Last week, I took a trip to the Craft Beer Outlet in Northeast Philly to peruse their extensive selection and take advantage of their Tuesday half-price growler promotion. I opted for a local brew on tap and filled up my growler with the County Line IPA from Neshaminy Creek Brewing. I’d seen more and more beers from Neshaminy Creek on taps around Philly, but I realized I knew very little about this expanding brewery.
It turns out Neshaminy Creek was co-founded in 2011 by former Craft Beer Outlet employee Jeremy Myers, who is now the head brewer. The Pennsylvania State University grad spent two years at River Horse Brewing in Lambertville, N.J., and attended brewing classes at the famed Siebel Institute in Chicago. No stranger to the amount of work it takes to get a small brewery project off the ground, Myers succeeded in securing permits for Bucks County’s first production brewery in 2011. Since then, they’ve been gradually expanding brewing operations and now run a tasting room adjacent their brewery, which is open five days a week.
The brewery purportedly uses real Neshaminy Creek water in their beer, but they’re only able to make this tenuous claim because their water comes from the Philadelphia Water Department, which sources mainly from the Delaware River (of which Neshaminy Creek is a tributary). Technically they’re right, though I find the claim to be a bit of a stretch — the Delaware carries over 50 times the amount of water that Neshaminy Creek does where the two meet. By the same logic, the brewery could also claim that it uses real deer urine in its beer.
Regardless of my petty gripe about their water source, I like Neshaminy Creek Brewing, and I’m always excited to see a new brewery in the Philly area. This brewery has a penchant for German styles, such as Trauger Pilsner and Tribute Tripel. The County Line IPA is named after nearby County Line Road, which serves as a divider between Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
The beer pours a slightly hazy bright copper with a resiny, piney hop bouquet immediately evident. Crisp malt and citrus notes round out the aroma. Hop flavors rightly dominate the palate, but a pleasant, biscuity malt sweetness also makes its presence known. This is a well-balanced IPA with intense hop flavors and aromas, but a welcome lack of excessive hop bitterness toward the finish. I would almost describe this as a West Coast style IPA, more similar to something like Stone IPA than Dogfish Head 60 Minute.
It’s easy for a beer like this to get lost in the ever-growing crowd of other hoppy IPAs out there, but this brew’s delicious and well-selected melange of hops pushes it toward the front of the pack, if only slightly. It’s always nice to see a successful production brewery popping up in our region, and I’m looking forward to seeing more from them as they grow. Cheers!