Pennsylvania Brewing Company - Penn Dark
- ABV: 5.0%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 25
- Serving Temperature: 45-53º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pilsner Glass, Flute, Mug or Stein
- Malts: 2-Row, Munich, Black
- Hops: Perle
This Munich-style dunkel lager pours quite a deep brown color with ruby highlights towards the edges and a nice crop of foam on top. The style can be interpreted rather broadly in our experience, with some brewers creating a deeply chewy concoction, and others aiming for something akin to a light quaff. Penn Dark finds the happy medium. On the nose, look for a strong toasty character to lead the way, bolstered by notes of caramel, brown sugar, and brown bread. Hops deliver a grassy, hay-like touch, with a bit of earth. The flavors are well-balanced, with a mild to moderate malt sweetness countered by a dose of Perle hops. Toasty bread and caramel compose the core here, with some noticeable nuttiness, a light dusting of cocoa powder, and a subtle hint of dark fruit that we find common among lagers boasting a heavy usage of Munich malt. Medium-bodied and quite smooth, Penn Dark pairs well with a thick BBQ burger topped with grilled onions and medium cheddar. Cheers!
Pennsylvania Brewing Company founder Tom Pastorius developed a taste for real, authentic beer during his service with the U.S. Army in Germany. After coming back to the U.S. and earning a Master of Business Administration degree at Penn State University, he returned to Germany where he lived for some time in the ‘70s, incorporating beer into his diet just like the Germans for whom beer has been as much a staple as bread for hundreds of years. Many an American has come home from living in Germany only to be sadly disappointed by the bland, poor quality, rice- and corn-laden products commonly referred to as “beer” here in the States, and that’s exactly what happened to Tom when he returned to the U.S. in 1981. “Beer tastes better over there. I just missed the beer…,” he recalls.
His thirst unsatisfied by the commercially available beer choices, and in need of work, Tom made the bold decision to start a brewery. In 1986 he bought the abandoned brick and stone E&O brewhouse for $225,000, and launched a laborious $4 million, 3-year restoration project on the nearly 150-year-old building. Tom’s focus for the new-found Pennsylvania Brewing Company was to brew traditional, authentic German-style beers using German-sourced ingredients and equipment, and he was wildly successful.
Sadly, in 2008, the brewery was shuttered when a private equity firm took control of the business and outsourced production. But things got back on track when a group of local beer loving investors came together in 2009 to retake control of the business, returning the brewery to full production in 2010. For more information about the brewery, scheduled tours, or their attached restaurant, call (412) 237-9400, or visit their website at www.pennbrew.com.
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