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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Iron Hill Lambic-style beers go full-time

Iron Hill, the regional brewpub group in these parts (seven brewpubs -- all brewing -- and counting; Maple Shade, NJ slated for the spring, now how about Bucks County?), never seems to get enough respect from some of the geekerie. Oh, the beer's good, but nothing's really special, they say (which I assume means over 12% ABV, hopped like a crank-shooting bunny, and/or sour-assed puckery). This, despite many GABF awards for their big beers, their sour beers, and their "ordinary" beers, seems a bit out of touch to me, to put it politely.

You may hear a mass sucking sound this weekend as heads are finally pulled out of ... orifices by the launch of Iron Hill's bottled lambic-style beers. Four of these beers, Kreik de Hill (isn't that supposed to be "kriek"?), Lambic de Hill, Framboise de Hill, and Cassis de Hill, are now available in take-home bottles, not just on draft for special occasions. Iron Hill's lambic-type beers have won awards, critical acclaim, and built a fan base locally. They're damned good, and they should be, with the amount of work, love, and expense the brewery has put into them. They've won five GABF medals between them, including three golds.

To celebrate, there will be launch parties this weekend. Saturday, Dec. 6, from 2-5 at Iron Hill Wilmington, and Sunday, from 2-5 at Iron Hill Media. All four beers will be available at Wilmington, the Cassis will not be at Media. These two locations will be the only ones selling these bottles.

American craft brewers. If they can imagine it, they can make it. Iron Hill invites comparison to the Belgian classics.


Loren said...

A few of us are "arguing" about these on another board about the expensive price tag these are coming with. Bottom line is they're charging what they want because the scoop 'em up quick - limited! market can handle it, no? Plus, compared to IH's regular bottle offerings these could actually be MORE expensive than they are.

Lew Bryson said...

The prices, for the curious: "The 750 mL bottles will cost $24.50, while the 375 mL bottles will cost $13." Wilmington has all four in 750s, Media has Lambic in 750, Kreik and Framboise in 375.

Iron Hill charges what they do because they get it, yeah. I've heard a lot of beervolk complain about the high prices, but Iroh Hill continues to sell bottles... which leads me to suspect that it's not just "us" buying them. I happen to think that's a good thing, to an extent. When they stop selling at those prices, they may lower them. These are more expensive than "authentic" (there's that word again) Belgian lambics, no question.

It's an individual choice. I happen to think they're pretty damned good, or I wouldn't have put the post up. Will I buy any? I probably will, but as gifts, not for personal consumption.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't pay those kind of prices. That said I can guarantee you that I will be frequenting Maple Shade and happily filling growlers there as I don't fall into the category of not giving IH respect.

Jim Calbi