Philly Beer Week, the citywide celebration of suds we wait all year for, kicks off May 30! PW is counting down the days with Eric San Juan's daily spotlight of great craft beers everyone should get to know better.
The Garden State is finally starting to show its brewing chops thanks to breweries like Kane, whose Head High is very quietly one of the best IPAs being brewed on the East Coast. Vengeful Heart is their take on the American barleywine, a style perhaps best typified by Sierra Nevada’s legendary Bigfoot. Big malts, big booze, and big hops make this beer a big experience. This deep red beer barely gives off a head, due in no small part to its robust 10.2 percent alcohol by volume. The nose is loaded with citrus and pine, hinting at the aggressive bitterness that is to come. And it is indeed more bitter than you’d expect from a barleywine, which tend to lean towards the sweet side of things. Still, caramel, toffee, burnt molasses and some dark fruits put up a valiant fight against that bitterness, making for a beer that pulls no punches. See if you’re up for the challenge at The Pour House Westmont.
PW's Year of Beer: Troegs Naked Elf