Franconian Lagers in Northampton!

11 Oct

Last weekend I was up in CT visiting my good friends, Heather & Matt… the latter of whom is also a huge fan of craft beer! We decided that on Saturday afternoon, we should take a drive up to Northampton, MA, to visit The Dirty Truth Beer Hall! Matt had talked this beer hall up a few times before, so I was really excited to head up there for some yummy beer & grub!

A quick drive North up into Massachusetts, and we arrived! I walked in and, as with so many other wonderful craft beer establishments, was immediately drawn toward the gleaming chalkboard on the wall… behold…

Avery, and Sulpin, and Devotion, Oh My!

As I perused the board excitedly, one of the servers came up behind me & said… “before you get too invested in the board, I should let you know that we’re not serving any of those delicious beers today…”

Ummmm…. excuse me?!?!

Turns out… they were having a special Oktoberfest event that day……..

Oh, well… that explains all the gravity kegs** lined up on the bar I guess…

Try, Shuler, try…

Try to be excited…

It’s a FUN event…



Not hoppy…..

Ok, so I was able to turn my frown upside down pretty quickly & get into the swing of things 🙂

The Dirty Truth was featuring gravity kegs of Franconian lagers, from four different breweries. I wasn’t really sure what “Franconian” lagers were, so I Googled 🙂 Here’s what Wiki told me:

Franconia (German: Franken) is a region of Germany comprising the northern parts of the modern state of Bavaria, a small part of southern Thuringia, and a region in northeastern Baden-Württemberg called Tauberfranken.

Who knew?! 🙂

1st up, Matt & I both ordered the Monchsambacher… tasted like what I would call a “standard” German beer, to me.

Next up was the Mahrs Pilsner. At first there was a sweetness, but then it was followed by a bit of a metallic taste, which I didn’t so much care for.

Third beer was the Bayer Landbier. I ended up liking this best of all, as it was a bit crisper and smoother to me.

We asked our server to tell us about the Mahrs Hell, & when he said it was a smoked beer, I got super excited! The beer was smoky, but it was very, very subtle… and malty… so, clearly, not my exact cup of tea. Definitely not what I would consider a smoked beer to be.

Matt tried the Lowenbrau Keller, which was a lot maltier than the Monchsambacher. He also had the Mahrs Ungespundet Keller—try saying that 3 times fast… heck, try saying it at all! It was less malty than the other keller, and actually had an apple-y, malty flavor to me.

To balance out all the beer, Heather, Matt & I shared an amazing dish of macaroni & cheese… with ‘burger,’ mushroom & truffle oil in it!!! It was, in a word, amazing….. and we were all *really* glad that we decided to share it (even three ways), because it was super rich, delicious, and would have been beyond overwhelming for one person… or even two!

Just in case you’re sitting there wondering why I’ve told you what Matt & I had, but not Heather… let me ‘splain! Heather is definitely not into craft beer, though she’s always a really good sport & is willing to at least taste the beers we get, just in case! I think the only beer we’ve found so far that she enjoys is the Young’s Double Chocolate Stout 🙂  However, she DOES enjoy cider! Luckily, The Dirty Truth had two on tap that day—Original Sin Cider and Hogan’s Cider—so she tried one of each. While one was sweet and the other dry, Heather enjoyed them both!

In the end, even though the visit was not what we were expecting in terms of the beer, we all had a great time, got to try some new and interesting beer, have some super yummy lunch, & can’t wait to go back again when they have their regular draft list pouring at full force! 🙂


** Wondering what a gravity keg is? A quick Google search isn’t super helpful for once, as there doesn’t seem to be a good, succinct explanation of one. However, I did like how Jester King Craft Brewery described it on their website, in passing:

a small keg that sits upright on a bar and allows naturally conditioned beer to be dispensed by the force of gravity through a spigot near the bottom of the keg

Basically, instead of the keg being below the bar with the beer being pushed up through a line to the tap, the mini keg sits atop the bar and is dispensed much like Gatorade at a football game! 🙂

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