Beers that got us through the winter: Connecticut Valley Trail Blazer, Strong Gold Ale, South Windsor, Connecticut @ Railroad House, Marietta, Pennsylvania
Date: April 23, 2019
The Story— We encountered this beer in the downstairs bar of the Railroad House B&B in Marietta, Pennsylvania. Railroad House is a former rail workers boarding house and now a separate if slightly linked, B&B over top of one of the best restaurants in the area. The rooms are…well, former railroad worker’s, though there are bathrooms and more conformable beds than those guys ever got. The very active freight railroad runs a few yards from the front of the place. Take a front room for a wonderful “hey I’m on a railroad” experience at three in the morning– which we absolutely loved– or book farther back for a snidgen more peace and quiet.
The downstairs bar is clearly the work of a beer enthusiast. Almost a speakeasy, it has a range of just shy of a couple of dozen taps. Even if there weren’t a pretty decent brewery down the road, the place could qualify as a destination– especially since you can struggle upstairs to your bed. If you’ve had enough you might not even notice the trains in your back yard.
The Connecticut Valley Brewing Company was a new one for us, and a surprise to find in the basement of our B&B. But, good for them, they brew well and their NEIPA resonates as much as a holly strong gold ale as a NEIPA.
The Beer—Chewy and very chalky base on which rides a boat of citrus tannins and even a bit of soft juice later as it drinks. Ellie noted the zest oils and the very chalky end.
Value — Very good. The bar has Pennsylvania prices and 21st century beers.
About these posts: We taste and evaluate over a thousand beers every year. The beers posted here rank in the top quarter of those tastings. Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.Next week we’ll return to visiting fun places to explore beer — and much more–a different destination each week. Our beers of the day will feature beers from this wonderfully wet destinations. For this week, though, we’ll take a quality break and give a shout out to brewers from all over that made the winter a bit warmer. The upside is that some of these beers may be available in a good beer store near you.
A caveat as always: the vast majorities of craft breweries may have a few beers that are usually available, but their most interesting beers are usual season or one-off brews that we may rave about, but you can’t find. Our specific beer descriptions, can tell you what sorts of beers the brewery does well; if you don’t find the exact beer on tap, you’ll probably find something similar.