Between the recent traveling around touring different small, Pennsylvania craft breweries, we made a stop at one of the newer breweries in an ever growing Western Pennsylvania beer scene, ShuBrew.
It was a random, thirst driven trip that landed us at the Zelienople, PA brew pub that is starting to catch some real ground with their high quality beers and locally sourced, seasonal, flavorful menu items.
Being a party of one this night, I wanted to get familiar with more than just 1 or 2 of their beers but without a designated driver I didn’t fathom staying through 4-5 pints. Scenarios like this is part of the reason I appreciate beer flights. A flight is a combination of 3 to 4 ounce sampling of multiple beers generally arranged from lightest to fullest.
The flight I had the opportunity to try here consisted of 4 offerings from brewer/owner Zach Shumaker and I enjoyed them and I recommend you get out there to try them as well! Great stuff.
First: O’Shu, Irish Red Ale, 5% AbV – A beer brewed for the original planned opening date in March of 2013 that was so well received by consumers it took its place as a staple. Using his own roasted malts to create the gorgeous color the beer takes on, it drinks very smooth with notes of caramel and honey. It has a medium body and finishes slightly sweet. It should be appreciated as a well-made, true to expectation Irish Red Ale.
Second: Pale 210, American Pale Ale, 5.7% AbV – A solid, well made pale ale with a clean and well-balanced flavor of hop forwardness and malt backbone. Again, these first two beers were good examples of the styles and aren’t trying to be the next outlandish creation bastardizing what this beer is known as. That is not to say that I don’t love experimentation and creation and envelope pushing, its just not what this beer is.
Third: Zele meets Zelie, Belgian IPA, 7% AbV – I was a little less enthralled by this one. I felt the sour and barnyard characters were too potent against the hop presence. It wasn’t a bad beer, per se, but it seemed a little out of whack for me.
Fourth: Shillelagh Stout, Irish Dry Stout, 4.6% AbV – I REALLY enjoyed this one! Soft roasty aroma, a bit of chocolate and some bitter coffee. Drinks nice and light as you would want and can be very food friendly.
Speaking of food:
I highly recommend you make a trip out to Zelienople, PA. Enjoy some good food and great beer.
– Adam “AGtheDir” Greiner