Saturday’s weather did not bring the expected sunshine with temps in the 40’s. When the dogs woke me up at 6:30 AM it was still bitter and frosty outside, and I knew I wouldn’t do any hiking, so Myna Bird Dog and I spent a lazy morning and leisurely lunch hanging out with my parents and deciding what to do next.
Knowing it was Williamsport’s Mardi Gras, and that Bavarian Barbarian tours didn’t start until 4 PM, I decided not to travel north. I suspected (incorrectly) that things would be really crowded there. It turns out that, had I gone for the 4 PM tour, I would have been in great company with my Uncle Richard! I was so pleased that he called me at 5:30 PM to report that he met with Mike Hiller, who is a former student of his.
He really enjoyed the experience – there were two beers on tap, and he was able to taste the Hammerin’ Ale, which was fine, and also the Headbangerz Brown Ale, which he described as rich and full of flavor. I’m glad he had a good time, and I hope to migrate that direction soon.
But for this day, I chose Berwick as a destination. The first thing I discovered about One Guy Brewing Company is that it isn’t exactly where the street address says it is. Like all good gems, it’s hidden a bit (how many times did we turn the car around to find Stone?!?) The address is 328 W Front Street, and Front Street is one-way in the 300 block. To get to One Guy, simply turn right at the intersection of Front and Oak Streets (Rite Aid is on your left; turn right onto Oak), and the industrial-looking brick building to the left is where the brewery is located.
While the outside is expansive, dull and unimpressive, the inside is small, cozy, clean and inviting (and non-smoking!) It is essentially a tap room – a small bar with a couple of tables, and walls covered in historical beer memorabilia. Guy was standing behind the bar filling glasses and growlers, and people of all ages seemed to be enjoying many different types of beer. There wasn’t a single seat left at the bar, but after driving for so long, I was happy to stand. I perused the beer menu, and decided to start with the Peach Wheat, based on the recommendation of our friend Jason’s wife.
I started talking to the folks at the end of the bar, and quickly found interesting conversation with Doreen and Ken – a couple who live in Bloomsburg, but have experience living in many places across the country, and knew a bit about both making and drinking beer. It was nice to have the company and learn about their interesting lives while I enjoyed a couple of Guy’s brews.
Now, those who know me well know there is one love in my life (well, besides D and the Myna Bird Dog) – I love the IPA – but Guy is really brewing up a hearty set of lagers and pilsners. The myriad of flavors and colors pouring from his taps was really exciting. He serves beers in three sizes – glass, shaker and growler. I enjoyed three glasses and two tasters (disclaimer: OGB doesn’t serve tasters as a general rule – I was aiming for a growler fill, and Guy was kind enough to help me make my choice!) Here is what I had:
Number 1 – a golden lager, which was the first beer Guy brewed on his 2-barrel system just to test the equipment. Normally, I’m not a fan of anything thin and yellow, but this lager was not boring or flavorless. The taste was much heartier than the appearance. Unfortunately for any of you reading this who didn’t get to One Guy before February 3, it is all gone…forever, so says Guy.
Dark Lager – taster only, and while tasting, wished I had the tolerance for a full glass. This beer had a very beautiful deep copper color (I saw this more in the pint beside me), and a sweet caramel flavor complimented by a light toastiness. This would make a very nice session beer. Unfortunately, the three beers I had before it completed my session!
Peach Wheat – light and tart; fresh as summer. Again, I’m not really a fruit beer fan, but putting that out of my mind, I really enjoyed this brew. It wasn’t as thin as some fruited beers can be – perhaps due to the fact that it is unfiltered and made with over two bushels of peaches. It’s the one I started with, and if I could have done it all over, I would have traded out the Dark Lager for this one, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it very much.
- Rauch Bock – this was lighter and less smoky than many other rauch beers I’ve had. It had mild hints of malt and hops, and lacked the heaviness that generally turns me off to this style. I had a taster only at the brewery, but this is the one I brought home for D in the growler (I think Guy was impressed with my German-style growler, plus he recognized our Heinzelmännchen growler carrier – good beer people think alike, right?)
- Cinnamon Boldy – blew me away!! This was my absolute favorite of the line-up, and I was shocked and amazed when I read Lew Bryson’s post yesterday. He used nearly the exact same words as I typed on Sunday night (the ones that mysteriously disappeared when I hit “publish”), and have been using to describe this beer all week (he said, “almost like a tea made from cinnamon hearts.”) If I hadn’t repeated my thoughts to so many times to so many people over the last couple of days, I would have thought I picked them up subliminally! You see, one of my favorite evening beverages is hot cinnamon spice tea, and during this period between Christmas gingerbread man making and Valentine’s Day, I’m all about scarfing up the cinnamon heart candies. Cinnamon Boldy is a golden beer that bursts with this flavor I adore and crave. I was so struck by this one, and am hoping a friend might be bringing a growler down this weekend. If all lagers had this conspicuous and spicy goodness to them, I could certainly consider shifting the balance from hoppy ales in this direction. Brewing this one was a daring move, but I hope it will be a linchpin in his lineup.
In addition to the beers, I broke one of my cardinal food rules and ate a hot dog. As you see on the menu photo, besides the beers and 71-cent sodas, there is only one other item on the menu, and that is the hot dog at the very affordable price of $1.18. I topped mine with spicy horseradish mustard and dill pickle relish.
Thanks again to Doreen and Ken for keeping me company with their great stories, and to Guy for taking time to chat between serving up the beers (he was busy!) I really enjoyed my trip to Berwick, and will certainly try to travel that way again soon! Another interesting think I did not learn on my own, but from reading Lew’s post – Guy apparently allows customers to bring food from the outside. I can see us scouting out some of the local treats to enjoy while we’re there (one hot dog was enough for me!)