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Aggressive Malt, Crisp Contrast Notable In Benny Brewing Lager

October 10, 2018

I hope you had all the Oktoberfest brews you needed to have this season. By the time you read this, it will be over. Before it ended, however, I was going to make sure I gave it a good send-off.

Thankfully, Benny Brewing Co. in Wilkes-Barre helped me with that. If you haven’t been there yet, you should make the trip.

The brainchild of Ben Schonfeld, Benny Brewing Co. is nestled right off the Sans Souci Parkway. Originally, Schonfeld started brewing beer for pubic consumption at Marty’s Blue Room. He must have done something right, as the current brewery is a sprawling place with plenty of room for thirsty patrons.

First off, let’s get one thing out of the way: the brisket was amazing. The beans that came with it? Also spectacular. As a matter of fact, all the food I’ve had there has been great. Go for the beer, but certainly make sure you have an appetite too. Combine this with a great-looking space, and it’s not a bad place to spend a night.

You’re not going there for the decor, however. All that is great, but what about beer? Benny has 12 on tap at any given time. There are plenty of great brews to make your way through, with cans as well so you can take some home.

With all those beers available, I did the only reasonable thing and went for the Benny Fest, the brewery’s take on an Oktoberfest-style lager. It likely will be my last marzen for this year. Thankfully, I chose well.

The amber pour bordered on red. This led me to believe that there might just be a bit of roasted malt in there, which is not something I’ll ever complain about. The head was a light tan color and not terribly pronounced. There were many bubbles, however. This would prove to be a crisp brew.

The subdued scent certainly offered some sweet malt in the nose. I also could catch the lager yeast, but that was pretty much it. Nothing really jumped out in the nose.

The taste was another story, however, like a liquid salted pretzel rounded out with spicy hops. Although of a style usually pretty laid back, Benny Fest took no prisoners. Honestly, I don’t know that I’ve ever called something aggressively malty before, but I would apply that moniker to this brew. There was just a bit of lemon as well that really brightened it up nicely. All of this led to a slightly bitter finish, just enough to give it a crisp contrast and ready the palette for the next quaff.

This is one that I just want to keep drinking. Like, forever. Its thin body makes it easy to do just that. It goes down nice and easy. For all its complexity, it only weighs in at about 5 percent ABV, meaning having more than one isn’t that bad of an idea. If you get a chance to drink it, I suggest you do just that.