Review Date 1/18/2012
There’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing an old beer brand revived; better still is when they do so in an old style brewery setting. In New York, the local favorite Rheingold brand was restored in 1998, and a few years later Narragansett beer returned to New England. Philadelphia was a bit ahead of the curve with the Henry Ortlieb Brewing company, which was revived in the 1997 by Henry Ortlieb as “Poor Henry’s Brewery in the old Ortlieb facilities. That place was a lot of fun, and I visited it before it closed its doors several years later.
Once again, Philadelphia is home to another “revival” brewery, this time the Philadelphia Brewing Company. The company bought their current facilities in 2001, which began their brewing life as the old Weisbrod & Hess Oriental Brewing Company back in 1885. Renovations were completed in 2008 and the company is producing a goodly variety of brews today.
Recently, I got my first taste of their products when a friend brought me back a 22 ounce bottle of Winter Wϋnder, the company’s holiday ale. Details from the brewery website:
Winter Wünder is the perfect wassailing ale, brewed with a goodly amount of traditional holiday fare - plums, dates, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and a sprinkle of ginger all combine to lift your spirits and warm your demeanour... Winter Wünder is best enjoyed with the warmth of a good tavern, in the clutch of good friends new or old. Winter doesn't seem so long after all.
Winter Wϋnder pours to a hazy amber color with a thick foamy head formation and a spicy clove and cinnamon nose. Taking a sip, the beer has a very smooth body with a thick full mouthfeel. The spices hop right to it and take center stage. Lots of clove and dry cinnamon jump right at your palate, and a subtle hint of ginger comes through too.
The dark fruity dates and sweet plum are more subtle, but you can definitely discern them as the beer warms. In the finish, the spices intensify and absolutely dry the beer. This makes it dangerously drinkable and decidedly moreish. At 6.5% alcohol by volume, it’s not overly strong, but has enough kick to warm you in the depths of winter.
I liked this one a lot. I have family roots in Philadelphia, and it’s good to see yet another wonderful brewery operating there. If Winter Wϋnder is any indications, we can all expect great things from Philadelphia Brewing. I received this as a gift but an internet search pouts it at about the $6 range for a bomber bottle; if true it’s reasonably priced as well.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.