Sunday, January 27, 2008

Black Velvet - the Ramstein Eisbock, and the lure of the Iron Door

We went to the High Point Wheat Beer Brewery in Butler this Saturday to try their amazing Ramstein Ice Storm Eisbock. It begins as their Winter Wheat, pictured above. Now that beer is a delight, chocolatey and heady, like a stout without the bitter. This is its 11.5% alcohol, black velvet smooth cousin. It goes down deceptively fast and has delightful aftertastes that linger, of vanilla malt. It's really a spectacular beer, and sadly they cracked the last sixtel when we arrived. The beer has to sit outside at temperatures below 25°F for 3 days to make it, so hopefully we'll have a cold winter and they have enough winter wheat to make another batch or two! Call the brewery and haul yourself down there for a taste.

After the brewery we went for a walk near Federal Hill, in Riverdale. This is the home of the infamous Iron Door, made famous by Weird NJ. Lost In Jersey has a good page on the door, its background and a nice photo. I'm planning a geocache run up that way and to take pictures of the door and other ruins of the camps of the American Bund from that hill, before they were raided by the FBI and shut down. It's an ugly piece of New Jersey history, and a fine example of urban exploration. The Hill, the site of a mutiny in the American Revolution, has been eyed as a condo site for a long time, so I want to get up there before it's destroyed. And this time I'll bring a camera!

Two geocachers near the Door:

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