Two Beer Reviews: Pineapple Kolsch (Desperate Times Brewery) and Dry Irish Stout (Riverbend Hop Farm and Brewery)

Two Beer Reviews: Pineapple Kolsch (Desperate Times Brewery) and Dry Irish Stout (Riverbend Hop Farm and Brewery)

Pineapple Kolsch by Desperate Times Brewery, before the Harrisburg Senators game begins.

I don’t care what anyone says, the one and only true thing that goes with a baseball game is — beer. And family (or friends). But, mostly, beer.

Peanuts, cracker jacks, coke, etc, are all distant thirds and fourths compared to the above two. And luckily the Harrisburg Senators’ field – FNB Field – has numerous good options as far as craft beer goes; and from many local places.

Behind first base line and the hometeam dugout in the back is a “cans” stand, which has your typical tallboys of Yuenling, Miller Lite, Coors, Angry Orchard, Cidre Stella, and Blue Moon, as well as the aluminum Budlights and Budweisers. BUT… it also has a fairly good selection of cans from Desperate Times (Hazy Galaxy), ZeroDay (Mango Habanero, Good Vibes, and a few others), and Tattered Flag (TMI IPA, Because I Was Inverted, and a few others). The prices are a bit on the high end (9.50$ for a can of Tattered Flag, Desperate Times, or ZeroDay).

Also in this section is a few food places (a BBQ pit, an Arooga’s stand, a fries place, etc,) that have domestic and craft on tap as well. Here the only “craft” was Goose Island, Blue Moon, Troegs, and Desperate Times. The Troegs was Perpetual IPA only. Goose Island I’m not sure of, but I believe it was Goose IPA. Desperate Times was the Pineapple Kolsch, which sounded perfect for a hot sunny August baseball game in the heat. 7.75$ for the draft, 4.25$ for a small thing of fries, and 4.75$ for a large coke for my dad and we’re good to go and ready to start to enjoy the game.

Luckily the beer started off much better than the game. (First inning, second batter gets a double, gets moved to third, scores, and the final out takes the pitcher to a ridiculous pitch count due to numerous fall balls before making the final out.)

Beer: Pineapple Kolsch
Brewery: Desperate Times Brewery
Style: Kolsch
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 21
Untappd Write-Up: A clean, crisp beer with soft malt and hop character flavored with pineapple.

So firstly, being at the game, I’m not getting a chance to go into a full “sniff sniff, drink, sniff, taste, sniff, drink, sip, keep it on my tongue, cleanse my palate, sip, then finish” drinking performance like I *COULD* do (not saying I always do something like this…. errmm…. cough….) but I’m just saying being there at the game with my oldest daughter, my dad, and in a full section, I’m not being that pretentious jerkwad who does it. (My apologies to any pretentious jerkwads reading this who do do that whilst out in public settings surrounded by 3,000 people and drinking from a small plastic container in a tiny cramped plastic seat with potential flying foul-balls whizzing 80MPH by your head.)

So, needless to say, these two reviews might be up to the snuff of previous reviews on here, or who knows, maybe they’ll be better because I won’t come off like I know more than I do? Who knows. What I do know, is that I enjoyed the beer, I enjoyed the company I was with, and I enjoyed the game, and I’m going to try and give this a half-way decent craft beer review that it does deserve.

The coloring of the beer is a light straw, see through, with a little bit of foam and fizz to it. It has the look and appearance of a typical kolsch, nice coloring, slight carbonation to it, transparent, and a good ‘beers look’ to it.

Aroma is straight pineapple. This is simply put, a pineapple bomb. If you’re into that this will definitely work for you. If you are only half-way into it, its still a great beer with a good decent flavor, if you absolutely hate pineapple, this beer won’t work for you. So I think the average drinker will still enjoy it, the pineapple lovers will love it, and the pineapple haters will hate it. But that middle margin is big enough and the beer itself is good enough, that it should target a large swath of people.

That goes with the taste, its absolutely pineapple. I would compare it to a pineapple lifesaver, though the bartender at the BBQ pit shack compared it to a pineapple gummy, its all one in the same, its juicy, candy like, and very pineapple. A slight tartness but not much at all, nothing near the puckering of some sours and kolch(es? s?) or saisons I’ve had in the past. This is perfectly refreshing for a hot summer baseball game at the park.

My Untappd Rating: ***.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.64 (as of 8.24.19)

Haters gonna hate, but I see nothing wrong with a Dry Irish Stout on a hot August Friday night baseball game.

Approaching the start of the fifth inning and the Erie Sea Wolves are just about to step up to the plate. The score is miraculously still only 1-0 Sea Wolves over the Senators despite the pitching being a bit lackluster, but for the most part McGowan has settled down and gotten into some kind of a rhythm.

I decide to venture past where we were located (Section 201 Box Seats) and checkout what all else FNB Field has to offer. Noticing a tent/pavilion under the scoreboard that loudly reads “CRAFT BEER” I decide to make my way there. (Bit of a hike from the visitor’s dugout area all the way over, but not too bad. When I was a kid, there wasn’t even seats over there, and the stadium didn’t wrap around the outfield like it does now. The field has definitely seen some nice makeovers and improvements in recent years after the various floods and damages.)

The craft beer bar underneath the scoreboard (cleverly titled “The Scoreboard Bar”) is all decked out in Troegs sponsorships. You can get cans of Perpetual IPA, Sunshine Pils, and Hop Knife. Other craft breweries were represented in can form – Tattered Flag with TMI IPA and Goose Island with Goose IPA (I know… I know…). In draft they had ZeroDay with a few options, Desperate Times with a few options, Iron Hill with an option, and Riverbend Hop Farm with two options. They also had “claws” and other hard seltzers as well as the crap tallboys from Yuengling, Blue Moon, Angry Orchard, Coors, Miller Lite, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Twisted Tea, etc. (as well as some wine and mixed drinks as well).

The Dry Irish Stout was calling my name so I had to grab a draft of that. And forgetting that I recently shaved, I got to show my ID for a second time (the perks? joys? of shaving a beard down to the jawline from when it used to look like you were wandering the Egyptian desert for 40 years). Took my sip, loved it, grabbed my photo, and got to watch the Senators outfielder make a tremendous grab before heading back to the third base line seats with my daughter and dad.

(One thing should be noted here, that I have been amiss to mention, was that it was Harry Potter night, and due to this, I’ve gotten to sit next to my daughter who espoused on every detail from the smallest to the largest of the Harry Potter universe, I now know I am a Slytherin, she is a Ravenclaw, and my father is a Hufflepuff. And so now… you need to know these things too.)

Beer: Dry Irish Stout
Brewery: River Bend Hop Farm and Brewery
Style: Stout – Irish Dry
ABV: 4.5%
Untappd Write-Up: (Blank)

I don’t care what people say (or think), but this is a perfectly acceptable beer at a baseball game. Especially down by the riverside like the Senators in the later innings when it was dropping into the low-70s. It tasted wonderful, it was refreshing, and it went great with the game and with the company. So thats all I can ask for. And I turn my nose up to those who say stouts are for cold months and IPAs/pale ales/kolsches/etc are for summer months.

The appearance is spot on. It looks good and it has a nice ring of head to it despite the plastic cup and having to trek from nearly center field to third base.

The aroma is bitter like an Irish Stout would be. Hard to get much more out of this in the aroma category due to all of the various other smells of the game, and I’m not cramming my nose down into the plastic cup to get a good whiff. (Because like I’ve already said, I’m not a pretentious jerkwad. Sort of. Maybe. Depends who you listen to.)

Taste is wonderful. Deliciously bitter, deliciously tasty, and deliciously good. It has a good malty backbone, no off flavors – even when the mayfly landed in it and I had to pick him out – and it left no bad aftertastes.

My Untappd Rating: ***.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.74 (as of 8.24.19)

By this point in the game, the Senators worked themselves out of a jam with the bases loaded, scored a run in their own innings to tie it up, and now have just scored another to go ahead.

The Senators scored again in the 7th (or 8th) and went on to hold the Erie Sea Wolves scoreless after that initial first run in the first and win the game. My daughter is a bit bummed that the Hufflepuffs won the house cup at the game, and both me and my dad are bummed by how the Phils blow a 7-0 lead to the Marlins (and eventually get thrashed by them 19-11). After the game there was a tremendous and wonderful firework display and then the typical forty minute wait on the parking lot and then home. All in all a great time by the three generations.

In todays news, I will be attending the Lancaster Craft Beer Fest (my first time at it), so I will at least snap a pic going in for the Twitter feed, and probably no more pictures after that. I will try to keep up somewhat consistently on my personal Untappd feed with the beers I have. Ming is accompanying me today as the DD. There will possibly-maybe-hopefully be a blog post about it in the future. (Just like I still have the Moo-Funk and the Ffej of July and various other ‘event’ blog posts to write up…. hopefully this week! Fingers, toes, and …oh noes…. crossed.)

Alright everyone, enjoy your beers and keep on putting that liver to work!

-B. Kline

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