Saturday, August 8, 2009

McKenzie Brew House

On the way to the beach, my boy Matt and I stopped at McKenzie Brewhouse in West Chester. The first beer I ordered was the Abbey 6. The beer is a dark amber color with a light floral aroma. It has a sweet taste and a clean hop finish. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. I enjoyed this beer and it was a good start to the meal. The hops decently accented the sweetness of the beer.

The second beer I had was the Unicorn Amber Ale. It (obviously) is amber in color with a sweet aroma. The taste is sweet at first, but has a spicy finish. The after taste was malty and very reminiscent of Troegs Rugged Trail. The alcohol content is 4.6% ABV. I have had this beer before when I went to McKenzie and it is one of my favorites by them. Matt brought up the Rugged Trail reference and it makes sense. I highly recommend making a stop here is you are traveling through West Chester.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cage the Elephant, Manchester Orchestra, and Silversun Pickups

I recently went to Baltimore to Rams Head Live to check out Cage the Elephant, Manchester Orchestra, and Silversun Pickups.

I had high expectations for Cage the Elephant, as I have really been digging their album recently. They hit the airwaves with "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" and their most recent single "In One Ear" is starting to pick up steam [It's my favorite song on the album]. Cage the Elephant had great energy from the start, but it took a while for the crowd to respond. I will assume this is due to their lack of exposure to Cage the Elephant. However, after "Wicked" started, the crowd got into the music and fed off their energy. The greatest moment of the whole show came when the lead singer of Cage the Elephant climbed up a speaker to the second floor and sang the second half of the last song. Following the conclusion of the song, the singer jumped from the balcony onto waiting concert-goers, and proceeded to surf to the stage. It was an amazing time and I thoroughly enjoyed this band.

The second set of the night was by Manchester Orchestra. I love their new album, and had heard very good things about them live. I was absolutely impressed with their sound and technical ability. It was amazing how close to their album sound they sounded. My only complaint is that they did not play any older songs. Every song of their set was from the new album. While I thoroughly enjoy the new album, I would liked to at least heard "Wolves at Night" and "Golden Ticket." However, hearing almost the entire new album was a great experience and I want to see them again.

The closer for the night was Silversun Pickups. Their new album is receiving regular play in my car, so I was very excited to see them live. The lead singer impressed me most, as his voice is in no way modified on the album; he sounds the same live as he does on the album. I went absolutely nuts when they broke into "The Royal We," my favorite song off of the new album. I thought their set was very well laid out, mixing slower songs among faster songs to keep the crowd pumped up. The songs "Lazy Eye" and "Panic Switch" were very well executed kept the set moving along.

Overall, the concert was well worth the $40. I enjoyed all three bands and would see each of them again. My only wish is that Manchester Orchestra would have played last with a little more older stuff mixed in.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fordham Helles Lager

At the Silversun Pickups, Manchester Orchestra, and Cage the Elephant concert, I stumbled upon a new brewery that I had not previously heard about. I ordered a Fordham Helles Lager from the bar in the Ram's Head Live out of the choices that they had. The color of the lager is dark amber and it does not have a noticeable aroma. The taste is sweet and clean. There is a caramel after taste that really accents the beer nicely. The alcohol content is 5.1% ABV. Baltimore Magazine voted it Best Local Beer, so this beer also carries some reputation behind it. I really liked this beer, and I plan on taking a brewery tour on the way home from the beach next week, as the brewery is just off of Route 1 in Dover, Delaware.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Black Dog Honey Raspberry Ale

While at Tir Na Nog, I also ordered a bottle of Black Dog Honey Raspberry Ale. The beer is a dark amber with a slight pink accent. The aroma is sweet and fruity and so is the taste. There is a subtle honey accent with the raspberry flavor. The after taste is very light and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day. The alcohol content is 5.1% ABV. I was impressed with the flavor of the beer and am very interested in the other Black Dog Ales. I would recommend checking out this beer, and the website includes a map of their distribution area.

Clipper City Marzhon

Prior to the Silversun Pickups, Manchester Orchestra, and Cage the Elephant concert in Baltimore, a group of us hit up Tir Na Nog Irish Pub. On draft, they had Clipper City MarzHon. The beer is gold in color and has a sweet aroma. The taste is sweet and malty, with an undertone of caramel. The after taste has a sweet bite to it. As for alcohol content, the MarzHon has a 5.25% ABV. I am a really big fan of this beer and I plan on getting some more of it. The sweet caramel taste is very satisfying and led me to order another beer during dinner.