Brewery Ommegang is quickly becoming one of Philadelphia’s favorite breweries. Despite being based in New York state, the Belgian-inspired brewmaker produces some of the finest beers in the country. So when they put on a tasting at craft beer mecca, Devil’s Den, in South Philly, all bets were off. Yes, they lived up to expectations.
The point of the evening was to introduce 215-ers to Ommegang’s newest concoction, Scythe and Sickle, the brewery’s October offering, which is billed as a harvest ale.
On first sip, it incorporates all the tastes one might expect from a fall seasonal — toasty sugars, bready malts, dry citrus and slight spice, almost pumpkin-like. And it stays true to the Ommegang name, tasting more like a Belgian wheat than a mass-produced light beer — yet at just 5.8-percent ABV it remains very much a session beer.
Last Wednesday night, the fine folks at Devil’s Den cooked up a delicious shrimp appetizer sautéed in a sauce infused with Scythe and Sickle. It was sweet and savory with coriander undertones, attempting to be spicy but never delivering on that promise. All in all, it was the perfect fall appetizer.
Other beers tasted were: Duvel Moortgat, a Belgian strong ale that is light in color, yet full-bodied; Omegang Gnomegang, a sweet, malty brew (read: subtle hops) that has a slight hint of banana; Maredsous Tripel, a true barley malt with a black pepper finish (sips more like a double than a tripel); and our favorite, the cherry temptress, Three Philosophers, the wonderfully delightful (yes, there is a slight bite as it goes down but not bad for being around 10-percent ABV) yet refined Belgian blended ale. Ommegang successfully married a quadruple with Lindemans Kriek, a cherry lambic. The result is heaven in your mouth, or at least what we would expect heaven to taste like if it were filled with drunk angels and cherry trees.