Friday, October 14, 2011

Bocktown - The Place to Beer


This past weekend, my in-laws introduced me to a wonderful restaurant in the Pittsburgh, PA area called Bocktown (apparently affectionately known as B-Town). They claim that they are "The Place to Beer" and tout many such quippy sayings. I have to say, I totally agree with them. I was impressed by their vast beer offerings. (Oh yeah...their menu was pretty good too. I went with the Bocktown 'Burgher.) From their About Us page:
"We love the artisan efforts of America’s craft brewers. We are completely dedicated to bringing you their products. When you visit, you will find a great variety of beer styles on draft, 16 rotating taps ranging from India pale ale, to imperial stout, as well as fruit beer, and other seasonal offerings. We do not ever offer Coors, Bud or Miller on tap. You will also find 400 different better bottle choices including some once a year offerings! We love rare beers, so don’t hesitate to call us to see if we have something you have been searching for." (emphasis mine)
B-Town's Seemingly-Endless Bottle Selection
Here, here - pass the craft beer! I took the liberty of taste-testing three brews before choosing one for a pint. I tried:

  1. Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin - 8.0% ABV Pumpkin Ale, brewed in Easton, PA
  2. East End Hop Harvest - 7.4% ABV American IPA, brewed locally in Pittsburgh, PA - definitely tasted the hops, which I love, as well as a citrus / grapefruit flavor - readers may recall that I am not a grapefruit fan, as related in this post about Sam Adams' Summer Ale; however, East End's brewski was pretty darn good (i.e. the grapefruit flavor wasn't very strong!)
  3. Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale - 6.5% ABV American Brown Ale, brewed in Portsmouth, NH - this one hit my mouth hard with an absolute burst of flavor (a real ale!) - it had a burnt sugar / caramel aftertaste, which was delightful (is it appropriate to use the word "delightful" for a beer? hmm...)
(From Left to Right) Weyerbacher, East End, and Smuttynose Samples
For the pint, I chose door beer #1:  Weyerbacher's seasonal Imperial Pumpkin.


Its wonderful pumpkin pie flavor mixed nicely with the caramel, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I was pleasantly surprised that our server had dipped the rim of the pint glass in brown sugar - mmm, mmm good! RateBeer.com rates this beer as a 96 overall, and BeerAdvocate.com rates it as a B+. I give it a solid A. There is no doubt that this delectable pumpkin ale trumps (the only other pumpkin ale I've ever tried) Shipyard Brewing's weakly-flavored Pumpkinhead Ale, which I recently reviewed in this post.

If you are ever in the Pittsburgh area, you'll definitely want to check out Bocktown. I certainly plan on going back. Prost!