Iron Hill Brewers' Reserve
Media, PA
Winter warmers

For as many years as I've been supporting this classy company, you would think that I've seen it all! But they still seem to amaze me every time I attend one of these special events. The quality of service, food and beer is second to none in the industry. It was not a surprise when they won Large Brewpub of the Year at the 2005 GABF!!
Usually, I am forced to expend a vacation day to attend their events, but fortuitously, I worked a different shift that day and was able to make an appearance and am I glad I did!
If you follow my writing, you know that I love B-I-I-I-G Beers and this was the place to find them!
My wife, Mary Lu, and my friend, Tony, came along and we were all greeted warmly by Brewmaster and partner, Mark Edelson, and the entire crew of brewers, Bob Barrar(Media), Chris Lapierre(West Chester),  Justin Sproul(Newark), Brian Finn(Wilmington) and Larry Horowitz(North Wales). Dale Van Wieren and his wife were there as well enjoying the offerings.
Looking over the beer menu just whet my appetite and we promptly ordered up some samplers from which we could choose our poisons for the remainder of the evening. Check out the selections:
Bourbon Russian Stout(Media)-Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels with whole vanilla beans. 8.6%abv What a smo-o-oth drink!
Oak Aged Quadrupel(Wilmington)- A very big Belgian aged in oak wine barrels. 12+%abv. A dark and fruity drink with an outstanding warm finish.
Winter Warmer(West Chester)- A sweet brew made with oats and spices made from a homebrew recipe from an Iron Hill fan by Chris Lapierre. As it warmed, the flavor of an oatmeal cookie stood out and matched perfectly with IH's oatmeal cake dessert! 8%abv.
Barleywine(Media)- An English-style barleywine-warm and sweet with a touch of bitterness. 9.6%abv
Doppelbock(North Wales)- A malty German lager with a hint of sweetness. 9%abv. Good job, Larry!
Sasquatch(Wilmington)- An American barleywine with a load of citrus hop flavor and dry-hopped to boot! 9.6%abv  Excellent choice, Brian!!
Now, tell me that that's not some great choices! After the sampler, the selections you made might affect your well-being for the day or two, so it wasn't easy to decide on what came next. Beers this big can really do some damage if you let them. I was hoping to take a growler or two home, but the quantities were limited and none could be spared. The Quad kicked while we were still there!
Of course, we also enjoyed their wonderful culinary offerings in order to extend our ability to imbibe safely. Their Southwestern Turkey Burger filled the void for me and my wife enjoyed their Butternut Squash Soup and a Mesclun Salad, her two favorites. Tony also had the soup and some Salmon Spring Rolls. Even if you're not a beer drinker, the food at the Iron Hills is what I would call nouveau gourmet. You'll find an ecelectic mix of flavors and textures in many of their original dishes in addition to their down-home selections. Something for everyone!
As always, it is a pleasure to talk to all of the brewers and see what is coming up in the future. I even got a chance to meet Tim Stumpf, the newest member of the team who will be at the brewing helm of the new Phoenixville location set to open in early summer. Good Luck and welcome, Tim!!
Keep up on what's happening at the Hill by visiting their website and signing up for the newsletter that will inform you of upcoming events and specials for each location.