6 Things About Moss Mill Brewery (1 of Them is Happening Tonight)

Open for just three months, Moss Mill Brewery in Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County, is already drawing good reviews in local beer circles for well-made brews with both balance and unique flavor.

I stopped in earlier this week and here’s a sixpack items I learned:

  1. Moss Mill’s CEO and head brewer is Nick Rodgers, a familiar face in Philly brewing circles. He was an assistant to Gordon Grubb at Nodding Head, and he was head of the sensory program at Yards’ quality control department.

His partner (and wife) is Evann Rodgers, who has a Ph.D. in science and will apply her skills to Moss Mill’s lab.

Yes, an actual lab – an unusual sight in such a small brewery.

  1. Did I say small? It’s a one-barrel brewhouse, which is small. Really small. The brewing equipment could fit in a one-car garage.

But Rodgers didn’t scrimp on the outfit. He’s using steel fermenters, not cheaper plastic ones you often see in smaller setups.

  1. Every three weeks Moss Mill Brewery conducts Sunday School.

No, not religious indoctrination – unless beer is your religion. This is a high-level class aimed at serious homebrewers. For example, the topic of next one (on June 17) is acetaldehyde and sulfur. Those are off-flavors in beer, and a big bugaboo for DIYers.

Classes are free, but they’re small, so you need to sign up ahead of time.

  1. They make a brown ale. Yes, a boring brown ale. The kind of beer that almost every brewer ignores today in favor of flashier IPAs, sours and barrel-aged whatevers.

And this brown ale is freaking great.

Bless them.

  1. Moss Mill Brewery is named for a road in Atlantic County, N.J., that runs through the Pinelands past Stockton University, which Rodgers attended.

6. Every Friday the brewery taps a new beer. Tonight’s is kinda special.

It’s PA Brut, which is the opposite of those trendy milkshake IPAs that draw all the lines these days. Rather than a cloudy mess filled with floaties, this is as sparkling and crisp as a dry Champagne, as its name implies.

Rodgers believes it’s the first authentic East Coast version of Brut IPA, a new style that’s been turning heads (and palates) in San Francisco lately. In addition to its sparkling clarity, Brut IPA is notable for the unique use of an amylase enzyme that helps convert starch into sugar. Typically, the enzyme is used in strong, dark beers. In a lighter IPA, it helps reduce haze and improves attenuation, which means more sugar is converted into alcohol.

The result: A very dry, light-bodied character with a surprising hop bite in the finish with little sweetness. It’s quite aromatic, but wonderfully balanced.

And, like I said, it’s clear as a bell.

-30-

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