Welcome to Thirsty Thursday, a weekly column where we pick a beer from our fridge and review it, because in a world where two new breweries launch every single week, sometimes we need some help sifting through all of the hops.
The beer stock here at the Miller compound is getting low. Sure, there’s bigger problems in the world right now – and I can still grab takeout beer but it’s pretty limited. But most of what I can get is from breweries I’ve already highlighted, so this week’s effort is something hyper-local, for those of you who might also live in the Philadelphia area. Would I love to have a fridge full of something from California or to showcase a rare beer from Minnesota? Yes, but we’re making sacrifices while adhering to the instructions of the government. That’s not to say this week’s choice, Conshohocken Brewing Company’s Type A, isn’t a delicious one, because I grabbed it since I’ve enjoyed it before – plus, I’m trying to support local joints I love as best as I can at this point.
With five locations scattered throughout the suburbs, Conshohocken Brewing Company’s original brewery is located in the town of the same name. There, the company provides both food and libations for locals, like the majority of its sites, and works on a 15-barrel system. But, thanks to an added location last year, the brewery is now capable of a 45-barrel output. And since it’s nestled right along the popular Schuylkill Trail, folks can park their bikes or just walk up and grab a quick pint – though the best part is that they allow dogs on the porch area.
Armed with five core beers and a slew of efforts, either seasonal, part of a barrel-aged series or part of an unfiltered IPA series, Conshohocken Brewing often incorporates some local flair. Judging from the three or four efforts I’ve had, mostly IPAs, they really seem to know what they’re doing, especially since Puddlers Row, the company’s English-style ale won two silver awards – for Classic English-Style Pale Ale (2016) and Extra Special Bitter (2018) – at the World Beer Cup.
Let’s not forget, the brewery is still open for delivery or curbside pickup.
Type A is one of the company’s core beers – it’s been there since the beginning. Aggressively hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe hops, it’s a 7.0 percent ABV west coast style IPA. The almost all black label features an image of a head though the brain has been replaced by a giant hop flower and each section of this “brain” features a different ingredient emphasized in this beer. It also does a great job in giving the ABV as well as explaining what the drinker is about to consume:
“Type A is a west coast-style IPA aggressively hopped with a blend of Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe hops against a backbone of pale and pilsner malts. Intense hop aroma, flavor, and a dry finish define this American IPA.”
When I cracked open this 16-ounce can, I waited until pouring before taking a whiff. So, let’s start there. I poured this one into a tulip glass because, having spent so much time at home, I don’t have a ton of clean appropriate glassware that doesn’t highlight some other brewery. I guess I need to get over to Conshohocken and grab a glass when this all is finished. Anyway, Type A poured an orangey-amber color with a little bit of haze to it. It was very foamy, with an off white head, which created a very pleasing pour. As for the smell, I noted an abundance of pine, like you might find in a more juicy-styled IPA, along with small traces of pineapple and orange. It’s a west coast IPA and it smells like a west coast IPA. Sounds simple enough but that’s not always the case.
And then there was the taste. I’ll start by noting that it offered a medium-body and was carbonated quite well, allowing for a ton of retention – carbonated well until the final sip. The mouthfeel felt just a little off and wasn’t quite as great as some of the other similar efforts I’ve had. But besides that, Type A is crisp. Like really crisp – and that makes me happy. It’s what you’d want from an IPA of this caliber, offering a brief fruity taste on the front-end and finishing the sip off with a ton of bitterness on the back-end. But that bitterness isn’t to the point where it’s off-putting. It’s done well and really drinkable, especially as the weather begins to get a little warmer outside. This beer has spring written all over it.
I’m not quite sure what I paid for this can since it was part of an assorted six-pack but I believe it was just a hair above $5, which is a fine price for a well crafted west coast IPA. Type A has a BeerAdvocate score of 89 and an average drinker score of 4.00 out of 5.00, based on 105 ratings. I think I’m right on point with that, which seems to be the case more often than not, as I would give this Conshohocken Brewing effort an 8.1 out of 10. It’s clean, it has a great flavor, it has a great smell, it has a solid look and it’s incredibly drinkable. The only smudge on this beer’s resume is the underwhelming mouthfeel – and that’s certainly easy to get over and quick.
Stay tuned for next week, because I might just try something from your favorite brewery.