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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Steg 150

Sorry about the delay on this one. I've had the new Steg 150 from The Lion for a couple weeks now, and I've had two of them, but I was waiting for the right time to sit down and spend some time with it. After working my ass off over the weekend (stained the picnic table and then put two coats of spar varnish on it, put a new faucet on the kitchen sink, fixed the wiring on the attic fan -- damn, it was hot up there! -- built two kit bookshelf units for Nora's room, grilled dinner (Münchener bratwurst, fingerling spuds, zucchini and mushrooms) for six Saturday night, and wrote my next column), I figured I'd earned one.

And it's working. This all-malt Vienna lager-type has a beautiful color, a ruddy copper-brown, light creamy head. Big malty nose, clean and juicy-sweet. Great body, just on the low side of medium -- quaffing territory -- and the flavor is like malt-stream, a smooth, clear running brook of beer. This is a dangerously drinkable beer; wonder what the ABV is? It's evaporating from my glass, just the thing after a day like this.

Steg 150 is the celebration of 150 years of Stegmaier, the big Wilkes-Barre brewery that went under and had their brands bought by The Lion (the big old beautiful brewery building still stands, about a mile from The Lion -- saved from the wrecker's ball at the last hour). But it's no anniversary one-shot: it's going year-round.

Rumor is, not confirmed but pretty solid, that it's replacing the Stegmaier 1857 (anniversarily appropriate, really), which is great news. I thought the 1857 had gotten a bit harsh in recent years, which may have had something to do with the lack of Lion in Wilkes-Barre (see a lengthy discussion of this here). Maybe a smooth beauty like this will get some street cred for this game old brewery. (Shhhh...don't tell anyone, but I was told some big things were coming from The Lion. Don't know what they are, but I'll be sure to pass it on when I find out.)


Steven said...

Did you have the brats flown in via FedEx, or do you have a special recipe?

Lew Bryson said...

Bought 'em at Rieker's Meats in northeast Philly. They're my new best friend, I tell ya.

Steven said...

Mmm. Fresh brats.

Best brats in the world (IMO), turn right when exiting the main door of the Hacker-Pschorr tent at Oktoberfest, walk 5 steps to the local kiosk, breath deep, order at will.

Family run kiosk, always try to visit when I make Oktoberfest -- I hope it's still open since my last trip in '99.