31 October 2011

Pickelodeon - Pennypack Wheat Beer

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Pennypack Wheat Beer

On October 15, 2011, the Elfreth's Alley Museum played host to Brew Fest. This new annual October event was highlighted by a local home brewer competition. This year's competition was a low-key, anything-goes battle of the home brewers. Four different brewers submitted four very different beers. Ed Coffey, in keeping with the autumn-themed event, submitted a delicious Pumpkin Ale. Bill Shouldis submitted his German-style Roggenbier as a nod to Oktoberfest traditions. Keith Gormley's cleverly-named Magnum PIPA was also submitted along with the eventual winner, Candy Graham's Pennypack Wheat Beer.

All four beers that were a part of this inaugural competition were very popular amongst the judges. Both Tim Patton, owner and founder of Saint Benjamin's Brewery, and John Boswell, owner and founder of the Port Richmond Pour House, agreed that they would gladly pay to drink any of the brews submitted. The judges of the competition liked the spice of the Pumpkin Ale, the full-flavored Roggenbier, and even the non-IPA fans in the group enjoyed the Magnum PIPA. All four beers were so popular at the tasting that the Elfreth's Alley Museum is looking forward to bringing all four brewers back for future First Friday events.

Elfreth's Cup winner Candy Graham
While the submissions were all quite good, the judges made their call and chose Candy Graham's lemon-infused Pennypack as the winner. The name Pennypack refers to the creek that runs through Graham's old stomping grounds in Northeast Philadelphia and the park that surrounds it. The lemon rinds used actually came from Fairmount Park property in the Pennypack Creek watershed. This local detail helped Graham accomplish her goal of providing subtle, smooth touch of mint flavor as you finish a sip. Overall, the beer is smooth, drinkable, tasty, and easily paired with a variety of foods.

Graham first began brewing as an assistant brewer to her fiance Keith, who brewed the aforementioned Magnum PIPA. Over the past couple of years, Candy has gradually made her way to brewing her own beer, leading to her being the first-ever winner of the prestigious Elfreth's Cup. Having enjoyed the other three beers in the competition, Candy was pleasantly surprised to hear her name called as the winner of the first annual Elfreth's Alley Museum Home Brew Competition.

If you missed out on all the fun and excitement of Brew Fest, be sure to stay up to date with the Elfreth's Alley Museum by checking out their events page. If you are a home brewer, or even a micro brewer, who would like to work with the Elfreth's Alley Museum in the future, you can contact them at information@elfrethsalley.org.

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