Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Union Jacks Barrel Aged Fest

9am on a brisk fall morning in early October...15 barrel aged beers on tap at Union Jack's Inn on the Manatawny in Oley, PA...makes for one heck of a morning. I picked up my friend Eric around 8:30 and we were on our way to enjoy a breakfast from the barrel.

To our surprise we were the first ones there when we rolled in at 9. It's crazy how 30 miles west can make this big of a difference on the turnout. Heck Capones had Russian River Consecration on tap a couple of months ago and the line was about 50 deep just to get into the place. I'm not complaining though, prefer the setting a Union Jacks and the laid back atmosphere.

The tap list for this event was probably the best I have seen in our area in quite some time. It went something like this...

-Stone Red Wine Barrel Aged Old Guardian
-Allagash Interlude
-Ommegang Rouge
-Pennichuck Pozharnik
-Founders Maple Mountain Brown
-Saint Somewhere Lectio Du Chene
-Founders Backwood Bastard 2007
-Terrapin Substance Abuse
-Terrapin Big Sloppy Monster
-New Holland Dragons Milk 2007
-Left Hand Oaked Imperial Stout
-Russian River Consecration
-Founders Hand of Doom
-Le Trou Du Diable La Claymore Cerise
-Le Trou Du Diable Brandy Barrel La Buteuse

Highlights included Stone Old Guardian, the beer was perfectly smoothed out and the wine barrels added a nice complexity that complemented this already great barley wine. This was the first time I had a chance to try Allagash Interlude and I was impressed by how much tart cherry, tropical fruits and funky sourness was present in both the flavor and aroma. Really liking the Brett strain that Allagash has going on. The 2007 Backwoods was a welcome surprise, not sure how UJ's got ahold of that one and both Terrapin beers were holding up nicely as well. I believe both beers were from 2006. The Big Sloppy Monster was tasting much more like a barrel aged barley wine at this point as opposed to the huge imperial IPA it once was.

Union Jacks certainly put some time into planning this event and tracking down all these BA kegs. I was happy to see that they were offering samplers, five 6 oz beers per sampler tray for around $15. A reasonable price considering what was on those trays. The only downside was that the flights were already pre-defined by UJ's which certainly makes it easier on them but not as convienent for those patrons who had certain beers in mind to try out.

If you haven't had a chance to get out to Union Jacks I would certainly encourage you to do so. Even if they are not having a special event you can always find a great tap selection, very large bottle selection and solid pub food. The location is charming as well and their patio area is a great place to hang out on a nice spring, summer or fall afternoon or evening.


  1. This place sounds great, I'll have to make a point to get out there sometime.

  2. Yeah...was thinking it could make for a great Beer by Bike ride...although kinda of on the long side.

  3. Would've like to have made it. You guys were set on the whole door busting thing. Aint like that up there. I've been to a Port event up there and it was mild at best. They still had the all the same stuff on the next afternoon.