Suds success - Philly.


In a quaint cobblestone neighborhood in northwest Philadelphia’s historic Germantown Road, Chestnut Hill’s IRON HILL is its sixth franchise chain. Opened during December 2012, the well designed restaurant-brewery gained quick popularity. A beautifully plush 2-room expanse with high ceilings and a pull-up door offering patio access for the red brick edifice, Iron Hill’s cherry oak furnishings and amiable atmosphere provide luxurious comfort. Behind the waiting area are 12 oak booths for family dining away from the left side bar room (where several more tables reside).

My wife and I grab a seat at the bar for a few pre-noon eye-openers this sunny Memorial Day ’13. Two large TV’s sidling the bar show the Duke-Maryland lacrosse final and the Phillies game. The high ceilings feature overhead fans and mauve corrugated steel. A keg filler centers the pristine oak bar and the Brewing Process list etched into the wall counters the left side-walled Beer Listing.

In the windowed backroom, large brew tanks serve several satisfying seasonals crafted by brewer Paul Rutherford alongside Iron Hill’s flagship beers. My wife grabs Raspberry Wheat, a corn-honeyed fruit ale with raspberry-pureed strawberry-seeded tartness saturating Graham Cracker sweetness. I get to quaff three previously untried libations that prove the sheer diversity of this excellent Northeast franchise.
First up, Philly Painting Gold Malt Liquor layered its flaked corn malts with brisk perfume-hopped citric spicing, bettering any malt liquor marketed.
Next, crisply hopped Belgian Pale Ale brought white-peppered Belgian yeast musk to floral orange-peach-grapefruit nuances and candi-sugared crystal malting.
Mild Hop-Anonymous, a dry-bodied lupulin-powdered ale, received a tropical grapefruit-peeled orange rind, pineapple, apricot and nectar punch.


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