Beer Review: Spundae (Spring House Brewing Company)

Beer Review: Spundae (Spring House Brewing Company)

Spundae by Spring House Brewing Company. My friend picked it up at the distributor and so we gave it a try.

So this wasn’t meant to become a beer review, but I figured I’d do it anyway. I might do a few of the others from Saturday night as well. There is some backstory to a couple of pieces to this blog post, so I’ll work through them all.

So starting off with some background on Spring House Brewing Company. Once I got kind of fully “into” craft beer, roughly 7-8 years or so ago…. or maybe its been 8-9 years ago…. or even possibly 10 years ago? Who knows, I’m getting old, and it was a while ago, I know that much. Outside of the Hershey/Harrisburg area, Spring House Brewing Company was one of the first breweries I visited/tried. Myself, my three daughters, and Sara, went and did the Turkey Hill Experience thing, and the parking garage was right near the brewery. I convinced her that if we did something for the kids, I needed something for me, and since it was dinner time and they offered food, we ‘might as well’ hit the brewery. She amazingly agreed, and this kind of set precedent for most of our trips with the girls (dinner/lunch would be at breweries, for the good food, and to help keep dad from going insane).

We went to their tap room on Hazel Street. The food was really good, all four of them were happy, and I got a flight, which came with something like 10-12 beers. And I enjoyed all of them. We had a good time, and I would say I would list Spring House pretty prominently and pretty high up.

A year or two later we went to their brewery off of King Street (I might be getting to the two locations backwards, and sadly Google Maps is deciding not to load anything for me at the moment, in fact, even the blog is being slow, so maybe my internet, or my laptop, or whatever is hating me). We went on St. Patty’s day as kind of a dinner date, and had a fantastic Shepherd’s Pie and got some of their bombers on a discount blowout. Again, had a great time.

Sadly though, since then, I’ve only been back to the taproom on Hazel St once, and it was quick, nearly an in-and-out with a friend while visiting the Lancaster area. And so over the years, the only chance I’ve really had at trying Spring House has been in bars, at a tap takeover or two, or rarely/occasionally a few cans I’ve picked up at places like Breski’s Beverage or Brass Rail Deli. Every fall I always have looked forward to Braaaaiiins and Big Gruesome. Both are two of my favorite fall time beers. Braaaaiiins is my possibly my favorite pumpkin beer, and Big Gruesome is a really good stout.

But overall throughout the years, I think I’ve fallen ‘out of love’ with Spring House. I still look forward to Braaaiiins and Big Gruesome, but not as much, and many of their one-offs, and other rotationals that I’ve had throughout the years have left me feeling rather ‘meh’.

So, this brings me to the backstory of Saturday then. Worked 11-7 Saturday, and went right down the road to my friend’s house. J.Scott or JDS or J.D.Scott or D.Scott, whatever he chooses to go with, might be helping out with writing some blog posts here as well. Likewise, we (him and I) will be hosting a podcast where we play some old school NES and SNES games and other related things (maybe old school Game Boy games on emulator or Sega, or what have you), while doing the podcast we will be drinking and talking and chatting about nerd culture (like we mostly do when just hanging out at The Warwick, or Boneshire Brewery, or Chick’s Tavern, or his house, or wherever). So be sure to be on the lookout for all of that (I’ll be posting links here in the blog to whenever we upload a new podcast).

So getting back to Saturday, we started off drinking several craft beers from a local distributor that Dan and D. Scott picked up. A Key Lime Pie from D9 (Confectioner: Key Lime Pie), a few from DuClaw, the Spundae from Spring House, and a Red Velvet Cake one from Spring House. I might get around to doing some beer reviews of these if I find the time/energy (I still have a ton of other blog posts/articles to do). But I really did like the D9: Confectioner: Key Lime Pie, so I might do a beer review on that one. We sat around outside for a while killing the craft beers, talking, trying to get a fire going, before going inside, and working on Naturdays and Natty Daddys (well, we had a few of them outside as well), and then we started watching Terror in Beverly Hill…. which, anytime you can watch a movie starring FRANK Stallone… you jump on that opportunity. Believe me. You won’t be disappointed.

So needless to say the night wasn’t mean to be spent as part of a way to do a blog post, but since I had a beer, and I have some time to write it up, and took some thoughts of it on my phone, and remember my discussions with Dan and D.Scott about it, I’ll give it a review. (Yay to more content right?)

Ok, onto the actual beer review (which is presumably why your here):

Spundae, a limited time only Milkshake IPA by Spring House Brewing Company.

Beer: Spundae
Brewery: Spring House Brewing Company
Style: IPA – Milkshake
ABV: 6.8%
IBU: None
Untappd Write-Up: Introducing Spundae, our newest milkshake IPA to hit our lineup. Its brewed with real cherry puree, set on vanilla beans, and double dry hopped with potent citra leaves. Get this limited release draft while it lasts, dessert doesnt hang around forever.

….Well….. this is an interesting beer. Obviously my pic isn’t the best, and was mostly just a quick Untappd pic rather than a full on meant to happen for beer reviewing purposes “beer photography” picture. You can see the coloring in the glass that D.Scott was drinking out of. (Gave a taster’s worth for Dan and D.Scott, while I drank out of the can.)

Let’s break this one down….

Aroma is a mixture of all kinds of things. Firstly, its very cherry smelling. Like cough syrup cherry. Maraschino cherry. Overly tart, overly sweet, overly everything cherry. The “not good cherry”. There is a bit of a hop smell but its so diluted by the cherry. There is some kind of other flavors that could be vanilla beans, could be the hops, could be the “cherry puree”, which I’m not really sure what that is. I’m thinking its just straight maraschino cherry syrup they use for ice cream. I don’t know what exactly puree would entail in this instance, and I’d rather it be the actual cherry than puree I think, given how this tastes.

Appearance is very pink hue. As you can see in the picture, it kind of resembles the Crimson Pistil IPA that Troegs did, the hibiscus IPA. The coloring is a little off-putting, especially given the aroma before hand. So already I am kind of anticipating a cherry bomb on this. There’s even a bit of floaters in it and some sediment , at that was with a pour. Firstly, when I even poured just a small sample for both Dan and D.Scott, doing a correct pour, both of their pint glasses foamed way up with a massive amount of head, especially in contrast to how much I poured.

The taste was pretty much what I anticipated, given aroma and appearance, and both Dan and D.Scott agreed immediately on this. Its sour, tart, and not at all like a milkshake IPA. No smoothness. No vanilla. No sugary taste to it. Just a very heavy, tart/sour cheap cherry taste. Like cough syrup gone sour.

Its not a complete waste or drain pour, and its not completely horrible. It is cloying, it is heavy on the mouthfeel, and it doesn’t exactly fit the description. Its not the best or the worst though either. Maybe unpleasant is the best way to describe it? “Not preferable ?” I’ve certainly had far worse in my life, and the Natty Daddy’s later on weren’t much better, but then again, I knew that going in with those. This had at least some expectation to it, and a single was 4.99$ D.Scott told me, so only 2$ cheaper than the entire six-pack of Natty Daddy’s. So it should be obviously a lot better, especially given what it was, who made it, etc. This was more of a disappointment than it was anything, and I think a bit of an indictment about where Spring House has gone in recent year(s)/month(s). As I’ve heard numerous complaints and issues and arguments surrounding their beers in recent times. Which is very sad and disheartening.

My Untappd Rating: ***.25
Global Untappd Rating: 3.19 (as of 9.16.19)

(And sadly, I feel like I might be a bit generous with the 3.25 and it might really deserve a 3-***).

In blog news, we’ve been selected and added to the Top 100 Beer Blogs on the internet. Though we’re not exactly in the Top 100, (we are listed at #120), it is an honor, especially since I only started this blog in late May (so just a bit under 4 months). For comparison’s sake Breweries in PA is ranked #37. So given the “youth” of this blog, I think we’re doing pretty good.

You can check out the listing here: Top 100 Best Beer Blogs.

Certainly check it out, and spread the word about our blog, would love to crack the Top 100 soon!

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Until next time, bottoms up!

-B. Kline

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