Location: The Churchville Inn
Just over two years ago, after a devastating fire, The Churchville Inn in Bucks County re-opened with a new look and a new identity. With a new focus on craft beer, The Churchville Inn has become a destination in the area for their selection of both bottles and drafts. They also offer a great selection of European imports, making it likely to find offerings from the likes of Toøl, Evil Twin and Mikkeller on tap.
John Stemler is one of the founders and the brew master of Free Will Brewing in Perkasie, PA. With their third anniversary approaching in January, Free Will is in the process of over doubling its size and starting a second sister brewery focused on wild and sour ales.
As the brewery grows, unfortunately, the brewmaster has to take a step to the side and cannot physically brew every batch of beer. That’s where Dave Wood comes in, as the lead brewer at Free Will Brewing Company.
Andrew Wallace is one of the co-owners of the family-owned Churchville Inn. He’s also the beer guy in the family and the reason why their beer list has become as impressive as it is.
As many of you may know, Neil Harner was one of the original founders of this magazine. With the Tasting Room being held in his area, we thought we’d get nostalgic and bring Neil in to have a few beers with us again.
Baladin Sidro 2011
Traditional artisan cider produced from the juice of freshly pressed apples and spontaneously fermented with wild yeasts.
John: 2.8 Cidery, blue cheese aroma. Sparkling and sweet with a smoky finish. Interesting profile for a foreign, back-sweetened cider.
Dave: 3 Sweet overripe apple in the middle and a slightly smoky finish. Weird, but kinda awesome.
Andrew: 4.2 Nose of cheese and overripe apples. Tastes sweet and smoky. Very interesting cider. As far as ciders go, very good.
Neil: 2.6 This cider can’t decide what it wants to be—cheese on the nose, straight apple juice upfront, with a subtle jerky-like dry finish.
Mat: 4.5 Toffee sweetness. Jerky-like smokiness in the finish. Really funky. Truly unique cider.
CiderBoys Pineapple Hula
Pineapple Hula combines the big citrus taste of fresh pineapple with the crisp sweetness of apple cider.
John: 3.2 Smells like pineapple soda from when I was a kid. Tastes like an overripe pineapple. Not my style, but wow, SWEET!
Dave: 1.8 Tastes like a pineapple Dum-Dum lollipop. I like it?
Andrew: 1.5 A beer for every person, it’s just not for me. Reminds me of a Bud Light Mang-O-Rita with Pineapple. Very sweet. Very sugary.
Neil: 3.2 Pineapple soda! Candy sweetness. I can’t call this a beer, but I won’t say I dislike it.
Mat: 3.5 Overripe pineapple. One of those sweet, fruity adult beverages that are hard to grade. Nothing wrong with it, but just made for a specific palate.
It is called the “model of meter” among beers. Its unparalleled exceptionality is guaranteed by the same recipe dating from 1842.
John: 4 No skunk! All the Pilsner Urquell you are supposed to get without the black and white woods cat.
Dave: 3.2 Malty aroma. Nice amount of bitterness. Really drinkable.
Andrew: 2.5 Light hop smell. Maltier taste. Better than I remembered it.
Neil: 3 I don’t think I can say anything bad about this. Malty and lightly sweet. I’d order it.
Mat: 4 Great to see the packaging changes finally. Non-skunked Urquell is a very fine beer.
This elegantly refreshing pilsner was created with German malt, balanced with the spicy tang of Czech Saaz hops.
John: 2.8 Aroma of crackers, lemon and some sulfur. Flavor is a bit lacking. Could use more…salt, body, etc. Lemony, dry, crisp and light.
Dave: 1.8 Not much going on. Lemony nose. Not much malt flavor. Drinkable.
Andrew: 3.3 Clean smell and taste. Very easy-drinking. Great summer beer. Give it to your parents who drink light beer.
Neil: 3 Very clean. Subtle citrus. Light on the malt. Could use a bit more body.
Mat: 3.8 Excessively clean pils. Very simple, with a slight lemon flavor.
DC Brau El Hefe Speaks
“EL HEFE SPEAKS!” is a traditionally brewed German-style hefe. It is fermented around 65° F and hopped with German Tettnang hops.
John: 3.4 Aroma is sweet “Runts” banana. Flavor of wheat with low to medium banana. A bit flat.
Dave: 1.9 I don’t like this.
Andrew: 3.5 Clean hefe. Light banana and clove. Good beer.
Neil: 3.1 Delicate nose. Gentle on the palate. Simple. Finishes clean.
Mat: 3.5 Clean, simple hefe. What it lacks in depth and complexity it makes up for in drinkability and packaging.
Stone Coffee Milk Stout
Style: Sweet Stout
A hint of coffee with a highly drinkable, yet quite modest backdrop of chocolate and roasty notes. Stone opted for a less sweet approach to the category, so you’ll notice it finishes fairly dry on the palate.
John: 3.8 Aroma of coffee and milk chocolate. Bitter coffee with a roasted flavor. Lingering, bitter finish. Nice.
Dave: 4.1 Coffee, chocolate, toffee, and vanilla right up front. Nice and bitter. Super drinkable! I like this a lot!
Andrew: 4 Bitter coffee flavor and aroma. Tons of flavor for such low alcohol.
Neil: 4 Really nice coffee on a light body. I like the ABV. Very nice. I’d drink a lot of this.
Mat: 3.9 Perfect winter session beer. Great flavors of coffee with some sweetness.
Boulder Shake Chocolate Porter
A twist on the traditional American porter, Shake Chocolate Porter is black in color with rich, dark chocolate aromatics and flavors and subtle coffee-like notes.
John: 3.8 Chocolate! Chocolate beer. Chocolate-flavored soda. Choco-rific. It is what it says it is.
Dave:2.3 Tastes like a chocolate soda. I like it.
Andrew: 3.3 Chocolate lover’s dream. Just not for me.
Neil: 3.4 Chocolate nose. Chocolate flavor. It’s all chocolate.
Mat: 3.8 In your face chocolate. Mix of baker’s chocolate and Hershey’s syrup. A beer for chocolate lovers.
Anchor BigLeaf Maple
A quaffable, well-balanced red ale with character. Its malty complexity and coppery color come from a combination of two caramel malts, pale malt, and a hint of maple syrup.
John: 2.8 Malty aroma of maple, caramel, and plums. Overly bitter flavor. Hard to see what’s behind but caramel, toast, and malt.
Dave: 2.6 Maple in the nose, followed by lingering bitterness. Pretty good.
Andrew: 3.1 Would like more malt, more maple, and a higher ABV. Dry finish. OK beer.
Neil: 2.8 Sweet maple red ale. Chewy. Too much hops, which challenge the maple.
Mat: 3.3 More bitter than maple, but has a fantastic aroma. Could use a bit more body.
Evil Genius Trick or Treat Chocolate Pumpkin Porter
Melds together rich chocolate decadence with fall spices. Notes of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg collide with a delicious chocolate flavor to create a whirlwind of flavor in your glass.
John: 3 Aroma of chocolate and spice. Cocoa, peanut butter, toasty, nutmeg flavor. Sweet finish.
Dave: 1.6 Chocolate nose. A lot of nutmeg. No pumpkin.
Andrew:2.8 Very little pumpkin. Lots of chocolate and cinnamon.
Neil: 3 Spicy, chocolate nose. Almost a peanut butter cup-like characteristic, with a spice that lingers on the tongue. Pumpkin—not so much.
Mat: 4 Tastes like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Probably my favorite pumpkin beer, as it tastes nothing like a pumpkin beer (a style I tend not to enjoy).
Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin
This limited release seasonal treat is small batch brewed with pumpkins, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves with increased malts and a touch of bitterness for the perfect balance.
John: 4 Aroma of banana cream pie. Flavor of caramel, toast, bananas, clove and cinnamon.
Dave: 3 I like it. This is my kinda pumpkin beer. Pumpkin pie.
Andrew:3.8 Taste of a German wheat beer, maybe a dunkel. Should be called Punkel Dunkel.
Neil: 3.9 Sweet. Malty. Surprising banana characteristic for a pumpkin. Nice balance of spices.
Mat: 4.2 Interesting banana aspect on the nose. Smells like a really good, homemade pumpkin pie. A very fine example of what a pumpkin beer can be.
Evil Genius Turtle Power
Style: Pale Ale
A hop forward grapefruit pale ale brewed and drop hopped with Citra hops. Tropical and citrus notes abound from the hops along with some tart and juicy grapefruit flavors.
John: 3.4 Grapefruit hop aroma. Grapefruit flavor with lemon. Some grassy hops. A bit astringent on the finish.
Dave: 2.6 Grapefruit smacks you in the face. Bitter and a little astringent. Still drinkable. Drink responsibly.
Andrew: 3 Smell of grapefruit and citrus hops. Solid beer but a little too much grapefruit.
Neil: 2.9 Not a bad beer. Grapefruit is nice but finish is a bit off. Nice dryness.
Mat: 3.8 Cowabunga dude! Lots of grapefruit, like Ruby Red pink grapefruit. Much better Turtles’ tribute than that awful movie that just came out.
Kona Castaway IPA
A full-bodied, American-Style IPA that is bronze in color and “dry hopped” for assertive hop flavor and aroma. The bitterness is balanced by the malty body of the beer.
John: 2.4 Very grassy and lemony. Flavor is much the same. Underwhelming.
Dave: 2.2 Grassy. Bitter. Not a fan.
Andrew:3.1 Lots of citrus flavor. Not a fan at all of the nose. Smell of mold. Tastes better than it smells. Probably better on draft.
Neil:3 Nice, easy-drinking IPA. Citrus notes, with a clean finish. I could drink this.
Mat: 3.1 Simple IPA. Off-nose but doesn’t follow through into taste. Draft would probably be much better.
Tröegs Hop Knife
Style: Harvest Ale
Recognizes the tradition of hand-harvesting hops at their peak. The HopCyclone process creates a spiral of hop dispersal during fermentation, releasing a bounty of citrus, resin & tropical aromas.
John: 4.3 Peach and melon hop aroma. Same flavor with assertive bitterness.
Dave: 4.2 Peach and melon aroma. Cantaloupe flavor dominates. AWESOME!
Andrew: 3.9 Hoppy, citrus, melon aroma. Great body. Very solid beer.
Neil: 4.3 I’ll let this bitch stab me any day. Peachy. Nice malt. Not terribly bitter. I could get in trouble with this.
Mat: 4.5 Forget Nugget Nectar, this is the hoppy Tröegs beer you should be lining up for.
The 7C’s alchemic concoction of 7 different hop varieties starting with the letter “c” conjures your taste-buds into a piney-citrus paradise fit for a Hoodoo doctor.
John: 4.3 Intense citrus hop nose with some lemongrass. Assertive bitterness. Grassy. Lemon and lime zest.
Dave: 2.6 OK. Just OK.
Andrew: 3.8 Not much hop aroma. Very good citrus taste.
Neil: 3.8 Bitter. Little burn. Nice. Not my favorite, but definitely a decent IPA.
Mat: 4.3 Very solid IPA. Nice lime flavors. Bitter. Complex.
Handcrafted by our master brewers, this delightfully hoppy brew resurrects its deep heritage and storied past to embody an IPA worthy of the original Ballantine name.
John: 3.9 Slightly nutty, malty aroma with grassy hops. Malty flavor with some burnt sugar. Assertive bitterness that lingers.
Dave: 3.9 Really good. Malty. Floral. Bitter. I want more!
Andrew:3.7 Malty aroma. Smells like an imperial IPA. Bitter taste and great finish.
Neil: 3.7 A really malty IPA on the nose and palate. Smooth for the alcohol content. Bitterness sticks to the palate. Not bad.
Mat: 3.8 Very malt-forward IPA. Surprisingly bitter. No clue if it tastes like the original, but very enjoyable.
Goose Island Rambler IPA
A bold ale with a mix of herbal, woody, and citrus aromas from Mt. Hood and Amarillo hops.
John: 3.5 Moderate citrusy aroma. Flavor is malty up front with balanced bitterness. Crisp, dry finish. Some spiciness in the middle.
Dave: 4 I like this a lot! Malty. Hoppy! Nice fruity, hoppy flavor.
Andrew: 3. 8 Very good beer. Very easy going down for the ABV. Not a lot of nose but a good beer.
Neil: 3.8 Dry, clean finish. Light body. Easy to drink. Nice.
Mat: 4 Disguised to taste like a session IPA. Really nice with very clean finish.
Twisted Manzanita Gillespie Brown Ale
Style: Imperial Brown Ale
A brazen blend of chocolate, caramel, and wheat malts. Though the cocoa-inspired concoction has a distinct sweetness, Gillespie brown gets its wings from its substantial hop bite.
John: 4.2 Nutty, malty aroma. Intense, complex flavor. Nutty, dark fruit, caramel, slight burnt sugar. Nice.
Dave: 4 Toffee, fig, rum-soaked cherries in the nose. Nutty, bready, burnt sugar flavor. Wow!
Andrew: 3.5 Malty, big brown ale. Easy-drinking. Roasted taste. Good beer.
Neil: 3.9 Really rich brown ale. Nice body. A lot of sweetness and balanced roastiness. Fruits and nuts.
Mat: 3.8 Very subdued nose. Nice, rich sweetness. Bit of nuttiness. Very flavorful brown ale.
DuClaw Guilty Filthy Soul
Style: Imperial Porter
Blend of rye malt and chocolate that imbues this whole Imperial Porter with a complex flavor profile, velvety mouth-feel and a bittersweet finish.
John: 3.8 Why do I smell peanut? Flavor is chocolate and nuts. Lingering finish that is slightly bitter.
Dave: 2.1 Thick. Chocolaty. Spicy. Not a fan.
Andrew: 3.8 Thick body. Dry finish. Tastes like a lower ABV. Solid beer. A little bit of a peanut taste. Reminds me of SBJ.
Neil: 3.4 Nutty nose. Velvety body. Sweet with chocolate notes. Semi-dry finish with bitterness.
Mat: 3.7 Very rich and creamy. Lots of peanut for some reason, but not a bad thing. Interesting beer worth seeking out.
Brew Works Funky Monkey
A variation of Monkey Wrench that has been aged with a special Wild Yeast, giving its warm golden color a light, earthy tartness with hints of pineapple and crisp apples and a fine, dry champagne-like finish.
John: 3.8 Aroma of grapefruit rind and peach. Flavor of cherries and peaches. Over-carbonated but still a good beer.
Dave: 3.7 Super carbonated! Cherries and grilled peaches.
Andrew: 4 Smell of fruit and Brett. Taste of cherry and apricot.
Neil: 2.2 Overly carbonated and fruity. Can’t get past the carbonation.
Mat: 3.8 Overly carbonated. Fruity sweetness, yet incredibly dry.
Green Flash Green Bullet
Style: Imperial IPA
Combines New Zealand grown Pacific Gem and Green Bullet hops. Significant pine and citrus hoppiness, accentuated by tropical notes of mango and pineapple, ending with a moderately aggressive, bitter finish.
John: 3.7 Aroma of candied hops and alcohol. Call a cab.
Dave: 2.5 It’s a great triple IPA. That being said, I hate triple IPAs.
Andrew: 3.8 Malty with slight hop nose.
Neil: 4 I feel like the 3x IPA is a gimmick but it’s a seriously solid IPA. Nice balance in the hops and smooth considering the ABV.
Mat: 3.9 As malty and hoppy as one would expect but still smooth. Dry and a bit boozy. Not a style I tend to like, but this is well done.
Evil Twin Aún Más Café Jesús
Style: Imperial Stout
A thick fudge-like body, pitch black color and obviously only made it in limited amounts.
John: 4.5 Aroma of alcohol, wood and tobacco. Heavy body. Similar flavors. Cacao bitterness and roastiness lingers. Wow.
Dave: 3.2 Not much coffee. A lot of dark fruit and roast. A load of alcohol! Good.
Andrew: 4.5 Thick, oil-like body. Coffee and tobacco flavor. Great beer.
Neil: 4 Burns on the nose. Wood. Tobacco. Coffee. Bitter and full-bodied. Chewy, intense beer.
Mat: 4.2 Not overwhelmingly coffee, but it’s there. Big and boozy. Night cap cup of coffee.