and a lingering malty sweetness.

I found the Tanner’s Jack to have the following characteristics.

  • Appearance: Clear, amber. Little foam and lacing.
  • Aroma: Sweet, malty with hints of pine soap and hops.
  • Taste: A little thin with a somewhat muted taste of malt and a slightly bitter finish.
  • ABV: 4.4%

Since the Tanner’s Jack is brewed by the folks that make the Old Speckled Hen, I thought I would find another nice English ale. Unfortunately, this ale was a little too watered down and lacked a unified balance. Rather than have a taste that built front to back, the Tanner’s Jack was almost segmented in its profile and ended with a bitter mishmash of flavor. Greene King and Morland’s make a wide variety of great products; for the money, this is not one of them.