Established in 1995, Easton’s increasingly popular WEYERBACHER BREWING COMPANY has become one of Pennsylvania’s largest and prestigious microbreweries, competing against long-time stalwarts such as Troegs, Victory and Yards. Under the guidance of master brewer, Dan Weirback (pictured above), Weyerbacher has produced some of the best malt-heavy brews on the East Coast.
Specializing in richly complex flagship offerings given hilariously ludicrous monikers (Merry Monks Tripel, Old Heathen Imperial Stout and Blithering Idiot Barleywine), this expansive brewing facility concentrates strictly on its uncompromising beer. I’d already tried over fifty different Weyerbacher beers before visiting the brewery on my initial Sunday at noon November ’16 jaunt.
Inside a large tan brick warehouse, Weyerbacher’s unassuming exterior and no-frills atmosphere contrast against the ultra-sophisticated full-bodied elixirs that dominate the Tap Room Menu. Some of my absolute faves (all reviewed in Beer Index) include Heresy, a dry chocolate-y stout with tannic grape-soured cherry tartness; Blasphemy, a cherry kirsch-like quad with brown-sugared molasses saaping and ripe dried fruiting; and Insanity, a caramelized barleywine with endless cognac warmth.
I grab a seat at the U-shaped 30-seat bar and order some samplers emanating from the thirty 6-barrel tanks in the large rear brew room. Six barreled tables provide further seating. The space may be raw, but the colorful chalk-boarded beer insignias, fascinating tap handles, inspiring refrigerated bottle selection and cathedral high ceilings need no extra highlighting. And today’s NFL game keeps the sports fans involved.
Taking in the autumn weather, I begin with Festbier, a traditional German marzen exposing a leafy hop earthiness and peaty malt dewiness offset by light clementine, tangerine and navel orange illusions. Dark-roasted black chocolate malts picked up nut-charred coffee dryness to contrast sugared molasses notions for Easton Brown & Down.
Next, vinous white wining consumed oak-dried Brunicorn, a raspberry-flavored Pinot Noir-barreled sour ale with blush rosé, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay notions amidst green apple tartness overridden by eye-squinting vinaigrette piquancy. A collaboration with nearby Two Rivers Brewing, tannic French oak-barreled Sixth Street Sour brought bittersweet cherry and raspberry fruiting to black-malted coffee tones, sticky anise whims and nutty respites.
Delightful Belgian blonde ale, Mellow Monks, proved to be a sessionable Merry Monk as dry white-peppered hops casually cavorted with sweet banana-clove propensities, subsidiary apple-pear fruiting and herbal lemongrass-chamomile notions. Complex dark saison, Jester’s Choice, enhanced its stylish orange-peeled lemon zest and earthen herbal minerality with a maltier-than-expected wild rice and toasted buckwheat influence (plus latent brandy wining).
Fabulous and far-reaching Imperial Pumpkin Ale invigorated its pumpkin pie spicing with sweet cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and clove spicing as well as tertiary whiskey, raisin and anise notions.
On the dark side, worthy limited edition Sunday Mole Stout used the foundation of Weyerbacher Sunday Morning Imperial Stout for its capacious dark coffee-chocolate expressiveness, adding peppery heat to subtle mocha-spiced bruised black cherry, bourbon, cinnamon and powdered cocoa undertones.
Nitro-only Sunday Mole Stout Pilot Batch #2 swimmingly coalesced black coffee, dark cocoa, cinnamon and chocolate illusions atop light ancho, pasilla, mulato and chipotle peppering.
Feeling like a nitro with its smoothly watered resolve, dry-bodied Oyster Stout serenaded its briny sea-salted black malting with boggy peat moss.