Stegmaier Brewing Company (The Lion Brewery) - Stegmaier IPA
- ABV: 6.7%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 55
- Serving Temperature: 47-52° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Centennial, Cascade, Nugget
- Hops: Centennial, Cascade, Nugget
This IPA from Stegmaier pours an attractive deep copper color with a bit of haze, capped by an inch of beige foam from an aggressive pour. Stegmaier employs 500 lbs of hops per batch, and they're readily apparent on the nose; we picked up some orangey notes, citrus blossoms, and light grassy, spicy tones, supported by a light undercurrent of caramel. On the palate, this IPA was built with a robust malt backbone which delivers a core of toast and caramel. The hops came through quite fruity for us, offering fleshy and pith-like notes of orange, grapefruit, and lemon, along with a bit of a candied impression and some soft floral notes. There's a bit of malty sweetness upfront, but the hops contribute plenty of bitterness to counter, especially in the finish which lingers with a drying citrus note. Try pairing with a honey-glazed ham, or burgers with caramelized onions and sharp cheddar. Cheers!
The story of Stegmaier is really the story of two breweries: Stegmaier, whose roots go back to the mid-19th century, and the Lion Brewery, which was founded in 1905.
Around 1857, Charles Stegmaier and his father-in-law, George Baer, embarked on a small brewing operation on South Canal Street in Wilkes-Barre, PA, which enlarged when they opened a new, bigger facility on East Market Street in 1863 known as the Baer & Stegmaier Brewery. Sadly, the partners were forced to sell off the brewery due to the economic crisis that came to be known as the Panic of 1873. Happily, by 1880 Charles and his son, Christian, were able to re-purchase the brewery and begin growing the business under the new name C. Stegmaier & Son. The brewery experienced many happy decades through the rest of the 19th and most of the 20th century, until the slow decline of local brewers (which affected brewers in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S.) ultimately caused the brewery to close in 1974.
It's here that the Lion Brewery steps in, purchasing the Stegmaier brand and continuing production in what had, until then, been one of Stegmaier's rival breweries in Wilkes-Barre. Founded in 1905, the Lion is a venerable Wilkes-Barre institution, having survived the hard times that claimed many other local brewers prior to the modern craft beer renaissance. The Lion has managed to thrive in recent times, due in no small part to the popularity of the Stegmaier beers, as well as being a contract brewing partner for many other craft beer companies. For more info on the Stegmaier brand and its long history, visit stegmaierbrewery.com.
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