Inside a raw open-spaced yellow brick warehouse down the alley from Dollar General at a highway-bound Royersford shopping center, STICKMAN BREWS (with a second location at nearby Chester Springs) started up its small-batch operation during December 2015. Occupying Sly Fox’s former production facility, Stickman crafts “American ales with a Belgian twist” as well as British and German-influenced potions.
Its slate-topped, eight-seat, twelve draught central serving station (with overhead round metal Stickman insignia) gets its looming rustic appeal from the old exposed pipes, high aluminum ceiling, black pendant lighting and cement-floored antiquity.
Head brewer Brendan Breslin (hired by owner/ brewmaster Ethan Buckman) enjoyed Dogfish Head’s concept of utilizing different adjuncts for off-centered, style-bending, hand-crafted ales and many of his finest creative offerings benefit from that dynamic philosophy. Originally a home brewer, Breslin interned at Philly’s Manayunk Brewing in 2015 before leading the troops at Pottstown United Brewing – joining Stickman thereafter.
Stickman’s silver-tanked brew room spreads across the right side alongside bottling-canning operations. A musky mash tun aroma hits me quick as I enter thru the inconspicuous stair-cased back door.
Since Stickman was not open for on-site consumption this Wednesday afternoon in August ’20, I bought several cans for the road. Reviews below.
Young People Fun Party Pilsner - Effervescent floral-perfumed lemon spicing engaged grassy herbal hops and dry hay-like pilsner malting in simply refined fashion.
Mauger’s Lager - Dewy amber-grained lager pasting picked up orange-oiled tangerine tartness, rotted lemon smear and raw honeyed snip for brown-toasted Vienna lager.
General Merriment Marzen Lager - Multi-grained honeyed biscuit sweetness gained slim Scotch notch and mild orange spicing.
Swill Maibock Lager - Tart orange-red fruiting faded alongside desolate floral spicing above sourdough breading for a pedestrian springtime moderation.
Minor Digression Hefeweizen - Unstylistic white-wined cider sharpness and spritzy orange spicing defied banana-clove expectancy while corn-whiskeyed boozing and banana daquiri reminder wavered.
Plain Chicken Nuggets Pale Ale - Zestful sunshine-hazed pale ale with IPA-sharp grapefruit juicing, brisk orange tang and subtle sugared spicing galvanizing mild citric hop bittering over white bread base.
Binns Motor Inn Gose - Weirdly sequenced salted gose peculiarity with corn sugared honey malts buttressing sour lemon candied pucker and acrid barnyard leathering in mushy mix, gaining unexpected cinnamon spicing when warmed.
Captialism Belgian Blonde with Cherry - Calm crimson-glowed Kriek-like maibock spin-off relegated its sedate salt-pinched cherry tartness as green grape esters, candied pineapple souring and blood orange rasping emitted cotton-candied lollipop dollop to thin sweet-tart cherry blonde.
Arming The Rebels India Pale Ale - Dry grapefruit-peeled lemon spritz exerted sunny thrust and tart orange-candied respite for resinous pine needling contrasting back-ended sweet cereal graining of efficient hazy yellowed moderate-medium body.
Heavy C.R.E.A.M. (with Vanilla and Milk Sugar) - Milk-sugared vanilla creaminess guides lactic Double IPA as lemon-soured grapefruit and orange rind bittering soaks dry pine resin to contrast less prominent cotton-candied coconut and pineapple tropicalia as well as salted mango, guava and banana illusions.
Store Bought Is Fine Double India Pale Ale - Despite generic white label, fluffy white-headed yellow-hazed summertime fodder proved exhilarating as sunny lupulin-powdered lemon zesting, juicy yellow grapefruit insurgence and piquant candied citrus tartness gained lactic yogurt souring before reaching its lightly creamed oats-flaked crystal malt base.
Hotline Bling Double IPA with Blueberries/ Roasted Vanilla – Murkily prune-hued full body brings lactic milk-sugared souring to ultra-creamy alcohol-spiked vanilla pasting and lightly glazed blueberry tartness. Drifting blueberry vanilla syruping gains abrupt green grape, guava and gooseberry tartness as well as ascending tangerine juicing sharpened by sly hop-embittered pine lacquering. Endlessly expressive.
Naked Lunch Imperial Stout - Mild oaken bourbon influence spreads thru bitter molasses-licked dark chocolate syruping and oaken vanilla splurge reinforced by hop-charred wood sear of rich cream-fluffed mahogany body.
Proto Hipster Barleywine - Luxuriously creamed brown chocolate syruping richly drapes sturdy prune-stewed raisin resolve as hazelnut-glazed chestnut, pecan and cola auxiliary and mild cinnamon-toasted coffee milking knock on the chewy caramel malt base.