Nestled along the banks of the Schuylkill River lies one of Manayunk's greatest treasures. No, not the Schuylkill River Trail – the Manayunk Brewing Company! Recently, I got the chance to try a flight or a "sampler" of summer beers at the Manayunk Brewing Company, which boasts a great location, plenty of seating, and an ever-changing roundup of craft brews. The sampler is exceptionally reasonably priced, at the rate of $10 for nine samples. The Manayunk Brewing Company always has a great variety on tap – from IPAs to lagers to stouts, there's always something for everyone (even if beer isn't your thing, their ciders and mixed drinks are killer – but that's another post). This particular weekend, I enjoyed a sampler out on the deck, overlooking the river in the sunshine. The deck is spacious, with plenty of shaded seating, an outdoor bar, and an area perfect for live music. The samplers are served on a tray, and helpfully arranged according to the order of the beers on the menu, so you always know what beer you're drinking.
I started off with the "Coconut Crunch", which is a chocolate and coconut porter, and one of my favorite beers I've ever tried. I love coconut, and found this to have a great mix of both coconut and chocolate flavors – almost like a Mounds bar in beer form. As delicious as this was, I don't think I could drink more than one – this is a pretty heavy and filling beer!
Next up was the "Kölsch," aka a German-style ale. I found this beer to be light, easy-to-drink, and a perfect summer beer! Although it was light, it definitely packed plenty of flavor without being overwhelming. This is something I could sip all day long while soaking up the sun.
After that, I moved on to "Beyond a Reasonable Stout". First of all, I loved the clever name for this beer (I'm a sucker for a great pun). More than that, this was unlike anything I've ever tasted. The menu describes this as a, "sour, barrel-aged stout" that was aged in brandy and red wine oak barrels for three years. Even before tasting this one, I could smell the red wine and brandy notes. This was definitely sour, but if you're a big red wine or brandy fan, this is definitely something you'll want to try.
Following this, I moved on to the "Side Piece", which is an American-style pale ale. This was slightly tart without being sour, and definitely had notes of citrus, adding to the Summer vibe. This had a much stronger hop flavoring than the previous beers, which makes it s great transition to the "IP-Yay!" up next.
The "IP-Yay!" is an India Pale Ale, as the punny name suggests. This was brewed with over a pound of hops per barrel, and that was evident in the intense hop taste. For IPA lovers, this one is sure to be a hit.
The next brew I tried, the "American Sardine Ale," does not actually contain sardines. This is a Belgian-style blonde, that was brewed exclusively for the American Sardine Bar in South Philadelphia (hence the name). This beer has a bit of a sharp, almost lemon-y flavor to it, making it refreshing and ideal for Summer. This is another beer that I found easy to drink, something that would be great for a Summer party outside.
The "Morning Fix" was surprising in a great way. This is a coffee cream ale, which had an exceptionally authentic coffee flavor, despite being a golden-colored ale. The Manayunk Brewing Company partnered with Whole Foods and Royal Mille Coffee Roasters in creating this, which allowed them to create this coffee brew that is light enough to sip on without feeling overly full.
Next up was the "Hopgasm," an India Pale Ale with a "flagrant" amount of hops. Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra, and Amarillo hops all combine to create this beer that is jam-packed with flavor. This is another great choice for the more adventurous IPA-lover.
Rounding out the sampler was the "Brotherly Love Peach," a hard apple cider with peaches. This was another personal favorite of mine! This was sweet without being overly sugary, and had a slightly tart bite – almost like a grown-up glass of juice. This would be delicious any time, but would be especially fitting as a brunch beverage due to its juicy character.
No matter your preference, the Manayunk Brewing Company is sure to have something you'll enjoy. And if you're not sure what you'd like, you can always get a sampler and try them all!
Written by MaryKate Smith
MaryKate's main passions in life are good food and good drinks - that's why she lives in Manayunk! When she's not eating and drinking her way through Manayunk, she can be found traveling or shopping with friends, going to the movies with her mom, or curled up at home with a good book and her boyfriend.