First visited home of the Little League World Series at tail end of April ’06 Western Pa. sojourn, putting family up in historic Genetti Hotel’s Bob Hope Suite. Across midtown street in an old red brick building with green awning lied tiny stoic corner tavern, BULLFROG BREWERY, a trusty pub that compared favorably to regarded westerly competitors North Country, Otto’s, and Johnstown.

Opened in ’96, Bullfrog’s exposed ducts, copper tin ceiling and green ‘frog’ walls had blue-collar saloon atmosphere. But the delightful menu and even better fresh beer selection gave this rustic dive class. Copper kettles welcome patrons and silver holding tanks backend the left side bar.

Had beer mussels with ale battered fish sandwich and remainder of kids’ ‘fapizzas’ alongside sour candied Fruit Wheat Beer (a veritable raspberry lollipop with tart apricot eclipsing honeyed wheat) and lagered Bicentennial Blonde (mainstream fodder reliant on raw maize-wheat acridity and passive floral hint).

These light bodied offerings merely set the stage for the truly superb cognac-fronted Old Toad Barleywine, a wonderful digestif served in a brandy sifter. Its awesome candied apricot splurge and juicy orange peel tang enhance the bruised cherry, ripe melon, and fig-raisin illusions belying caramelized butterscotch apple seduction.

In between, I quaffed frothy nitro-injected tea-embittered nectar-daubed Cascadian Cream Ale, bitterly floral citric-dried Lil Slugger Pale Ale (with its glancing tropical punch), orange-bruised caramel-malted fruit punch Inspiration Red Ale, and black cherry-bruised orange-burnt coffee-roasted dry-bodied Susquehanna Oatmeal Stout.

Before heading out, I was totally sold by exquisite candi-sugared floral-nutmeg-tinged dark rum-finishing Diabolique Belgian Golden Ale and malt-heavy honey-glazed prune-ripened orange-bruised Atomic Belgian Dark Ale. Yummy!

Revisited Genetti Hotel and Bullfrog Brewery, November ’06, quaffing pastry-glazed lemony-hopped biscuit-buttered raspberry-cranberry-tart Raspberry Wheat and tangy peach-orange-grapefruit-rimmed piney-hopped peppery-snipped Edgar IPA with bounteous Cobb salad lunch.

At dinner, returned to Bullfrog to down orange-burnt cherry-bruised licorice-blotched date-fig-splotched burgundy finishing Friar Frog Dubbel and medicinal, peach-grapefruit-ripened, mandarin orange-crested, lemon rind-embittered, dry-hopped, Trappist yeast-backed Unique (a Belgian-American-mingled Pale Ale).

After seafood dinner, had cured meat-wafted, cedar-burnt, beechwood-charred, black chocolate-roasted, espresso-like elixir Smoked Porter afterwards.

Ventured again to Bullfrog April ’08 during my son Johnny’s pre-college tour daze. Tried moderate bodied fare such as bittersweet orange-lemony caramel-malted phenol-hopped Endless Mountain Amber, musty corn-oiled wheat-husked yellow-fruited floral-teased Billtown Blonde, and orange rind-embittered, mandarin orange-clipped, white pepper-zipped, eucalyptus-tipped, mushroom-snipped Boysenberry Belgian Wheat.

Better were two full-bodied mocha-centered brews: coffee bean-embittered, lactose-sugared, black java-finishing Coffee Cream Stout and dark chocolate-malted hop-charred Chocolate Bock (with its luscious crème brulee, Kahlua, vanilla, and Godiva-Belgian chocolate illusions).

During post-Christmas ’08 jaunt, quaffed tart apricot-candied tangerine-backed lacquer-sinewed Apricot Wheat and heady XXXX Quad, a superb Belgian-styled quadrupel with bruised banana and stewed prune overtones prevailng above spiced apple, sugared fig, and green raisin notes.

Thereafter, swigged Fast Eddie’s Pale Ale, a hop-fizzed stone-fruited light body with marble rye, sour orange, leafy twig, and herbal-spiced nuances.


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