Industrial Revolution Brewing Company – Novemberfest & Vanilla Porter
By: Jake Bartsch
Everybody has days where they just need to have a beer. You need to relax with a brew to get over a rough day at work. You want a nice pint to go with a good meal. You’re hanging out with friends and desire a drink to lighten the mood. Or sometimes, for no particularly good reason, you just want a damn good beer. I was having one of those days when I went to Industrial Revolution Brewing Company in Erie. After meeting the owner, and not telling him I was writing this piece, he helped me find two beers to try. So here are my takes on the Novemberfest and Vanilla Porter.
First Impression: Industrial Revolution doesn’t sell their beer in bottles. They serve it in their bar or will sell growlers of any of their beers. Seeing the name on the wall of beers made me think this was some creation like “No shave November” that would be only good for one month out of the year. But after trying a few tasters, this was the beer that I decided to try a whole pint of.
Pour: Since I was at the bar I wasn’t able to see the pour. The beer itself has a red hue to it, common in autumn beers.
Taste: The greatest difficulty I’ve had, is finding a craft beer I could enjoy drinking all night long. There are beers I want with food (wheats for burgers, hops for wings, porters with desserts), beers I want while watching sports (Labbats for hockey and Yuengling for football), and beers I want when I get off work (Midas Touch or Shock Top). But for me, the rarest beer to find is one I can order all night, again and again, and truly enjoy the taste every time I order it. Novemberfest is that kind of beer. The initial taste is smooth and light, followed by a pleasant touch of spicy hops. For the record, I’m not a fan of hoppy beers, but I found myself truly enjoying the way the spice bites, and then dissipates seconds later. The beer finishes as smoothly as it initially tastes, leaving a pleasant after-taste and me ready for my next pint.
Grade: B+ This beer won’t knock your socks off, make you enlightened, or change your world. But for a good beer to drink all night, look no further.
Initial impression: I was choosing between this dark monster and a blonde stout. I’m not usually a fan of dark beers, so I thought the blonde would be the choice for me. Unfortunately, the keg with the blonde had just run out when I tried to get one. So I opted for the beer instead of a glass of foam.
Pour: Still at the bar, so I didn’t get to see the pour. But sitting there, there was a strong smelling mix of chocolate and coffee.
Taste: While I’m not normally a fan of dark beers, I love the taste of Vanilla. I was hoping for some kind of vanilla /liquorish combination. But I was surprised when the initial taste was a mix of chocolate and coffee; exactly like the smell instead of the name. The first sips were smooth and pleasant, and it stayed steady throughout the entire drink. There were no bad after-tastes or any unpleasant notes.
Grade: A- This is a great beer to go with a dessert, or before you go to sleep. Be warned however, it is very filling and will make you want to take a nap.